Ilha Grande (or I Love Grande ;))

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Ilha Grande which simply means large island in Portuguese, is the largest of a collection of islands 2 hours and 30mins from the City of Rio De Janeiro.


This, so far, is the remotest place we’ve both ever visited, there are no roads, no cars and the only public transport is a ferry on and off the island.


It would be an understatement to say this Island was beautiful. It’s crystal clear waters meet, crisp white, soft beaches which then run into dense, lush jungle. This is all combined with a relaxed way of life, that was summed up perfectly by the instructor in Sarah's yoga class ‘Don’t do today, what can be left until tomorrow.’ This all made for a perfect place to visit to de-stress after the chaos (organised of course) that has been our lives in last 3-4 months.


Top of the trek to Lopes Mendes beach. A 3 hour trek to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Waterfall we came across on the way to Lopes Mendes

It wasn’t all plain sailing though, on Thursday the island was hit with a rainstorm which lasted nearly 36 hours and on a remote island, that relies on it’s beaches and outdoor activity left us with little to do other than catch up on Peaky Blinders and play Cambio (card game). This also left the trails, across the island in a pretty treacherous state, making getting around the island very difficult. Particularly for Stu who chose to where his sliders instead of practical walking shoes – lesson learned.


A wet walk through Vila do Abraao

The highlights of the trip have got to be Lopes Mendes beach which is about 45minute boat ride and cost £10rtn for both of us. It is rated as a top 10 beach in the world in some reviews and our favourite so far, as it is virtually untouched with clear but wavy sea, the sort of thing you see on a desktop wallpaper.


The beautiful Lopes Mendes beach

On Saturday. We also treated ourselves to a boat tour and snorkelling trip round the island visiting Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon), Lagoa Verde (Green Lagoon) and Saco Do Ceu and we also hired a paddleboard to get around the island (Stu's new favourite activity!)


Our boat tour round Ilha Grande took us to the green and blue lagoons


Another thing to mention are the sunsets and sunrises on the island, it was all so breathtaking, we lengthened our stay!


Sunset on the way back from Lopes Mendes

On a 7hour coach trip to Sao Paulo now :( but it has given Sarah enough time to catch up on sleep and Stu time think up ways of staying in Ilha Grande longer!


Sad to leave but excited to see what else this country has to offer!


Obrigado Ilha Grande. Ve-lo Novamente


Total cost for Ilha Grande - £397

Transfer to Rio = £60 for 2 people


Inspired by this travel? Want to travel? It's not as expensive as you might think


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