Ilha Grande Things to Do

  • Ruinas do Lazareto
    Ruinas do Lazareto
    by DSwede
  • arriving in Vilaa do Abraão
    arriving in Vilaa do Abraão
    by perfectly_zen
  • Views from trail!!!
    Views from trail!!!
    by perfectly_zen

Best Rated Things to Do in Ilha Grande

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    Spot a monkey

    by dharmabum222 Written Mar 5, 2004

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    the common marmoset

    While walking the rainforests of Ilha Grande, it is entirely possible to see one of the many species of monkey that make the island their home. Tamarins and Marmoset are in the monkey family and are only found in Brazil. They can be seen easily if you walk quietly through the rainforest with wide eyes. I had the opportunity to see them twice and had no idea what a rare gift it was until I came home and did some research. Most of these little guys are on the endangered species list and at present are only found in Southern Brazil.

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    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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    Lagoa Verde &/or Lagoa Azul

    by dharmabum222 Updated Mar 31, 2004

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    lagoa verde no matter how azul it looks

    If you are a swimmer, the water in these locations is heavenly! The snorkeling is admittedly not great, but you can jump off of the side of one of the tour boats and see some little yellow fish or a starfish and then float...

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    Japariz

    by dharmabum222 Written Mar 2, 2004

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    Japariz is the little beach that many of the tour boats will take you to as a starting point for the hike to Lopes Mendes. It is a shame that most people fly through, buying a bottle of water for their trip at the little bar on the beach because it is a sweet little yellow sand beach with palm trees and a little straw bar that is open in the early morning and serves caipirinhas all day.

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    • Beaches

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    Lopes Mendes Beach, Heaven on Earth

    by dharmabum222 Updated Apr 2, 2007

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    Lopes Mendes praia

    My friend and I were a little intimidated by the stories of Lopes Mendes Praia. A surfer's paradise, to us, meant rough surf and strong currents, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was in fact the most beautiful beach that either of us had ever seen. After some deliberation, we decided that it was the most heavenly place that either of us had ever encountered. The sand is like flour (unlike anything that we had ever felt and we grew up on an island) and the water was crystal clear. In order to reach the beach, you must endure a steep, but short hike through lush forests and arid paths. If it is a lucky day, you may see some monkeys. We were fortunate to see them on two separate trips. Remember to bring some bananas with you, they love them and eat them in the wild, so it is perfectly healthy to give them to them, it makes for a spectacukar brush with nature.

    Once you reach the beach, find a nice spot under the trees, as the sun gets higher in the sky, the sand becomes increasingly hot and you will welcome the cool shade. There are 2 or three delightful people who make their home in Vila do Abraao who ride the boats over in the morning and sell homemade sandwiches (usually chicken salad or frango: ricotta with raisins or tuna), water and sodas. On a lucky day you may encounter a woman with a smile almost as bright as the sun selling homemade breads stuffed with spinach, ricotta, chicken or shrimp may which are truly delicious. Make sure that you try one, they are wonderful!

    Once you take to the water, you will be amazed at the clarity of the ocean. I did not believe that a beach existed where there was no seaweed, no jellyfish, no shells to cut your feet, no crabs to nibble at your toes...simply refreshing clear water and smooth sand underfoot. You will not want to get out of the water!

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Surfing
    • Beaches

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    Lopes Mendes

    by IIGUANA Written Nov 11, 2003

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    Lopes Mendes

    I've seen lots of beautiful beaches on my trips. But Lopes Mendes, is definately my favorite. It's an amazing beach, 7 km long, with absolutely nothing. It's a virgin island with nothing else than you and maybe some other 10 persons. The water is magnificent, clear and warm. The sand is like flour, white and soft. If you go in the water you'll be able to see colorful fish around you. It's a must.
    Now, there are 2 ways to get to this beach: by foot or by boat. I'd recommend going by foot, but it's a 3 hour walk. The hike itself is quite beautiful, as you'll pass different hills where you get an amazing view of the island. You'll see different beaches and you'll pass through a jungle. Then, the price it's at the end: the beautiful beach. I'd recommend going early, so you can relax all day long. There's no water or eating places at the beach, so bring what you'll need.
    If you go by boat, you can rent it at the town. They're very cheap. What we did, and what I'd recommend, is that we talked to a boatman, told him to pick us up at a certain time at the beach (not exactly Lopes Mendes, but one very close, 10 minutes away), and we walked TO Lopes Mendes, but then we came back by boat.

