After the intensity of Rio, a trip to Ilha Grande was just what we needed. A tiny island a few ours south of Rio de Janeiro, Ilha Grande is know for its ever revolving uses. Initially a pirates lair, then a leper colony, after that a penitentiary for political prisoners.
Nowadays, the island is just known as a “paradise island” – car-less, small and walkable, with lovely beaches inhabiting the nooks and crannies of the island. Sadly, I only got to spent one whole day there – we were chasing a football game in São Paulo (more on that later). But we spent our day brilliantly, walking across to the other side of the island to a beach called Dos Rios – where two rivers join the sea. It was a stunning beach, and we had a lovely afternoon basically alone there, swimming and reading and napping on the immaculate sand.