Ok, the only way to get to Ilha Grande is by boat. Once on the island it's two feet and a heart beat. There are only 3 cars on the island and they belong to the emergency services. Everything is within walking distance and is beautiful to explore by foot.
The only way too arrive in Ilha Grande is by ferry and the ferry seems to run to the island from Angra dos Reis once daily and from the island twice daily, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. We travelled from Rio de Janeiro via bus, then taxi to the ferry and were lucky enough to find ferry information on the internet and were surprised to find, after much misinformation on different websites, that it was accurate. I hope you can read portugese...
OBVIOUSLY ILHA GRANDE CAN ONLY BE REACHED BY BOAT, it is an island!!!
There are two ways that you can go to Ilha Grande. And you can use Ferryboats or some private boats that arrange transfers to the islands in a city called Angra dos Reis.
You must go to 2 cities heading south of Rio, one of them is Mangaratiba which I personally prefer.
MANGARATIBA is a nice city almost two hours drive from Rio, the ferry boat laves at 8:00 am, so you'd better leave Rio very early in the morning to take this boat to Ilha Grande (there is a bus in Rio that leaves at:5:30 getting there on time for you to take the ferry or you can arrange a car to go to Mangaratiba), and you get to Ilha Grande around 9:30 which gives you the whole day to enjoy the island.
ANGRA DOS REIS - it is a second option, a little bit more distant than mangaratiba, but it gives you a chance of not leaving Rio so early because the ferry from there leaves at 1:00 pm.
There is also a chance to take private boats in the main harbour at 12:00 pm, the crossing takes one hour!!!
As I told you, the ferry boat goes back to Mangaratiba every day at 5:30, do not miss it because there is just one ferry a day they are not so easy with time tables in the island. I see it very positively because tourism in Ilha Grande is never so massive and the whole community can keep its tranquility and preserve Ilha Gande as one of the places that you can go to have peace, fun and a relaxing holidays among locals.
Remember that in the weekends the tickets cost more, but nothing that you cannot pay, during the week, the tickets is waaaaaaaaaaay cheaper.. So i prefer getting to the island on thursdays and coming back on monday, so I save some money but nothing stops you to take the ferry any time of the week!
As mentioned,you have to leave your car in the parking area at the port you choose to take the boat.
Though the crime levels in Brazil,and the fact that car robbers are very popular here,I never had the unpleasure of having my car stolen or even damaged in these parking areas!
It has a long stay or a daily rates.
The best way to see many beautiful places in Ilha Grande is taking a tour boat to many different beaches available in the main village Abraão. The most popular tour is LAGOA AZUL, it takes the whole day and you visit fantastic other little villages such as Conceição, lagoa Azul and you have lunch in a desert beach!
So do not hesitate to take a boat while you are in the island!
Rafael and I had heaps of fun in placaes that we will never knwo the name, they just stop and we can have fun!;)))))
This is the main way to get to Ilha Grande. There are boats arriving and coming from the island all the time. The cheapest is the ferry boat, that costs from 3 to 10 reais (1,50 to 5 dollars) depending on the season and leaves once a day during the week (at 3:30 PM) and twice a day at weekends and hollidays (10 AM and 1:30 PM).
If you loose the ferry, don´t worry, there are local boats leaving constantly from Angra directly to the island, stopping at Abraao village (the main village), Araçatiba, Praia Vermelha (red Beach) and Proveta, and usually cost 10 dollars.
Don´t get scared with the appearance of the city of Angra and the pier!! Ilha grande is completely different!
The whole trip takes 1hour-1 hour and a half aprox.
You can get to the Ilha from Mangaratiba or from Angra dos Reis.
Here you can see the schedule of the official ferry. There are many of other boats, pay attention how many people goes and the state of the boat. Some of them takes chance about the situation and they are more expensives than the official one.
