Day Trip From Angra dos Reis To Abraão, Ilha Grande: What To Expect

Day Trip From Angra dos Reis To Abraão, Ilha Grande: What To Expect

Published September 20, 2020

Ilha Grande is a popular day trip from Rio de Janeiro known for its beaches, green mountains, hiking, and the fact that the island has no cars. Anyone traveling between São Paulo and Rio with an extra day to spare should stop for a visit because Ilha Grande is directly in between the two cities!

As its name implies, Ilha Grande is pretty big. The island is also mostly undeveloped, so getting between the different beaches can be tricky without a boat and local guide. With that said, one of the easiest ways to visit in just one day is to take the ferry from Angra dos Reis on the mainland to Abraão, which is the largest village on the island. After you arrive, you’ll have a number of beaches to choose from, restaurants to eat at, and more.

This blog post will explain what you can expect to see on a day trip to Abraão, as well as how to get there. To skip directly to the logistical information, click or tap here!

How To Spend a Day in Abraão

If you do a day trip to Ilha Grande, you’ll probably have about five or six hours there unless you take a very early boat in the morning. These were the activities I had time to do.

A short hike in Parque Estadual da Ilha Grande

Directly to the northwest of town is a small hiking loop which you should check out if the weather is good. It’s located right inside the border of Parque Estadual da Ilha Grande (Ilha Grande State Park), which covers a large portion of the island. This particular loop is great because it takes less than an hour and features a couple of beaches, some wooded paths, colonial ruins, and an old aqueduct.

Note that if you cross under the aqueduct and keep going, you’ll be leaving the loop that will bring you back into town. Signs indicate that this separate trail leads to a waterfall, but someone heading that way told me that it was about a 90-minute hike each way.

Lunch

By the time I finished my walk, I was ready to eat! I didn’t do a ton of research about restaurants and just stopped at one of the first places I saw on the beach: Ateliê Cafeteria. They had a nice vibe as well as semi-outdoor seating on a patio.

I ordered a sandwich with salad and potatoes which was pretty good. They also have a large selection of coffee drinks, including boozy options!

Although this was the only restaurant I got a chance to try in Abraão, most choices looked pretty standard: pizza places, seafood, burgers, etc. The majority of dining options looked casual.

A mural street

If you walk along Rua Getúlio Vargas around this location, you’ll notice dozens of different murals painted on the concrete wall adjacent to the street. Because this collection of street art isn’t right on the beach, it wasn’t overrun with people trying to take pictures. Be sure to check it out!

After wandering along the beach, doing the hike mentioned above, having lunch, and admiring the street art, it was already getting late in the afternoon. I picked up a couple souvenirs, bought a quick snack, and headed back to the pier to return to Angra dos Reis.

The general vibe

All in all, Abraão is pretty much what you’d expect: a small town with lots of restaurants, gift shops, and hotels. The actual town itself is honestly beside the point, and the main reason people come over to Ilha Grande is for its beaches.

The boat ride to and from Abraão is also part of the experience, and the next section will explain how to book your trip.

Logistical Info

The most difficult part of getting to Ilha Grande is choosing a ferry service. From Angra dos Reis, the number of companies offering boat tours and water taxis can be a little overwhelming. One option is a very economical public ferry, but in addition to being slow, it appeared to only depart once a day. I decided to book a round-trip ticket from a private company called Agência Angra dos Reis Turismo.

Their office can be found right here, and their vessels depart from Estação Santa Luzia, the dock on the other side of the street. The boat to Abraão, which left in the morning, took about half an hour from Angra dos Reis.

A round-trip ticket cost 100 BRL as of September 2020, and the return trip was scheduled for 5:00 in the afternoon. It’s important to be on the dock in Abraão on time: if you miss it, you’ll probably be stuck on the island until the next morning!

The Agência Angra dos Reis Turismo staff were friendly and helpful and appeared to be able to speak English and Spanish in addition to Portuguese. Although I didn’t inquire, I’m sure that they would also offer one-way tickets or a return trip scheduled for a different day. If you have the time, a night or two on Ilha Grande could allow you to schedule some tours to some other beaches on the island. To browse Airbnb listings on Ilha Grande or anywhere in the world, feel free to use the widget below!

A Day Trip Not to Be Missed

Once you decide which company you want to purchase your ferry tickets from, getting to Abraão should be pretty straightforward. Ilha Grande is one of the region’s most famous destinations, and it’s not hard to see why! (Another option, if you prefer a town with a more historic vibe, is Paraty.)

Since many of the companies offering ferry service to Ilha Grande also offer boat tours and island hopping day trips, you’ll also want to keep this in mind. To read a review of the boat tour I did, click here. If you’re wondering about the town of Angra dos Reis and why I didn’t love it, be sure to check out this blog post.

Have you ever been to Ilha Grande before? Did you stay in Abraão or visit another part of the island? Let me know in the comments below! I hope this blog post helps clear up any confusion other travelers may have and that you have an amazing time if you’re headed this way!

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This post was published on Sept 20, 2020

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Eat, drink and be Kerry

    This looks like a fabulous place to stay. I would love to wander through those alleyways and relax at the beach.

  2. uoprincess

    Was your coffee boozy? Would any of the small boat companies take you one of the smaller beaches?

  3. Smita

    We really wanted to visit Ilha Grande on our trip to Rio but just ran out of time (and the logistics did seem a bit difficult to us). It seems like such a fantastic place – really love the murals too!

  4. Eric Gamble

    Looks like Abraão is a perfect day adventure for anyone loving the beach life. Kind of reminds me of the small beaches near Santa Marta, Colombia! I love how clear, warm, and inviting those beaches looked. I think Darcee would love also having lunch and just strutting around town before heading back on the ferry! Definitely need to add a day trip to Ilha Grande when we hit Brazil!

  5. Candy

    Looks like there is plenty of options getting to the location. I probably would have done the same and gone with a private service. Sometimes it’s worth the extra money for more time to explore the destination. I would love to spend a day there relaxing on the beach and trying some yummy sandwiches.

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