Ilha Grande

Deserted beaches, tropical rainforest, lagoons, diving, snorkeling with turtles, boat trips.
You can experience it all on Ilha Grande. This still pretty remote island, where cars are not allowed, offers something for everyone. The island is located about 180 kilometers south of Rio de Janeiro and boasts more than 100 pristine beaches. Abraão is the main town on the north side of the island. Perfect to meet the locals, while drinking a caipirinha or a beer. Abraão mainly consists of tourism, but most things can be bought. There are plenty of souvenir shops, restaurants, little supermarkets and pharmacies. However there is no ATM or bank, so make sure you bring enough cash. Credit cards aren’t accepted everywhere.

Lopes Mendes is known as one of the most beautiful beaches of the Brazilian coast; white, fine sand and a transparent ocean. Ideal for surfing because of the good waves and for swimming because it is shallow. Be careful with the currents though. There are no restaurants or other facilities. You can get there by boat from Abraão or by foot. It is a beautiful walk of about 2,5 hours.

The Blue Lagoon is a natural pool perfect for snorkeling. The water is calm and transparent and there are plenty of beautiful colorful fish.
There are several companies that offer boat trips to the Blue Lagoon.

Dois Rios is on the same side of the island as Lopes Mendes and probably at least as beautiful with its white sand and blue green waters. The beach gets its name from the two rivers that can be found on both ends of the beach. Mangrove trees grown in these rivers and lots of fishes raise in this perfect ecosystem.
The little quiet town of Dois Rios is mostly famous for its prison. The prison is closed, but the ruins are still there. The only way to get to Dois Rios is by foot. It is about a two hour walk from the town Abrãao.

The Green Lagoon is a perfect place to snorkel and dive and see the greenish coral.
There are several boat trips that can take you there.

Other beaches closer to the town of Abrao are Praia Feiticeira, a small and quiet beach with the Feiticeira waterfall on a 15 minute walk. Praia Preta, just left of town, a rocky beach with black sand. Praia Julia, just next to Aquario hostel, transparent water and with a little restaurant. Praia Abrazinho, 20 minutes further down from Praia Julia.
Ilha Grande is not a party island, but don’t worry there is enough to do in the evening.

There are a couple of hostels that offer good party options. Every Tuesday Aquario Hostel organizes an all you can eat BBQ with live music or dj and a free caipirinha. Che Lagarto hostel, just next door, has a bar and offers food most nights of the week. Sometimes they have life music.
The island has one “nightclub” Ipaum Guacú. This is where the locals meet the tourists and dance together on a mixture of international pop, samba and forro.
Most hostels and hotels offer day tours to the main attractions on the island. Boat trips to Lopes Mendes, the Blue and Green Lagoon or a full island tour. If not, there is a tour operator in town, Navegantes, that can give you information about boat trips, hikes and other organized tours.

One special trip is the Boat Party, organized by Aquario Hostel. If it is a sunny day and there is a fun crowd, guaranteed you will have a great time. A full day on a schooner with a sundeck, music, a BBQ and free caipirinhas the whole day! There are plenty of options to swim or snorkel (gear included). The boat takes you to the Blue Lagoon, Green Lagoon and a couple of other beaches.
There are plenty of options for snorkeling. You can rent gear and snorkel of the coast or go on a boat trip and snorkel in one of the lagoons.
There are a couple of diving centers on the island.
There are no banks or ATMs on the island.

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