The coastal route between Rio and São Paulo, a drive of 375 miles (600km) along stunning stretches of coastline where lush Atlantic rainforest tumbles onto golden beaches, is an attraction in its own right. The Costa Verde, or Green Coast, includes Angra dos Reis, its largest city with hundreds of tropical islands in a myriad of inlets, coves and waterways.
Ilha Grande is a verdant island reaches by a short ferry ride. The island is a nature reserve with spectacular flora and fauna, beautiful beaches, waterfalls and mountain-trail walks.
Our preferred accommodation
Pousada NaturaliaBeach hotel - Ilha GrandeA small, rustic pousada just off the town beach at the edge of Abraão. The pousada is surrounded by lush, tropical gardens built amongst a number of large boulders that have been incorporated into the design. Very simple, the guesthouse has a natural, ‘zen’ feel and features a small communal breakfast area where guests can watch the birds on the feeders.
Sagu Mini ResortBeach hotel - Ilha GrandeA small, charming pousada with its own jetty, a short boat ride from the island's largest town, Abraão. Nestled in lush forest and built into the hillside, Sagu Mini Resort is perched just above the ocean, with lovely views over the bay, a stone's throw from a small and effectively private beach. There is an excellent restaurant open to the public and a 15 minute walk through a narrow forested path takes you to the town.