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    • Beaches
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Lagoa Azul

    by IIGUANA Written Nov 11, 2003

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    Lagoa Azul

    To get to this beach, you've got to get on a tour, or ask a local man to take you. I'd recommend the tours, which stop on the beaches on the way, so you can have a nice swim.
    Lagoa Azul is not actually a lagoon. Is just a very deep beach, that takes an intense blue/green color, that makes pictures look their best. It's an amazing place to have a swim.

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    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Beaches

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    Dois Rios

    by perfectly_zen Written Jun 30, 2005

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    Dois Rios: fisherman
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    Dois Rios is one of the beaches located in the south of the island, therefore in open sea...it´s a good place to spend the day, the waves are not strong, the water is clean...
    Reaching Dois Rios by boat depending on the season is not alowed because of the wind and strong tide, but the trek is not hard....the access to the beach is strictly controlled, when you arrive a guard will register your entrance and the permanence in Dois Rios is prohibited after 5:00 PM...
    In this beach is located a famous Presidium, that was in part the cause for the lack of tourists 10 years ago....now it´s closed, and many of the habitants left the village, remaining only some fishermen...

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    • National/State Park
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    The white horse

    by IIGUANA Written Nov 11, 2003

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    This is not a must see activity, but it's something that I kept on my mind. When you get off the ferry, the first thing you'll see is a white horse on a small square right on your left hand side. It's there. It doesn't move, but it's alive. And I saw it everyday. Don't know to whom it belongs, but that's it's parking space. I saw it, and some friends that went last year saw it too. So if you ever go to Ilha Grande, and see the white horse, please write back!!!

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    Hiking

    by perfectly_zen Updated Jun 29, 2005

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    From Abra��o to Praia das palmas
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    If you don´t want to spend your days on a boat, to visit many of the beaches in Ilha grande you should be mentally prepared for lots of trekking.....there are many trails in the island, some very easy, others exaustive, but they are all worth the effort!!!
    One famous trail is the one from the beach of Abraão to the beach called Lopes Mendes...the terrain, just like many other paths there, is very irregular with lots of ups and downs, but with a privileged view from above...it´s difficult to get lost, there are many signs along the way...During the hike you´ll visit wonderfull beaches in the way, like Praia Brava, Praia das palmas, Praia do Pouso. It takes for about 3hours each way, and 7 km.
    There´s also the trek from Abraão to Dois Rios, 7 km each way in an old road, and the path from Abraão to Pico do Papagaio, an ascent to a peak 980meters high, which is known to be a bit tiring but with a spectacular view...and if you are not tired...there are others!!! many others!!! =)
    So, prepare your boots!!!!

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    • Backpacking

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    In the way to Dois Rios

    by perfectly_zen Updated Jun 30, 2005

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    View of Abra��o from the road

    Another common trek is the one from Abraão to the beach called Dois Rios, on the other side of the island.
    You walk along an old road, unpaved, that has the legth of 7 km and is very easy....the first half of the road is a constant smooth ascent, but it´s not very tiring...the other half is just the way down....from this same road you have trails to other attractions such as the Pico do Papagaio, and the beach of Caxadaço....
    Caxadaço is a small beach, its name means "Iron Box", since it´s a small, empty beach almost hidden behing a rock all....it used to be a place where pirates did ilegal traffic in ancient times...from Dois Rios to Caxadaço you´ll take 2h30min one way.
    There are many streams along the walk, including waterfalls, but i advise you to avoid drinking the water from the road streams.....believe me, it´s not good....= /

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    Dois Rios: the rivers

    by perfectly_zen Updated Jun 30, 2005

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    Dois Rios: river

    Dois Rios is how we call "Two Rivers" in portuguese. This beach is called this way because it´s a one kilometer string of sand that in each corner there is a river encountering the sea...
    That makes Dois Rios a great place to spend your day...if you are tired of salty water, you can wash yourself at the river, just some 10 meters away....the water is clean and appropriate for swim, there are also many fishes, and the typical tropical forest called "Mangue" contouring the rivers, with the trees planted inside water...

