Ilha Grande may be known for its sublime beaches and pristine waters, yet did you know it’s also great for hiking? From treks to the tops of peaks with panoramic views, to trails leading to tropical beaches, there is plenty to explore on this paradisiacal island. Here are some of the best hiking trails on Ilha Grande.
This relatively easy trail is a good one to start on to ease yourself into the island’s treks. At just one kilometre in one direction, the hike takes about 20 minutes and leads to the small, untouched beach of Abraãozinho. The trek is pretty flat except a couple of rocks that you need to climb over but it’s not that challenging. Be prepared to wade through the water if you get caught in high tide, but even then it remains shallow and not really an issue. There are nearby beach kiosks for simple snacks and drinks, yet it’s recommended to take your own food and drink too as the humidity and heat can be intense.
Vila de Dois Rios
Starting in Vila do Abraão at the east end of the beach, this hike follows an 8.5 kilometres trail to the island’s most famous beach – Lopes Mendes. Despite being the most popular hike on the island, it usually remains pretty quiet which provides a peaceful setting to enjoy the sounds of the jungle and leisurely take in the oceanic views from key points along the hill. The trail is split into two parts and is well-signposted so be sure to take the one saying ‘Lopes Mendes’. The beach is long and wide with white sands and excellent surfing conditions. Take plenty of food and water with you as options are limited along the way.
Praia de Palmas and Praia de Manguas
This hike takes the same route as Lopes Mendes but follows the second path where the trail splits. Follow the path from Vila do Abraão through the jungle and take the second trail. From there, you can visit the two untouched and calm beaches of Praia das Palmas and Praia de Manguas. Although these two beaches often sit in the shadow of Lopes Mendes, they are arguably more serene with fewer people and raw, natural beauty. If you’re tired after the hike, you can take a boat from Praia de Manguas to Vila do Abraão.
Circuito do Abraão
At the other side of the beach in Vila do Abraão at the opposite end to the beginning of the trail to Lopes Mendes is the short and pleasant hike known as Circuito do Abraão. The trail is about 1.5 kilometres in total and takes about an hour to do. It’s a flat walk and goes past some scenic beaches and the remains of the island’s abandoned prison. Along the way, you will pass the waterfall Cachoeira dos Escravos which has a pool in the front for a refreshing swim to cool off.
Pico do Papagaio
Starting from Vila do Abraão, this 11 kilometre hike takes you up to the peak of Pico do Papagaio which takes about 8 hours in total or more. It’s best to start out very early in the morning to avoid being on the mountain when it gets dark. The hike is challenging climbing to around 1,000 metres in altitude but the views over the island are unforgettable. For inexperienced hikers, take a guide with you as the final part is very steep and requires a rope in some places to get to the highest point.
The Full Ilha Grande Circuit
It’s possible to hike around the whole island in five days. If you have longer though, it’s better so you can take in the pristine beaches and dense jungles along the way. Starting at Vila do Abraão, follow the trail around the island, passing dozens of untouched and barely visited beaches. There are small pousadas (Brazilian bed and breakfast) along the way to sleep at but at times, camping is the better option as choices are limited. Take food and water with you but there are several local restaurants and bars all along the island so you’ll always have a chance to stock up on provisions if necessary.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.