information about angra dos reis
ANGRA DOS REIS
Just 2 1⁄2 hours by car (or 45 minutes by helicopter) from Rio de Janeiro, Angra dos Reis has long been fashionable with the high society of Rio and São Paulo. A seductive combination of warm seas, white sand beaches ringed by lush tropical vegetation and the high level of accommodation available, make this one of the best beach destinations in Brazil for families or group of friends wanting to party on the beach. Most properties – and all of the surrounding private islands – come with their own speed boat, which is essential for travelling from the beach bars to the many mooring points in Angra, which are the regular hang-outs for the most glamorous Brazilians during the high season. Angra has the ferry terminal where passengers are picked up for the 30-minute boat ride to the beautiful island of Ilha Grande.
Situated 150km southwest of Rio, and part of the municipality of Angra dos Reis, Ilha Grande is Brazil’s third largest island located off the coast of Rio state. Stretching over 193km2, it remains a true wilderness covered in pristine Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Rain Forest), with no roads and over 100 beaches. The only way to get around is by boat or by foot, and therefore one of the most popular activities is hiking along the island’s 150km trail that connects the many small villages, hidden beaches, waterfalls, and pristine forests.
On the northern shore of the island is the largest village, Vila do Abraão. Abraão is considered the "capital" of the island, with all the main tourist attractions, restaurants and sleeping accommodation, as well as the pier where boats from the mainland drop off passengers.
About a two-hour hike from Abraão is Lopes Mendes Beach, one of over 100 beaches on the island, known for being among the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. The south side of the island has the largest waves and is where some of the best surf beaches in the region are located.
For much of the island’s history until as recently as 1994, the island was used as a prison – a sort of Brazilian Devil’s Island – and the ruins of an old penitentiary, Candido Mendes, are within walking distance of Abraão village. Along this part of the island you will also find many beautiful hidden beaches, secluded moorings, and a handful of tiny restaurants to enjoy fresh seafood feasts in splendid isolation.
Ilha Grande is ideal for beach lovers, water sports fanatics, surfers, sailors and wildlife enthusiasts, with several species of monkey and over 250 species of bird, including rare Macaws inhabiting the Atlantic Rainforest.
EXCURSIONS AND ACTIVITIES
•Great deserted beaches (100+)
•Diving and Snorkelling
•Water skiing and wakeboarding
•Speedboat tours of the island
•Class Sailing schooner
•Great hidden restaurants
CLIMATE AND WHEN TO GO
The best months to travel to Angra and Ilha Grande are from March to October when there is less rain, although the peak season is still the summer (Dec/Jan/Feb), when it is both hotter and more humid.
Ilha Grande is located 150km SW of Rio de Janeiro, which is the nearest major airport. It is around a 2 1⁄2 hour drive from Rio to Angra dos Reis, a small town in the southern part of Rio state, where the ferry terminal is located to transport passengers to Ilha Grande (30-minute boat ride). Additionally, there is an airport for chartering flights in Angra, and the island has its own night-use helipad.