Ilha Grande is a beautiful island full of tropical beaches and relaxing landscape. From Rio de Janeiro to Ilha Grande it’s a 4 hours journey, we booked it trhough the hostel in Rio for 70 Reais per person. (3 hours by van and than a 45 minute boat).
Ilha Grande is a wonderful place to enjoy the beach, read a book, eat a nice cold ‘acai’ and rest. You can also find some fun activites and trails to do while visiting. We visited at January 2014, and the color of the water at the beach was not as blue as you see in the famous pictures. Locals said that the water changed lately. Still, the beaches are fun and beautiful.
We stayd 5 days at ‘Studio Beach Hostel’ in a 10 dorm room in Abraao Village (where all the hostels and restaurants are). The hostel is ok, nothing special. Room was quite clean, and beds were’nt so comfy. Not much of variaty for breakfast. They have small lockers in the room and Wi Fi only at the entrance.
Our rating for Studio Beach Hostel is 6 out of 10.
We did the full island speed boat tour, which lasts around 8 hours and includes 5 stops at wonderful beaches, including Cachadaco Beach, Lagua Verde, Aventureiro Beach, and more. The tour includes snorkeling equipment, but the water are not clear so you can barely see anything. The tour is not so cheap, but it gives you great views of all around the island with a small group of only 12 people. We enjoyed it much and recommend it.
We heard a lot about the famous Lopes Mendes Beach, so we decided to to the 3 hours tropical hike from Abraao to Lopes Mendes. The trail is in a beautiful rainforest and it’s really hot there while hiking, so take a lot of water with you and get ready to sweat (you can buy extra water and some food in Palmas Beach). The trail passes through another 2 beaches, Palmas Beach Pouso Beach, which are accually even more beatiful and less crowded than Lopes Mendes. We really loves Palmas Beach and it was nice to stay there for a while.
Lopes Mendes is a nice beautiful beach, but it is really famous which means crowded and less relaxing. Still the whole hike and the landscape is beautiful so I think it’s worth going. A few hours later we took a speed boat back to Abraao.
Preta beach is a 20 minutes walk from Abraao and it is also a wonderful beach and the easiest to reach.
Ilha grande is a great place for people that loves the sun and the beach. We felt that 5 days are more than enough and had a good time.
Our rating for Ilha Grande is 8 out of 10.