Ilha Grande is picture-postcard Brazil, a glorious tropical island just south of Rio draped in lush Atlantic Rainforest and palm-fringed golden beaches.
Once a notorious penal colony, capital Abraao is now a sleepy fishing village set against the dramatic backdrop of the Pico do Papagaio Mountain and popular hang-out for backpackers and locals alike. From Abraao, you can hike through the forest to isolated bays such as Lopes Mendes, arguably Brazil’s most beautiful beach; take schooner trips around the island; surf the impressive breaks or snorkel around amongst schools of tropical fish. Facilities are rustic with mainly family-owned, pousada guesthouses yet this combines beautifully with the colonial gem Paraty.
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