Ilha Grande

Ilha grande is a small island with no motorised vehicles just off mainland Brazil. We stayed for 5 days. Arriving in another tropical storm, luckily nothing in our bags got wet. We stayed at a gorgeous little guest house just outside the town and managed to enjoy the rain from our veranda lying in a hammock.

With the weather forecast saying it was due to rain every day we were there, we woke feeling apprehensive about what we would do—luckily it looked like the weather had broken. We decided to hike to an old and now disused prison on the island. We walked along the same route the prisoners would have taken after arriving at the island’s main port. It was a 17 km round trip of mountainous jungle, but we had a great time, even though we were soaking with sweat for most of it.

Ilha grande is particularly famous for one of its beaches called Lopez Mendez, which was once voted in Vogue’s “top 10 beaches in the world”. The only way to get there is another long walk or a boat trip followed by a shorter walk. We opted for the lazy option and took the boat there. Needless to say it was beautiful. No sun loungers or bars in sight, just white sand and crystal clear blue water. We called this day our honeymoon day: spending the day reading, swimming, body boarding and sadly burning in the very intense sun!

We also took the opportunity to do some snorkelling. Attempting to avoid the crowds, we opted instead to try a spot away from the well known places. This proved much better and we spotted a number of different types of fish, including a stingray.

We adapted quickly to the easy island life, and before we knew it our time in this paradise was up and we were heading to Rio. Our next and final stop in Brazil.

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