Ilha Grande is a beautiful Brazilian island situated about 180 kilometres from the Brazilian coast, and is about four hours away from Rio de Janeiro. The island is a protected area and most of it is part of Ilha Grande’s nature reserve. It is a popular excursion with tourists visiting Rio de Janeiro and Brazilians as well. With its criss-crossed pathways leading to pristine tropical rainforests fringed by some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, this island is the perfect place for those who want to get away from the very crowded Rio de Janeiro. Ilha Grande is new to the tourist industry and has seen very little development. Travelers visiting the island should know that there are no banks, ATM machines or cars in Ilha Grande and they need to bring their most comfortable pair of shoes; as hiking is the most popular activity in this area besides visiting the numerous beaches. Muslim travelers must be aware that they will not be able to find Muslim-friendly facilities on the island of Ilha Grande.
Ilha Grande, known for its pristine beaches, tropical rainforest and endangered wildlife is the place to go if you want to relax and enjoy the sun, sand, nature and of course everything else the great outdoors has to offer. As the island has no cars or roads the only way to explore the island besides taking boat rides is to walk. The island is regarded to be a hiker’s paradise, with mountainous jungles, numerous pathways and wild beaches just waiting to be explored. Lopez Mendez beach is regarded to be one of the best beaches in the world and is regularly voted into the best beach list. The best way to get to this beach is by boat; the usual boat route takes visitors to another beach close by and from there they will have to walk to get to Lopez Mendez beach. Ilha Grande’s tropical rainforest is home to many endangered wildlife namely; Red –ruffed Fruitcrows, maned sloths, brown howler monkeys, Amazon parrots and the broad snouted caiman. If tourists are lucky they might also be able to spot some of the other wildlife in the area including Magellanic penguins, which can usually be seen during May and June.
Because Ilha Grande has so many gorgeous beaches, tourists must try to visit a different beach everyday during their stay. Ilha Grande is the ideal destination for those looking to relax and to have some fun on the beach with the family. The only town on the island is Vila do Abraao, which is home to a collection of craft shops and restaurants.
There are no airports in Ilha Grande. Tourists will have travel to the airport in Rio de Janeiro. Shuttle can be arranged directly from the airport or tourists could take the Costa Verde bus to Angra dos Reis or Mangaratiba, which is approximately a three hour journey. From there tourists could take a ferry or boat from the port to get to Ilha Grande. The ferry or boat takes about an hour to get to the island.
There are no halal restaurants in Ilha Grande. However Muslim travelers could dine on the islands popular seafood dishes or even enjoy its vegetarian cuisine. Most restaurants in Ilha Grande charge for the food according to its weight. These restaurants are known as kilo restaurants, where guests could choose any item from the buffet and pay for its weight. Muslim travelers will have to make sure that non halal items are not used in the chosen dish. Muslims also need to be aware that most of these restaurants do serve alcohol.
There are no known mosques in Ilha Grande. Muslim visitors could travel to Rio de Janeiro if necessary as there are two masjids located in Rio. However this would take around four hours to travel one way so the best option for Muslim travelers would be to offer their prayers in their hotel rooms.