How to get to Ilha Grande and Paraty- updated August 16 2015
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. (Prices correct at August 2015)
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 http://www.costaverdetransportes.com.br 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. http://www.ilhagrande.org/Ilha-Grande/barcas-sa.html
Other types of boat (catamarans or schooners) also run with no set timetables. Cost p.p. between R$15,00 and R$40,00
By van/shared car and boat:
Various companies offer door to door transfers to Ilha Grande which are often cheaper and more convenient than getting bus and boat, particularly if travelling alone.
Green Toad is one of the better options, particularly if you want to pay in advance by credit card. They don’t actually do the transfers themselves but contract out to other companies depending on what time you want to go and where you want to be picked up from. They also do shared Rio airport /Ilha Grande transfers (minimum 3 people). Best to contact them by email email@example.com to check what they have available.
Another option is Easy Transfer Brazil which offers a minivan pickup service from your hotel or apartment and connects with the boat to Ilha Grande in Conceição de Jacarei. Vans run twice daily leaving between 7am and 9am and then between 10.30am and 12.00 (depending on your pickup point) arriving Ilha Grande at 1pm or 4pm respectively. The trip costs cash R$ 85,00 per person one way; R$170,00 return. (Prices correct at April 2015) You can find out more on easytransferbrazil.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: +55 21 993863919
Special note: Depending on which way round the Easy Transfer van is doing its pickups you could be running around Rio for up to 2 hours before leaving the city and getting off on your trip. Vans are often uncomfortable with insufficient space for luggage and trying to get through to Easytransfer on the phone is frequently difficult if not impossible. You have been warned!
This is an excellent option if there are 3 or 4 of you travelling together. Price is around R$250 from airport or hotel/pousada in Rio de janeiro city to Conceição de Jacarei where you’ll connect with the boat to Abrãao in Ilha Grande . Best to check with your pousada in Ilha Grande which driver they recommend and see if they can organise it for you.
PS Don’t forget. There are no ATMs on the island so you need to bring cash! Frequently you can negotiate a discount with pousadas if you also pay your accommodation in cash so you may need a lot!
PPS This post only shows you how to get to Abraão, the main village on Ilha Grande and you cannot get to Praia Vermelha from Abraão. If going to another of our favourite recommended pousadas- Vila Pedra Mar you need to contact them in advance for directions on how to get there
GETTING TO PARATY FROM RIO DE JANEIRO
By car: To get to Paraty by car you also have to go past Angra dos Reis. Keep on the same road BR101 for another couple of hours and you’ll be there.
Note: The historical centre of Paraty is also traffic free, so ask the pousada in advance about parking arrangements if you are staying in this part of town.
By van: Easy Transfer Brazil offer a service that picks you up from your hotel/pousada in Rio and takes you to Paraty, stopping at Conceição de Jacarei. The van runs daily at 10.30am from Santa Teresa and the Zona Sul area (Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon). A trip costs R$ 85,00 per person. Find out more on easytransferbrazil.com .
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 on-line http://www.costaverdetransportes.com.br 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 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$10,00.
There is now a super fast boat (1.5 hours) run by Lancha Safari Paraty Transfers which connects Ilha Grande and Paraty .
It leaves Paraty at 8.30am for Abraão on Ilha Grande and returns Ilha Grande/ Paraty at 10.00am
Cost R$ 195,00 per person each way.
My verdict? It depends on the weather and how pressed you are for time. The boat is partially covered and the sea is not normally rough, but on rainy days you are likely to get very wet and cold.
For further information on Brazil Travel & Pousadas visit Hidden Pousadas Brazil