Ilha Grande is a small, sparkling island off the Costa Verde. It's easily reached by ferry from the mainland port of Angra dos Reis and is regarded as one of southeast Brazil's most majestic islands - largely undisturbed and topographically spectacular.
Here can be experienced one of the richest areas of Brazil's Atlantic rainforest, thick with plants and animals including brown howler monkeys and maned sloths. The island's pristine condition is, in some part, down to its history - it was colonised by pirates, then lepers and then used as a notorious prison. So, ironically, one of southeast Brazil's most desirable islands was once one of its least.
Ilha Grande's main port is Vila do Abraão, from where boat trips around the island depart. Exploration can also be done on foot, with trails leading from the town to beautiful island beaches and into the mountainous interior. Whether seen by sea or on land, this magical island is a real highlight of any Brazil holiday.