The coast road between Rio and Angra dos Reis/Paraty is seriously one of the most beautiful in Brazil, full of bays and mountains and turquoise seas and islands. Definitely a trip worth doing, particularly in good weather. Similarly, the boat trip across to Ilha Grande is magnificent. Here are the easiest ways to travel.
GETTING TO ILHA GRANDE (ABRAÃO village) FROM RIO DE JANEIRO
By car: The trip to Ilha Grande from Rio involves getting to Angra dos Reis (2 to 2.5 hours drive southwest of Rio) and then taking a 1—1.5 hour boat across to Ilha Grande. The main port is in Angra dos Reis but there are other options in Mangaratiba and Conceição de Jacarei (see below).
Note : Ilha Grande is traffic free so ask the pousada for the best place to leave the car on the mainland
By bus and boat: Get the Costa Verde bus from the rodoviária (bus station) in Rio to Angra dos Reis and then the boat over to Ilha Grande.You can either buy on-line or or at Paxtur travel agency on the ground floor of Visconde de Pirajá 303 in Ipanema, tel: +55 21 2523-1000. Buses go regularly between 4am and 9pm; one way R$49,00.
Regualar boats run hourly between Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande (from 8am to 4pm) – cost R$14,00.
Other types of boat (catamarans or schooners) also run with no set timetables. Cost p.p. between R$15,00 and R$40,00
By van/shared car and boat:
Various companies offer door to door transfers to Ilha Grande which are often cheaper and more convenient than getting bus and boat, particularly if travelling alone.
Green Toad is one of the better options, particularly if you want to pay in advance by credit card. They don’t actually do the transfers themselves but contract out to other companies depending on what time you want to go and where you want to be picked up from. They also do share Rio airport /Ilha Grande transfers (minimum 3 people). Best to contact them by email firstname.lastname@example.org to check what they have available.
This is an excellent option if there are 3 or 4 of you traveling together. Price is around R$250 from airport or hotel/pousada in Rio de janeiro city to Conceição de Jacarei where you’ll connect with the boat to Abrãao in Ilha Grande . Best to check with your pousada in Ilha Grande which driver they recommend and see if they can organize it for you.
PS Don’t forget. There are no ATMs on the island so you need to bring cash! Frequently you can negotiate a discount with pousadas if you also pay your accommodation in cash so you may need a lot!
GETTING TO PARATY FROM RIO DE JANEIRO
By car: To get to Paraty by car you also have to go past Angra dos Reis. Keep on the same road BR101 for another couple of hours and you’ll be there.
Note: The historical center of Paraty is also traffic-free, so ask the pousada in advance about parking arrangements if you are staying in this part of town.
By van: Easy Transfer Brazil offers a service that picks you up from your hotel/pousada in Rio and takes you to Paraty, stopping at Conceição de Jacarei. The van runs daily at 10.30am from Santa Teresa and the Zona Sul area (Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon). A trip costs R$ 85,00 per person.
By bus: From Rio to Angra dos Reis and from Rio to Paraty it is the same bus company- Costa Verde- which you get at the main bus station Rodoviária Novo Rio. If you don’t want to go all the way out to the bus station to buy your ticket you can either buy Oline or at Paxtur travel agency on the ground floor of Visconde de Pirajá 303 in Ipanema, tel: +55 21 2523-1000. Buses go regularly throughout the day to both places. One way cost for Paraty R$70,00. Between Angra and Paraty there are only local buses, which cost around R$10,00.