The largest island in the bay of Angra dos Reis has more than one hundred beaches, some of which are listed as the most beautiful in the southeast region. An unmissable tour and very close to the capital of Rio de Janeiro. See what are the best places to visit on Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro


Photo: Alexandrefutata / Flickr

Destination of many Brazilians and foreigners, the Big Island, in Rio de Janeiro, offers dozens of beaches that look like they came out of movies and magazines. The destination mainly brings together viewpoints, coves, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and mountains that make the place a true ecological sanctuary, which merges with its more than 500 years of history, traditions and legends.

Located in front of the city of Angra dos Reis, the wonderful Big Island spreads over an area of 190km², most of it covered by dense forest. Thus, the Island is part of an archipelago with more than 187 islets, located on the southwest coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro. However, to enjoy what the region has to offer, it is necessary to walk along many trails, do boat trips and enjoy diving in clear waters.

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Undoubtedly, the unconventional access is one of the factors that contribute to the Big Island remains so preserved with a village and fishing village atmosphere (although on holidays and high season the movement is intense). In addition, the existence of a maximum security prison – deactivated in 1994 – contributed greatly to the island's isolation for many decades.


In fact, there are several points on Ilha Grande that offer infrastructure and allow tourists to stay overnight in different parts of the destination. The main one is Vila do Abraão, after all, it is where most tourist transport boats to the island land, and where the largest number of hotels, restaurants and tourist agencies are located. That is, those who stay in this part of Ilha Grande, can access most of the beaches facing the mainland, and some on the opposite side, just by walking. Among them, Praia da Feiticeira, Praia do Abraãozinho, Praia Preta and other tourist attractions such as the Ruins of Lazareto.

The second largest village is on Praia de Provetá. This is the point on the island where it is located, the main land access to Praia de Aventureiro and Praia dos Meros, on the oceanic side of Ilha Grande.

THE Big Island offers several leisure options for tourists, among the maritime tours that tour agencies offer, it is also possible to go hiking, in addition to activities such as kayaking, stand up, diving, snorkeling, mountain biking and surfing.

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Praia do Aventureiro, destination to visit on Ilha Grande

Things to do in Ilha Grande


Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro, includes paradisiacal places to visit. Photo: via CostaAzulfm

Acaia Grotto

Approximately 8 meters below sea level is the Gruta do Acaiá, a place probably not suitable for claustrophobic people. Inside the grotto there is an impressive underground hall where there is a stone beach, sunlight penetrates the water and makes a wonderful fluorescence phenomenon. The cave is about 30 meters wide and has an average height of 1 meter. Access is by land, descending through a cave with a narrow and difficult passage, a few meters of the route is made by crawling.

Witch's Waterfall

The Feiticeira Waterfall can be a great option for those looking for a quiet walk through the dense forest that surrounds the island. The waterfall is approximately 15 meters high, and is widely used by rappelling fans, for example.

Castilian Lighthouse

Located on the east side of Ilha Grande, the Castelhanos lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Brazilian coast and still retains its original French technique design.

Parrot's Peak

With 982 meters of altitude, it is the second highest point of Ilha Grande, only below Pico da Pedra d'Águia with 1035. From its top it is possible to have a privileged view with about 300 degrees of open angle.


The clear waters of the bay of Angra dos Reis and the great diversity of species present in it, make Ilha Grande one of the most coveted points for diving enthusiasts in Brazil. There are diving options on some beaches, islands and even on sunken ships.

Beaches in Ilha Grande


Lopes Mendes is one of the best places to visit on Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Valdiney Pimenta / Pixabay

Lopes Mendes

Considered one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, the beach of Lopes Mendes has approximately 3 km of white sand, very fine and firm, it is the most famous of all of Ilha Grande. The sea in Lopes Mendes always seems rough, suitable for surfing. The water's transparency is impressive, as are its tonal variations.


