Ilha Grande is the biggest and most well known island of the Green Bay at about 150 km/93 mi in the west-side of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro, commonly known as Rio, is the capital city of the Rio de Janeiro State, the second largest city of Brazil and the third largest metropolitan area in South America. Since July 2012, part of the city has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in the category of ''cultural landscape''.
In the past, the island housed Indians, hospitals, pirates and until recently enough, in 1994, it was a jail. Up to then and a little after, prison’s operation ceased, the area was inhabited only by local families. However, it took no much time for the tourists to discover this paradise and admire its beauties.
Bearing in mind that there are no cars or even banks (you need to have your cash with you from the mainland) in the island, this ”primitive” situation will make you feel the sense of exoticism of the area. Ilha Grande’s main village is Vila Abraao while most of the attention drawn to the area is due to its spectacular, unspoiled beaches, such as Lopes Mendes, Dois Rios, Aventureiro, Praia Sul, Praia Leste or Blue Lagoon.
However, the island presents great natural diversity with mountains, hills and waterfalls that may enchant those who love trekking, too. The most famous trail is from Abraao to Pico de Papagaio (Parrot Peak) that covers a distance of 11 km /7 mi long, reaching at an altitude of 1080 m /3543 ft.
Although the trail is rough, it is really well-marked and there are guidance services available for those who don’t feel confident enough to hike on their own. All the way up to the mountain will offer you scenic views while reaching the look-like a parrot’s head peak, will reward you.
This trip lasts about 6 hours but there are other, less demanding trips, as well. Trekking from Abraao to Lopes Mendes or from Abraao to Dios Rios and the old prison, as well as from Proveta Beach to Aventureiro will also offer you great and pleasant experiences.