Ilha Grande is a big island (literally translating to “Big Island”) located off the coast of Rio de Janerio in Brazil.
This underdeveloped island paradise is known as a popular tourist destination for its pristine beaches, rugged landscape and luxuriant vegetation.
After taking the ferry to the island, you’ll find yourself entirely disconnected from the outside world. The underdevelopment of this pristine island holds a large part to its magic. Here, you won’t find cars, bands or ringing phones.
While this may be shocking, and maybe even scary for some people, this unique aspect of the island forces visitors to focus on true relaxation and taking in the natural environment. Soak in the sun, disappear in a luxurious spa, swim, snorkel or, of course, go on an unforgettable hike.
While the surrounding beauty can be mesmerizing for relaxing and soaking in nature, Ilha Grande is also becoming well known for its great hikes.
From treks to the top of its 1,031m point, providing breathtaking panoramic views, to the trails leading to secrete tropical beaches, there’s so much to discover and explore on this incredible island.
Thinking about everything that Ilha Grande has to offer can be overwhelming, especially if your holiday’s days are numbered. That’s why we’ve come up with the best hikes Ilha Grande has to offer to help you organize your exciting itinerary.
Top 4 Hikes in Ilha Grande
While there are many different hikes and trails in Ilha Grande, all providing exceptional views and nature submersion, there are definitely a few that stand out from the rest.
No matter what your situation, the amount of people you’re travelling with or your level of expertise, there’s a hike in Ilha Grande that will make your trip unforgettable – while helping you burn off all the seafood you’ll be consuming while you’re there!
This hiking trail is fairly easy and is a good choice to warm up with.
It takes 20 minutes to walk and is 1 km in one direction, leading to the picture-perfect beach of Abraãozinho.
This trek is fairly flat, despite a few rocks that you will be required to climb over, however, don’t let this sway you – they’re not challenging in the least.
You’ll also have to wade through water if you choose to do the hike during high tide. However, this won’t be challenging either and will only add to the adventure feel of the experience!
Once you get there, you can find beach shops serving snacks and drinks, however, just in case it’s recommended to bring your own refreshments as the heat and humidity can be very strong.
This hike starts in Vila do Abraão near the eastern part of the beach and continues up an 8.5 km trail to Ilha Grande’s most popular beach, Lopes Mendes.
Although this is a famous beach, you’ll find it to surprisingly be quiet, offering a serene setting to soak in the sounds of the jungle and appreciate the ocean views from the various viewpoints along the trail.
The trek is separated into two different parts and is clearly marked with signs so you can find your way without hassle.
Once you reach the beach, you’ll find it to be long and wide with pure white sands and a fantastic surfing environment.
Be sure to stock up on food and water as there’s no a lot of option along the trail.
Vila de Dois Rios
This fantastic trail begins at the pier in Vila do Abraão, then makes its way to Dois Rios, an almost deserted village.
While this 8.3 km trail takes two hours in one direction, the beginning of the trail is a bit steep. That being said, it’s quickly followed by an enjoyable descent towards a beautiful beach. As the hike is almost entirely within the jungle, you’ll be able to enjoy the sounds of birds and bugs leading you along.
One of the high points of this hike is Piscina dos Solados which is a small sized pool where the Brazilian soldiers would bathe in before marching to prison.
Praia de Palmas and Praia de Manguas
This is the same route as the Lopes Mendes hike, however, it follows the second path where the trailhead is split into two.
To reach this Praia de Palmas beaches, follow the path through the jungle and take the second trail that isn’t marked Lopes Mendes.
After that, you’ll be able to reach two serene beaches of Praia de Palmas and Praia de Manguas. While these beaches aren’t as popular as Lopes Mendes, hikers have said these are more peaceful beaches with fewer people and raw, untouched beauty.
Boats are also offered to head back to the main area of Ilha Grande.
Best Hikes in Ilha Grande: Final Thoughts
In truth, no matter what trail or outdoor adventure you choose for your Ilha Grande trip, you’ll be surrounded by untouched, gorgeous nature and will be able to soak up true island paradise.
While these hikes are arguably some of the best on the island, there are many others you can try. Due to their easy nature and terrain, you can pack in more than 4 hikes on your trip to soak up as much of Ilha Grande as possible.
(If you do not want to get out of U.S. territory for your hike, you may want to consider hiking in Catskill’s NY Mountain Region.)