Surrounded by dense vegetation and steep hills, Caxadaço beach is a hidden corner on Ilha Grande, the beach is only 15 meters long, access is via a very extensive trail, it takes approximately 3:30 walk from the village do Abram, but without a doubt the effort is well rewarded when you arrive at this deserted beach with a very wild climate.

blue Lagoon

Lagoa Azul is one of the most popular spots on the island, located between two islets in the region of Freguesia de Santana, it has waters with a tone that impresses visitors, the best place for diving in the region.

green lagoon

Another highlight is the Lagoa Verde, a corner of shallow, calm and typically green waters. is one of the highlights of the northwest coast of Big Island.


Praia de Aventureiro is the most paradisiacal place in Big Island. Located in the area called the open sea, the beach has crystal clear waters, a strip of white sand and stunning landscapes. The coconut tree lying down is the main postcard of the beach. That's where the modest Fisherman's Village that keeps much of the local culture, today with more than 100 inhabitants.

two rivers

Dois Rios beach is surprisingly fascinating and one of the most beautiful places to visit on Ilha Grande. Its yellow sand is approximately one kilometer long with two rivers, one at the beginning of the beach and another at the end that flows into the sea.

sky bag

Saco do Céu is an ecological sanctuary rich in biodiversity. The sea is as calm as a lake and on nights with a starry sky it is possible to see the stars reflected on the surface of the water – hence the name.


The beach has green waters, coarse sand, coconut and almond trees. The movement is great due to the fishing colony installed there. Provetá is also the main land access gateway to Praia de Aventureiro and Praia dos Meros on the oceanic side of Ilha Grande.

Parish of Santana

Comprising 4 beaches, the peninsula of Freguesia de Santana is one of the best places to visit on Ilha Grande and is located in the northern part. The site started the settlement of the island in the 17th century.

Trails in Ilha Grande

Another way to explore the numerous beaches in the region is through the trails. Therefore, most of the paths are mapped, with adequate signage so that tourists can go from one beach to another, thus being able to go around the island. In other words, some more experienced people even do the entire guided crossing, covering the island in 5 days.

Photo: Rosso Robot / Wikimedia Commons

How to get to Grand Islandand

Photo: TMbux / Wikimedia Commons

access to Big Island it is done only by boats, it is not possible to use own vehicles. The main ports of departure for the island are the cities of Mangaratiba (city center), Vila de Conceição de Jacareí and Angra dos Reis (Lapa pier/Porto de Angra dos Reis, Santa Luzia Station and Santa Luzia Pier).

The main port is in Vila do Abraão, the village with the best infrastructure for tourists with dozens of inns, camping, restaurants and tour agencies. From there it is possible to circulate to the main beaches and viewpoints of the region. In addition to the village, the island also has other landing points such as Vila de Aventureiro, Vila de Provetá, Araçatiba, Bananal and Enseada das Estrelas.

See a table with the timetables of all boats on here.

Best time to visit Ilha Grande

Photo: Tarcísio de Paula Salgado / Wikimedia Commons

Very popular between weekends and long holidays, the best places to visit on Ilha Grande usually receive a considerable increase during these periods. Mainly during Carnival, Holy Week and the end of the year parties. In addition, on these dates the prices are also usually a little higher.

The best time to visit the destination is during autumn. After all, at this time of year the weather is less hot than summer, but the days have a lower frequency of rain. Between March and June is also the best time to escape mass tourism, which eventually takes over the destination during school holidays and the end of the year.

It seems contradictory, but the rainiest time on Ilha Grande is precisely in the summer, from December to March.

Where to stay on Ilha Grande

Find accommodation on Ilha Grande here.

Dica extra para reservar hotéis

Para encontrar inúmeras opções de acomodação e reservar hotéis e pousadas com os melhores preços, utilizamos o - disponível em milhares de destinos.

Passagens aéreas mais baratas

Para economizar com voos, consultamos primeiro as passagens aéreas na MaxMilhas, - quase sempre encontramos os melhores preços tanto no Brasil quanto no exterior. As passagens podem ser emitidas mesmo para quem não tem milhas aéreas.

Outras dicas úteis

Encontre informações úteis sobre os best destinations do mundo, com guias de viagens especializados sobre diferentes places to visit in Brazil e no exterior. São milhares de travel tips com sugestões de onde ir na sua viagem, recomendação de hotels, notícias atualizadas e muito mais.

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