Ilha Grande Journals

Ilha Grande, Angra dos Reis, Brazil

An April 2001 trip to Ilha Grande by cheryl morris

Quote: Angra dos Reis is a town about two hours from Rio. To reach Ilha Grande, you must travel by boat for another hour from here, and though your total travel time is three hours from Rio, it feels like the nearest city is a very distant memory away.

Ilha Grande, Angra dos Reis, Brazil

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Overview

Quote:
Ilha Grande is an ecologically preserved area, so most of the activities on offer here are nature related. Various hikes on well marked nature trails, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, swimming, and boat tours all kept us busy for the three weeks we spent here.Quick Tips: From Angra dos Reis, all boats will leave you in Abraao, the main town on the island. There are pousadas, or little hotels, on this part of the island, and a few scattered at Las Palmas, Mengues, and Abraaocibino, but you will have to hike there with your belongings or take a boat to reach them. Very few people on the island speak English, so you will have to learn at least basic Portuguese (though I got by in ...Read More
Quote:
A feminine touch is very evident in this pretty pousada. The bedcovers are all lace, there are three cats wandering around, and the breakfast served here, with its homemade cakes, fresh fruit basket and hot bread, is the best on the island. Like most pousadas on the island, the rooms are air-conditioned and have phones and satellite TV.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 16, 2001

Quote:
Friendly and clean, with marble fixtures in the bathroom and a double bed with two bunks in most rooms, this is a great value pousada and also includes AC and TV in all rooms, as well as a delicious and filling breakfast.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 16, 2001

Pousada Casablanca
Cloves Bevilagua
Salvador, Brazil

El Bahiano

Restaurant

Quote:
Look for a thin, dark, delicate man selling cakes from a lit up cart. He's usually in the main square on the island after six. His cakes are the best we have ever tasted, anywhere in the world. If he were French, he would be famous and celebrated in Paris for decades to come! His 'maravilla de banana' consists of a crunchy cookie base, with layers of toffee, custard, carmelised banana and cinnamon, topped by fluffy merangue, and is the best cake I have ever enjoyed, bar none. There are dozens of others to choose from, from truffles to coconut delights, and all cost less than a dollar.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 16, 2001

Flor de la Ilha

Restaurant

Quote:
We ate here almost every night. The selection of seafood, meat and chicken dishes is vast, and the salad items are fresh and diverse. In addition to all of this, there are cooked vegetables and desserts, and the restaurant has a romantic ocean view, as the seating is outside on the beach.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 16, 2001

Semana Santa

Attraction

Quote:
Easter in Brazil is always an interesting break from coloured eggs and chocolate. Last time, we were in Salvador, Brazil, which was very religious and mysterious due to the blending of African and Catholic beliefs and rituals. This time, Easter was on the beach, and the celebrations were more informal. Two bands competed with each other for attention. One consisted of what seemed like salty old sailors, playing accordions, drums, guitars and even a triangle, while the other was more traditional, with guitars, drummers and a Peruvian flute player. Both were excellent and inspired energetic bursts of dancing from almost everyone who passed them by. Further down the road, a different kind of music called...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 16, 2001

Hiking around the island

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Attraction

Quote:
The first trial we took was to Saco do Ceu. It took us two and a half hours to get there and the same time to get back, as we had to climb a peak and go down it both ways. We are both in very good shape, but found ourselves drenched in sweat and a bit sore the next day. Our objective was to see the beaches at Saco, and though they were nice enough, the trail was really the most interesting part of the day. It did rain heavily for awhile, which was miserable, as we were stuck in the jungle and had to rely on its canopy for cover, but tropical rain is more like a waterfall, and we got soaked, and the trail got slippery and difficult to manage, especially going down. After recovering for a day, we walked...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 16, 2001

Quote:
Most places take about half an hour to an hour to get to by small boat. This particular tour was chosen because my boyfriend is Argentine and because the boat was smaller (and thus cheaper) than the other tours on offer from Santa Isabel and Phoenix, the two largest vessels on the island. These two are more 'professional' and offer lunch and beer, but the cost is more than double the small operators, and ultimately, if you just want to reach a place like the blue lagoon or one of the beaches, how you get there doesn't really matter, as long as the boat is safe.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 16, 2001

Reasons to Love Ilha Grande

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Some people need luxury on holiday. They want the same conveniences of modern life that they have at home in the city. I prefer birdsong to the trill of the phone; my fantasies are more Robinson Crusoe than Princess Cruises. Ilha Grande, with no streets, street names, or bank machines, low tech and low stress, was the ideal place for me to forget the daily tensions of London. Suddenly, most of my clothing was superfluous; my worries about money, promptness and wariness of people ridiculous and life took on a whole new meaning that was more focused on the internal, rather than material, aspects of living.Materially speaking, anyone who enjoys shopping will be sadly disappointed here. Only the b...Read More