We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Just come back from the Ilha Grande

Southampton, United...
Level Contributor
377 posts
80 reviews
Save Topic
Just come back from the Ilha Grande

I booked my trip with Packtours, and booked up the Pousada Do Canto which is at the end of the beach in Abbroa on the Island.

Packtours organised a minibus/taxi to pick me up from my hotel, and drove me down to the Ferry at Angra. The mini bus took about 2 1/2 hrs to get down there. The views on the way down differed a lot, from the shanty towns of rio to the lovely beach houses on the way down near the Ilha Grande.

The ferry cost about 2 english pounds, and left at 3.30 in the afternoon. It took about 1 1/2 hrs to get to Abbroa.

I then walked along the beach to find my Pousada. Nice room with air conditioning, a fan, and a mosquito killer plug in device (and yes it was useful), along with a mini bar, nice shower, and outside swimming pool, but the best bit was the Pousada was right on the beach.

I only stayed on the island for three nights, and ate in a different restaurant each night, the prices were very reasonable, and the food ok. The night life is low key, don't forget August is spring time in the Ilha Grande. Most nights were spent drinking at the local bars in front of the main square after eating. The locals seem to congregate around the main square, and there was a little party going on on the beach, with a local lad playing the guitar, and some people dancing.

What a difference the Ilha Grande was from Rio, No one tried to get you to buy anything, people let you browse in the shops, and asked you only if you needed help. There were price tags on most things. There was no pressure selling like in Rio. My Pousada also didnt have a safe in it, I dont think any of them do. It was a very relaxing, and very friendly place.

I went on two trips, the first one was to the beach Lopez Mendes... wow.. I got one of the local schooners, not very expensive at all, which left at 11:30 (they also go at various different times of the morning) to drive me round to the beach near Lopez Mendez then it was a good 25 minute walk to Lopez Mendes.. yes it is worth the walk.. the beach is absolutely stunning. The sand feels like chalk under your feet, and the beach is about 2 miles long. The beach is backed by the Atlantic rain forest, and cocunut trees. I went on a friday, and there couldnt of been more than 300 people on this two miles of beach. It is easily the best beach I have been on, and I have been to lots in Europe.

The next day I booked up to go on another schooner trip to the Blue Lagoon, and a couple of other beaches.

I forgot it was a Saturday, so all the people from miles around obviously went to the Ilha Grande. Anyway I was one of two british people on this schooner of must of been about 100 Brazilians. Me and the other British guy sat near the back of the boat, anyway as soon as the boat sat sail, the brasilians were out with their vodka, cans of beer, and really going for it... there was a good atmosphere on the boat, with a bit of a party atmopsphore... anyway we anchored off of Scare do Coe (spelling something like that) for a swim off the boat, and for a swim to the beach, then it was back on board and off to the blue lagoon, where i swam with lots of fishes. it really is a nice place to go and see. Then we stopped of on the way back at another jetty, and at another lovely beach. There are so many of those on the Ilha Grande, apparently one for every day of the year.

The brazilian people on board were great fun, especially as I only spoke pidgeon spanish, and a very little portugueese. They all tried to speak English which was great as there were only two of us English speaking people on board. The captain made all the anouncements as well in English if he remembered, and came up to shake our hands at the end, along with a lot of the other Brazilians.

The slow ferry went at 10am the next morning, again the fare was very cheap... it was great going at a very slow pace.. yes there were lots of people offering you faster boats over to the mainland, and a taxi to your hotel in Rio if you wanted.

But Packtours had arranged a taxi to pick me up, and it was there waiting for me at the dock for my trip back to rio.

I enjoyed my trip to the Ilha Grande, Lopez Mendes is really a stunning beach. The pace of life is slow, and relaxing. I could of done with more days on the Ilha GRande, oh well perhaps next time. I also think the Island is a little treasure, there were lots of other things I wanted to do, but didnt have chance to do them. Although I'm 47, most of the people on the island were younger than I was.

