Paradise on Ilha Grande – Brazil

A former prison known now as paradise, Ilha Grande attracts Cariocas and international tourists alike. With its beautiful beaches, white sands, and the Atlantic rain forest almost diving into the ocean, there’s no doubt as to why this is such a sought after destination.

Ilha Grande was our 4th destination in Brazil after Iguazu FallsUbatuba, and Paraty. Any guidebook you open will mention it as one of the hotspots when visiting Rio de Janeiro and it is. 

Beautiful Ilha Grande in Brazil.

Beautiful Ilha Grande in Brazil.

Paradise on Ilha Grande

The main town on the island is Abrao. There, you can find the majority of the hotels and restaurants as well as the majority of tourists. We chose to stay in a more secluded part of the island, only 10min by taxi-boat from town.

The taxi-boat brought us to a small private beach which proved to be the beach of our accommodation. With our backpacker budget, we managed to get a room in paradise with welcoming cocktails and a beach restaurant included. All of this because Bertrand is a genius on :).

After checking in, we relaxed on the beach and then finished off the day with a fresh fish dish and a local beer. 

Ilha Grande, Brazil.ilha-grande-brazil-south-america-16Ilha Grande, Brazil.Ilha Grande, Brazil.

Lopes Mendes Beach

We reserved the second day on Ilha Grande to one of the island’s highlights: Lopes Mendes beach which stretches on 3 km of the finest white sand, clear water, and the Atlantic Rainforest who’s trees provide much-needed shade.

Besides the beauty of the beach, not having the usual commercial side to it it’s a massive plus. You can really just relax, read, sleep, sunbathe…

Ilha Grande, Brazil.

Ilha Grande, Brazil.

Ilha Grande, Brazil.

The Sunrise

Before leaving Ilha Grande, we had one more thing to do: watching the sunrise. We woke up at 6am just when the sky was starting to turn into these beautiful, fire-like colors that manage to blow me away every time.

ilha-grande-brazil-south-america-8-2ilha-grande-brazil-south-america-6 ilha-grande-brazil-south-america-6-2ilha-grande-brazil-south-america-5ilha-grande-brazil-south-america-4Ilha Grande, Brazil.

How and Where to

How to get there: We took a bus from Paraty to Agra and it was one uncomfortable journey that lasted 2h and 30min for 12.5 reals per person. From Agra, we took a boat to Abrao for 14 reals per person and 1h40min.

Where to stay: We stayed at Cabanas Paraiso which is 20min by taxi boat from Abrao and although the ride was a bit on the pricey side – 30reales pp – not staying in Abrao was the right choice. We were able to relax and sunbathe mostly by ourselves.

The price for a basic cabana, without private bathroom, was 85 reals pp – price valid in February 2016 via

Where to eat: We eat every night at the cabana’s restaurant which had quite a good menu including different fish dishes, some pasta, salads, and sandwiches. If you want to stock up on food do so in Abrao as there are no mini markets around.

If you like it, why not Pin it :).

Paradise on Ilha Grande in Brazil.


Off to Rio de Janeiro

We had been in Brazil for over a week and we absolutely loved our time there. But visiting Brazil would not be complete without seeing the marvelous city. Read the full article on Rio de Janeiro here.

*This post contains affiliate links. This means that if a purchase is made, I make a small commission. All opinions/recommendations posted here are my own.

4 Responses
  • Duke Stewart
    August 16, 2016

    Really wonderful photos and breakdown of Ilha Grande, Cristina. I really liked this walk through a slice of paradise that I’ve yet to see. Maybe someday though. Thank you for sharing and cultivating the inspiration in the meantime though. I’m very happy to have found your blog as well. Hopefully I’ll see more along the way. Take care.

    • Hidden Gems
      August 21, 2016

      Thanks for your visit and the lovely comment, Duke. If this post has inspired you, then my job is done :).

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