From monday to friday U$2
Weekends and holiday U$ 4 (approximately)
From monday to thursday:
Abraao- Angra: 10:00
Fridays: There are an extra ferry from Mangaratiba to Abraao at 22:00
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: The same as monday to thursday but Angra-Abraao is at 13:30
Once you reach Angra do Reis by bus then you can catch a ferry to Vila do Abraao. From Angra, boats depart a 330pm Monday to Friday and 130pm Saturday, Sunday and on holidays. They return to Angra at 10am daily. A one way ferry ride cost about 6R and R15 on the weekends. A catamaran goes from Angra and Vila daily as well (check with the dock) and is twice as fast and cost about R20 to get there. The fishing vessels are really fun to catch but if you are in a hurry the catamaran is ideal. Costa Verde buses depart every 45 minutes between 5am and 9pm from Novo Rio bus station to Angra (R32). Make sure you get the right bus so you can catch the ferry to Ilha Grande.
I,m writing to tell about a really bad experience i had in ihla grande, brazil, a few days ago. We bought a ticket to return from the island to rio and they sell us a good transportation, aparently, but it was not.
The bus was in ugly conditions, it doesn,t have air conditioner, it was all in "dangerous conditions", besides the driver was looking all the time his cell phone and he was trying all the time to get his gps fix while he drives....So it was the most dangerous and cheeting travel i,ve ever had. And i,ll recomend everybody not to go whit speed connection.
This is the cheapest type of transportation around the island =)
If you don´t expect to pay a buch of money to spend all your days inside a crowded, noisy boat and arriving late to the beaches, waking up early and exploring the island on foot is the best way to know the island.
The hiking path is usually clear, going through the native vegetation and some have amazing views of the beaches below. The difficulty level varries much. The hardest one is known to be the ascent to the island´s highest point, called Pico do papagaio (Parrot´s peak).
Others, like the trek from Abraao Village to lopes Mendes beach and the trek to Dois Rios are the most famous. The last one is a smooth ascent/descent along a tiny road that cuts through the island.
The hike to Lopes mendes is tiring, with some ups and downs but with lovely surprises along the way. It´s the most beatiful hiking path in my opinion and you get the chance to arrive early and find Lopes Mendes with a couple of surfers faaaar away...
The trails on the other side of the island, like from Aracatiba to Aventureiro beach or to Gruta do Acaia (the cave), are usually more close to the forest, so you should inform yourself with the locals before trying them out.
Inside Abraao there´s a trekking map with a scheme of the trails and level of difficulty/time/distance;
if you want to leave ihla Grande and must get to Rio very quickly, this is an alternative to get there. you go with a speed boat to another harbour on the main land and then you take a special van to Rio. All the trip takes 2 hours and 30 minutes.
getting to rio from ilha grande with one of the boats and the public bus can be quite strenuous, so we decided to use the resta 1 speed connection. it combines the boat ride to conceicao de jacarei (45min compared to approx. 90min to angra dos reis) with a shared transfer including drop-off in your rio hotel/hostel/airport.
sounds like a great thing. in the end, we did make it to rio, but that's about everything positive there is to say.
don't let yourself be fooled by the advertisements on display all over the island. the vans that were used, are of the most basic type and condition. they did not have reclining seats or air conditioning, let alone DVD.
the other things these adverts promise are comfort, safety and speed. well, at least the speed you certainly get. as already mentioned in previous reviews, the driver was driving like a complete lunatic, went far beyond the speed limit for almost the whole ride, rushed in and out of traffic in completely impossible situations, and still found the time to operate two cell
phones and the radio at once.
the worst thing, however, was that when he noticed our somewhat limited knowledge of portuguese, he started insulting us for coming to brazil without being able to speak the language. and this was not meant as a little joke, but he went on with it for 15 minutes, becoming more and more rude in his tone.
for those looking for alternatives, I recommend the public costa verde busses (http://www.costaverdetransportes.com.br). we used them on our way to ilha grande. they have helpful staff, are clean, comfortable and safe.
There are no cars in Vila Abraao. You can completely orient yourself to the town on foot in about 5 minutes and will be able to find your way around for the duration of your trip.