Most people come to Brazil only to go to Rio De Janeiro. With the Christ statue on Corcovado mountain, magnificent beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, and many other entertainments such as Carnivals, Rio De Janeiro has become a popular travel point from all over the world. In 2019, Rio De Janeiro was the host of 1.7 million tourists. The city’s favelas (shanty towns) are also famous.
But today, we are not here about the shiny parts of Rio De Janeiro. We will be exploring one of the Islands near this city which has recently become popular among tourists. This island is not big at all, and it can be fully explored on foot in some hours as it is only 193 Km2. Ilha Grande is one of the unspoiled tropical places on earth that is safe and easily accessed. Ilha Grande was called a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.
History of Ilha Grande
It has such an interesting history as well. It was first an abandoned island, and traveling there was prohibited. This was due to the housing of leper groups on the island. After that, it became a top security prison that was home to the country’s most dangerous criminals. This prison was closed in 1994, and from then, it gradually became a tourist attraction and nowadays has some villages inside.
What to Do
The island is small, but there are multiple things you can do in this nature. We have listed some of the things you can do so you can enjoy the most.
Boat riding is one of the hobbies most tourists enjoy. Due to the great atmosphere and clean waters in the rivers and seas around the island, boat riding can be very pleasant. You can find boats in many locations of the Ilha Grande.
Like any other island in the world, this island contains many beautiful beaches with white sands and some of the clearest waters in the world. You can use the ocean for swimming or the sands for sunbathing and tanning your skin. Some beaches include Lopes Mendes, Aventureiro, Dois Rios, and Preta.
Laguna Azul is also one of the beaches you can enjoy as the water is not deep and also the view is perfect. Some tourists call this place heaven.
Pico do Papagaio
This hiking target can become your best moment on the island. If you reach the top of the mountain at the right time, you will see the perfect sunrise from the top of the mountain and enjoy the sun’s reflection on the ocean.
Candido Mendes prison
One of the places that can be interesting for visiting is the abandoned high-security prison. Most of the remaining are some simple walls and locks, but it is still worth the hiking effort.
Why not enjoy the nature around you, including the rainforests and the clean air. That is exactly the healthy part of your travel along with swimming. I truly recommend you to spend some time wandering in nature and breathing.
How to Go
On the contrary to what is said about reaching this place, it is easy to get to this island. However, there are no airports or highways to the island. One of the easiest ways for going to Ilha Grande is to reach Conceição or Angra dos Reis by bus or taxi. After arriving here, you can get a boat and reach the island. Then you can explore the impressive island.
Best Time to Visit
Going to a beach in winter is not a good idea. Therefore, the best months could be March to May, when the crowds are less. However, summer is a good time as well, but it is crowded.
Things to Know Before Going
- As mentioned above, no highway connects Rio De Janeiro to Ilha Grande. So, you cannot find any car or motorbike on the island, and moving on the island is mainly based on walking and climbing
- Furthermore, since most of the island is intact, there is not much technology and many buildings for people to accommodate. If you plan to spend the weekend on the island in summer, it may be a good idea to book a place for the nights you will stay.
- If you are allergic to anything and mostly mosquitoes, you may want to take your creams and repellents as you may pass some mosquitoes.
- Bring your best sneakers since you need to walk a lot on the island. Also, if you are planning to hike, it will be helpful.