In this active Brazilian excursion, you'll travel from Rio de Janeiro to Angra dos Reis, a coastal region famous for Ilha Grande, the largest of 365 islands in the area. Over six days you'll trek all around Ilha Grande, visiting local caiçara (indigenous) fishing villages, hiking on trails that cut through unspoiled Atlantic forest, ascending mountains, crossing rivers, and, of course, enjoying the island's many sun-kissed beaches. All told it's a 43-mile (70-km) hiking adventure in one of the most scenic locales in a nation abounding with scenic locales.

Highlights

  • Hike from beach to beach, stopping at remote villages along the way
  • Camp in the backyards of island locals and get to know them
  • Enjoy breakfast on Praia de Araçatiba, a beautiful and secluded beach
  • Hike up to Pico do Papagaio (Parrot Peak) and enjoy 360º views of Ilha Grande

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 From Abraão Village to Bananal Village Bananal Beach - Ilha Grande
Day 2 From Bananal Village to Araçatiba Village Praia de Araçatiba
Day 3 From Araçatiba Village to Aventureiro Village Aventureiro Beach
Day 4 From Aventureiro village to Parnaioca Beach Parnaioca Beach
Day 5 From Parnaioca Beach to Abraão Village Vila do Abraão
Day 6 From Abraão Village to the Pico do Papagaio Peak Rio de Janeiro
Day 7 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Ilha Grande - Hike from Abraão Village to Bananal Village

Arriving at Ilha Grande

After arriving in Rio de Janeiro, you will transfer two hours south by vehicle to the Angra dos Reis region and then take a boat to Ilha Grande. Upon arrival in Abraão Village, at the main port, you'll gear up and embark on the day's hike. This scenic excursion will take you to Stars Bay VillageSaco do Céu CoveJapariz BeachFreguesia de Santana (a peninsula where the island was first settled in the 17th century) and finally to Bananal Village, where you'll camp in the yard of a local caiçara (indigenous villager).

Day 2: Bananal Village to Araçatiba Village

Overnight in Araçatiba VIllage

After breakfast, your group will embark from Bananal Village for the second day of hiking the island. It involves a trek to the beach of Matariz and the village of Sítio Forte, which is located in a secluded cove fronting tranquil jade waters. You'll also visit the beaches of PassaterraUbatubinhaLonga, and ultimately the village of Araçatiba, which is located on the northwest end of the island and is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Ilha Grande. You'll get to relax and enjoy this scenery as you camp in another yard of a caiçara villager.  

Day 3: Araçatiba Village to Aventureiro Village

The Broken Coconut Tree of Ilha Grande
The "broken" coconut palm of Ilha Grande

After a leisurely breakfast on the golden sands at Araçatiba Beach, your group will pack up and embark on the third day of hiking. You'll head south, first visiting the village of Provetá, which is home to a remote evangelical community that's isolated from the continent and lives in harmony with nature. After spending some time on the soft white sands of Provetá's crescent-shaped beach, we'll stop at a market so that group members can stock up on snacks and supplies for the next few days. 

Then you'll be off on a steep path to Aventureiro, a beach and village located on the southwestern shore of Ilha Grande. This postcard of a beach features a unique landmark: its famous "broken" coconut palm. The trunk of this peculiar tree grows parallel over the water before abruptly turning upward at a right angle. You'll definitely want to snap pics in front of it. Tonight you will camp at the edge of this singularly beautiful beach.

Day 5: Parnaioca Beach to Abraão Village

The Biological Reserve at Ilha Grande
The Praia do Sul Biological Reserve at Ilha Grande

In the morning you'll trek from Aventureiro, heading east to Parnaioca Beach. The sector between these two beaches preserves the largest scientific reserve of Ilha Grande, the Praia do Sul Biological Reserve, which comprises 8,520 acres protecting the natural ecosystems of the area. It's open for educational purposes, and guides will lead you through the reserve as they point out indigenous flora and fauna along the way.

Part of this visit will be in a volunteer capacity. Trash from transatlantic boats often washes up on Praia do Sul's shores, so to keep the beach pristine and the ecosystems in harmony requires periodic cleanup. After helping to remove the garbage with your guides, you'll then continue on to Parnaioca Beach.

With its long crescent sands fronting blue-green waters and backed by tropical forest, Parnaioca is a strong contender for the title of most beautiful beach in Brazil. You'll have an opportunity to relax here in a local village and explore some hiking trails around the beach. Overnight accommodation will be the same as before: camping at a local caiçara's house.

Day 5: Parnaioca Beach to Abraão Village

The Parnaioca Beach and the Brazilian Flag efect
Parnaioca Beach

On this fifth day of the expedition, we will leave Parnaioca Beach and return to the northeast corner of the island and Praia do Abraão, where our adventure began, thus completing our 360º circuitous trek of Ilha Grande.

Before arriving at Abraão, the group will stop at Dois Rios Beach, another wide and inviting stretch of sand backed by green hills and tropical forest. There's a bit of interesting history near this beach in the form of an abandoned prison that once housed some of Brazil's most dangerous felons and was shut down in 1994. Today it's a museum, and many current Dois Rios' residents are actually former employees of the prison.

Day 6: Pico do Papagaio Peak

The Parrot Peak and the 360º view
Parrot Peak and its famous 360º view

The ascent to Pico do Papagaio peak is an optional activity ideal for those hikers who want to end their Ilha Grande adventure on a literal high note. This 3,221-foot (982-meter) mountain is located outside Abraão Village, and atop its peak, you'll find one of the most beautiful panoramic views in all of Ilha Grande. You'll be able to see all around the island and the greater Angra dos Reis region and even (on clear days) all the way out to Pedra da Gávea Mountain at Rio de Janeiro.

After the climb to Pico do Papagaio we will have reached the end of our hiking adventure. We will then leave Ilha Grande for the mainland by boat before transferring back to Rio de Janeiro, where you will overnight. 

Day 7 - Departure

Goodbye, Ilha Grande!

After breakfast, you'll transfer to the airport and at the scheduled time catch your flight home. This concludes your beach hiking adventure, but Brazil will always welcome you back should you decide to return. Farewell!

Map

Map of Ilha Grande Beach Trekking - 7 Days
Map of Ilha Grande Beach Trekking - 7 Days