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After a couple of days in Rio de Janeiro, we set sail for Ilha Grande, about a 3-hour trip (bus then boat, from downtown Rio, we used easytransferbrazil.com). The island has many paradisiac beaches with shallow pools and jungle hikes. There are no cars on the island, and only one main strip: Abraão. The island is a tourist attraction for cariocas, but also for Argentinians. Seriously there were so many Argentinians. On Ilha Grande, hotels are replaced by Pousadas, little home stays or bed & breakfasts often equipped with A/C, hammocks and cute rugs. There are seriously like a hundred on the island, for all budgets and almost always include breakfast!

We spent 9 days on the island. Relaxed on the little local beaches, swam around in the clear waters, explored the more rainforest-esque parts of the island, indulged in fried calamari and pints of fresh juice and caipirinhas…It was perfect. Since the main port is rather small and slightly crowded, we took advantage of taxi boats to discover various dreamy beaches not really accessibly by foot (or far too long of a hike): Praia Lopes Mendes (a one hour hike from where the boat drops you off), Praia Dos Rios or Praia Aventureiro on the other side of the island. Depending on the season, some beaches aren’t accessible due to the intense wave action. Aventureiro looked EPIC, but as it’s a beach facing southeast, the waves were too cray when we were there. La prochain fois. A must see is also the Lagoa Azur, a lagoon on the north side of the island only about 20 minutes away by taxi boat. If you’re a hiker, hike to the Cachoeira da Feiticeira, a waterfall a short hike from the main port, and on the way take a dip in the natural pool, or Poção. And of course, enjoy coconuts whenever possible.

A calm getaway that does the soul some good.