By the way bring a jumper for the evening.

scotland
Level Contributor
16 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Just come back from the Ilha Grande

Thank you for your report Dave, we go to Ihle Grande tomorrow and I have found your comments very useful. Happy travelling, Katie

Brasilia, DF
Level Contributor
884 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Just come back from the Ilha Grande

Dave, thanks for the review - lots of people ask about Ilha Grande, but not so many go there - so your experience is essential. Hopefully you'll check out the Brazil / Rio de Janeiro Forums once in a while to help with your view.

Where else did you stay in Brazil? Just the Rio area?

Obrigado!

Southampton, United...
Level Contributor
377 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Just come back from the Ilha Grande

Rumbles I would like to hear what you thought about Ilha Grande.. I certainly enjoyed my stay there.

It was a shame that I only stayed in Ipanema in Rio. I would love to go back to both places.

Dave

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
178 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Just come back from the Ilha Grande

Great review, Dave. I am planning 3 nights in Ilha Grande, and am torn about where to stay. It seems as though you were happy with your pousada, so I might try my luck with them.

I am planning to stay there over Christmas, so I know it might actually be very busy and availability might be at it lowest...

Thanks again for the wonderful review.

Southampton, United...
Level Contributor
377 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Just come back from the Ilha Grande

Yes, I was very happy with my Pousada, but don't expect too much from a Pousada in terms of quality.

The Pousada that I stayed in was at one end of the beach, which is a 10 minute walk along the beach from the main center of the town, so it was nice and quiet. I suppose some people would prefer to be in the main center, which although is not that lively, has quite a few bars and restaurants.

I would love to hear someone elses reviews of the Ilha Grande, as it would bring back memories of my trip

Dave

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
178 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Just come back from the Ilha Grande

I am now struggling to get a reasonable rate at a pousada on Ilha Grande.

I'd like something clean, with A/C and a triple room (as there are 3 of us).

We were hoping to pay about 200 Reais per night, which does seem to be the going rate over Xmas (23 - 26 Dec) but so far each pousada is adding on 40% for the extra person! That means we get to almost 300 reais for a simple, 2 or 3 star pousada room.

I'm not convinced that is a good rate, but I guess we will pay it, so long as I am confident we have found one of the nicer pousadas.

So... Naturalia is full. They recommended I try:

1) Pousada Manacá

2) Pousada Ancoradouro

3) Pousada Tropicana

Does anybody have opinions on the above (with the hope they have availability)?

Also, is Christmas an eventful time on Ilha Grande? The pousadas do seem to be getting full quite early on.

Thanks!

Pauly

Kuwait
Level Contributor
7 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Just come back from the Ilha Grande

Hi there - it's a very long time since I was last on Ilha Grande - but i did spend a couple of Christmases there whilst I was living in Rio. I found that in the run up to the 25th the island was quite quiet. Quiet in a nice way - enough people to socialise with but not too many to make it unpleasant. There always seemed to be quite a lot of non-Brazilians on the island over Christmas itself, as the Brazilians mostly spend those days with their families. From 26th Dec onwards there were hoards of Brazilians arriving daily on all manner of boats - and the island became very, very crowded. I remember one year the island ran out of ice-cream!! I was quite glad that we always left on the 27/28th Dec. and missed the real New Year invasion.

I hope you find somewhere good to say - it is a beautiful place - one of the most beautiful places I've ever stayed.

Sx

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
178 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Just come back from the Ilha Grande

Thanks, obrigada & shukran!

I booked Sagu, so fingers crossed it's worth the extra expense.

I would prefer to mix with Brazilians, but my friends without Portuguese will be happy to have other tourists around.

Any other hot tips, mate?

You are Brazilian, or just lucky enough to have spend plenty of time there?

Ottawa
Level Contributor
20 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Just come back from the Ilha Grande

Thanks for the post. I'll be going there next week and it was good to read what you said.

10. Re: Just come back from the Ilha Grande

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 01 October 2009, 21:05
Get answers to your questions about Ilha Grande