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Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande is an island located on the south coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, ( Brazil )  part of the municipality of Angra dos Reis. Its largest settlement is Vila do Abraao.

In the middle of the 16th century, the Landsknecht Hans Staden wrote the first travel report in which the island is mentioned. In the service of the Portuguese royal family, he was commanding a small fortress north of Sao Vicente. In early 1554 he was captured by Indians. During a war with the Tupinamba, he stopped on the island.

Taking advantage of its island isolation, there was built in 1903, the great penitentiary of Dois Rios for serious criminals. This establishment then ceased its activity in 1994, the year when the island quickly turned to tourism.
the waters and beaches of the Ilha Grande are popular excursion and holiday destinations today. There are a large number of pousadas (guest houses), some of which can only be reached by boat and are often very luxuriously furnished.
The Ilha Grande (Portuguese Big Island) with its 86 beaches is one of the most famous islands in Brazil.

Access : Coordinates: -23.15, -44.233333 / The Ilha Grande It belongs to the city of Angra dos Reis in the west of the state of Rio de Janeiro and is located about 160 km west of the city of Rio de Janeiro between the Baia de Sepetiba and the Baia da Ilha Grande in the Atlantic

/ There are ferry connections from the main town of Vila do Abraao to the city center of Angra dos Reis and to Mangaratiba on the mainland. The journey time is approx. 75 minutes to the island approx. 25 km away.There is also a shuttle service provided by Saveiros (small boats) and a fast catamaran service

Highlights :

  •  The Ilha Grande National Park is part (5,594 ha) of the entire island (193 km²), which is located on the south coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro between the seaside resorts of Mangaratiba and Angra dos Reis. About half of the park (47%) is covered with dense Atlantic rainforest (Mata Atlantica). On the Ilha Grande there are numerous representatives of rare animals, such as. B. Howler monkeys, parrots, turtles, snake species and the relatively little-researched Guyana dolphin.
  •  The Ilha Grande is part of the Tamoios nature reserve and is divided into the actual state park, the marine state park and the biological reserve Praia do Sul.
  •  In 2019, the island, together with the old town of Paraty as Paraty and Ilha Grande – culture and biodiversity, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
  •  Ilha Grande is the largest island in the state of Rio de Janeiro and the sixth largest maritime island in Brazil , The coast of the island is cut by numerous peninsulas and coves (bags), forming several beaches. The vegetation is exuberant, formed by Atlantic forest, mangrove and sandbank.
  •  The main village is Vila do Abraao, with approximately 3,000 inhabitants, where most of the island’s infrastructure is concentrated, such as a health post, primary school, post office and detachments of the Fire Department and the Military Police. The village also has a wide range of inns, campsites, bars, restaurants and shops for tourists. There are some other small communities scattered around the island, also equipped with tourist infrastructure, such as Praia Vermelha, Enseada do Bananal and Praia do Japariz.
  •  There are 4 environmental conservation units on the island : the Ilha Grande State Park, the Aventureiro State Marine Park, the Praia do Sul State Biological Reserve (whose access is only allowed to researchers and people authorized by the State Environmental Institute (Inea) and the Tamoios Environmental Protection Area (APA), all of which aim to ensure the protection of the flora and fauna of the large Atlantic forest reserve on the island and of the marine life around it.
  •  Around 50 shipwrecks between Angra do Reis and the Ilha Grande are witnesses to the battles that took place between pirates, Tamoios Indians and Portuguese in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  •  Beaches : Praia Preta – A beach 5 minutes from Vila do Abraao – Saco das Palmas – with hotel and bar – Grande das Palmas- Beach on the left side – Enseada de Aracatiba – Place with many inns – Sul Biological Reserve – beautiful and challenging for the board’s people – do Demo – small beach with a big rock separating it from the Praia do Sul Biological Reserve – Adventurer – Adventurer is an RDS. The queen of surfers, easier access by boat from Angra – Parnaioca – one of the most beautiful beaches on the Island  Lopes Mendes – Known for surfing, deserted – Dois Rios – Beach flanked by 2 rivers – Abraaozinho – A 20-minute walk from Abraao – Abraao – Central beach, where the main piers are and where there are more inns, campsites and restaurants.
  •  Farol Castelhanos (lighthouse) / Aqueduto -ruins of an aqueduct / Candido Mendez Jail Ruins en Dois Rios / Tourist Pier Abraao Village

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / trekking , offers more than 150 kilometers of hiking trails connecting the handful of coastal villages and hamlets /
/ Snorkeling at Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde / Diving / Trail tours

Go next : Take the boat back to Angra dos Reis / Take the boat back to Mangaratiba and follow the coast northwards towards Rio de Janeiro.

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