We love Rio de Janeiro for its exuberance, lively people and fun but chaotic city life, but, let’s face it, it’s not always relaxing. Luckily the perfect escape lies just a few hours south of Rio: Angra dos Reis and its 365 islands.
This is the ultimate beach escape if you’re looking for quiet tropical islands and undeveloped coastlines. Here are 5 reasons why you need to visit the islands of Angra dos Reis.
- Close to Rio
Angra dos Reis, meaning the Bay of Kings, is just 168 km from Rio, along the very scenic BR 101 road which runs along the Costa Verde. The distance makes it doable for a day trip, or a weekend getaway – although you may be tempted to stay longer! To get there, you can book a transfer from Rio to Angra.
- Island Paradise
Did we mention it has 365 islands? That’s right, one for every day of the year. Plus, there are around 2,000 beaches. That means a lot of beach time on idyllic stretches of sand that are significantly less crowded than Copacabana on a sunny Saturday.
- Ilha Grande
The largest island in the bay is Ilha Grande. The island was once a pirate’s lair, before being used as a quarantine for sailors with cholera, then it was turned into a penitentiary for Rio’s most dangerous criminals. These days, its main business is tourism and the preservation of its diverse section of the Atlantic Forest.
Ilha Grande has an incredibly laid-back vibe: there are no roads, and no cars. To get around, you can make use of the endless hiking trails. The last few years have also seen a boom in accommodation. You can now extend your stay on paradise in your choice of hotel, hostel B&B or pousada.
- Outdoor activities
While you have plenty of opportunities to simply laze on one of the many beaches and soak up some sun, there is more to offer if you’re willing to get a bit more active. Ilha Grande offers prime hiking and diving spots off its coast. For snorkelling, head to the second biggest island: Gipóia. Gipóia also has some great beaches for surfing.
- One of the best beaches in the world
Lopes Mendes beach on Ilha Grande frequently makes it onto lists of the best beaches in the world. One look at the fine white sand and aquamarine water will tell you why. You can reach it by hiking from Ilha Grande’s main town Abraão, or hopping on a boat, which will leave you at Praia do Pouso, another beach a short walk away. A tip: take snacks and refreshments with you, because there is only the occasional vendor at this remote spot.
If you don’t have enough time to spend a few days here, don’t leave it off your itinerary! Book a day tour to Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande and spend your day on a classic schooner boat exploring the clear waters and beaches of this beautiful bay.
All photos in this post by Daytours4u
Written by Nicole Eberhard, English Content Editor for Rdj4u.
Rdj4u is a friendly and professional network for tours & activities in Rio de Janeiro! It is the “carioca”side of Daytours4u . To learn more about RDj4u click here.