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    • Hiking and Walking
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    • Backpacking

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    Dois Rios: stories of despair behind the walls

    by perfectly_zen Updated Jun 30, 2005

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    Dois Rios: presidium

    Although the rich fauna, flora and beauty of the island could only give birth to fishermen´s legends, there are real stories of violence and disease the island struggles to forget... It´s in the simple, dormant village of Dois Rios that most of the recent stories came from...
    Ever since the island was first populated, it had been used, for centuries, as a land of slavery, traffic, as a jail for the exiled and even as an isolation to the sick (the leper house of Lazareto was an example)...the island was a sort of "trash can" of the powerful, used to keep all those they disguised far from the continent.
    The last Presidium that operated in the island was Candido Mendes, located in Dois Rios. This jail, that was before a farm, worked for over 90 years and kept not only dangerous criminals but exiled politicians and artists during the brazilian dictatorship....
    Along those years many legends came in, just like the creation of Comando Vermelho (=Red Command) inside this jail, that became one of the biggest gangs of organized crime in the country....
    There are stories of heroic escapes, like one member of Comando that ran away after jumping from the roof of the jail to the stairs of a flying rescue helicoper....and recieved the nickname "Escadinha" (=Little stairs) ever since....
    Famous writers witnessed atrocities while on exiled, giving birth to famous books over this subject.
    Stories of escape, torture, violence and hope are hidden in every corner of the jail, that was closed completely in 1994, intact from the outside, which gives you the idea that it´s still open....

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    • Historical Travel
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    • Hiking and Walking

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    Dois Rios: the "abandoned" city

    by perfectly_zen Updated Jun 30, 2005

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    Dois Rios: ruins

    The jail was terrifying for the locals, but at least it contributed to the preservation of the island, by kipping tourists visiting Angra away from it...the village also enlarged a lot with the arrival of the workers of the jail, that came with their families to live in....now that it´s closed, most of them went away, leaving their houses behind....
    Now the village is much smaller than before, so when you enter in Dois Rios you´ll se many houses in ruins...the real proof that time changes many things.
    The remaining citizens work with tourism and commerce, apart from researchers of the university that has set one department of biology there...
    Sometimes as you walk in the small city you´ll have this strange impression that everyone just vanished....

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    • Hiking and Walking
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    • Historical Travel

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    Praia Brava

    by perfectly_zen Written Jun 29, 2005

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    Praia Brava
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    Praia Brava (=Angry Beach) is one of the beaches you will find from Abraão to Lopes Mendes...it´s a small beach, with calm, green waters...nothing angry on that =)
    The entrance to this beach is located 30-40 minutes from Abraão and some minutes before praia das palmas (you´ll see a sign "Praia das palmas" and an arrow pointing the way), and if you are lucky you might find some monkeys at the entrance of the beach....=)
    You´ll have the view of praia Brava from the trek in the second picture of the Intro...
    There is a camping there, a perfect place for those who want complete peace and quiet...

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    Praia das Palmas

    by perfectly_zen Written Jun 29, 2005

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    Praia das Palmas
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    After Praia Brava, the next beach will be Praia das Palmas (Palms´ Beach)....the water in green, that are barely no waves, so it´s perfect for a swim....
    On this beach you will find a little restaurant, showers and a camping....
    It´s a good idea to begin the trek from Abraão at 8 in the morning, since you will be able to get to the beaches earlier then the boats loaded with tourists, and you´ll have the opportunity to have those beaches for yourself only hehehe....

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    • Backpacking
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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Ilha Grande Things to Do

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