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Two hours down the coast from Rio de Janeiro is Ilha Grande - the 'Big Island' - covered in mountainous Atlantic coastal forest, lined with inviting beaches and dotted with historic ruins. It can be traversed on well-maintained interlinking trails through the exotic vegetation.

The island hosted Brazil's largest high security prison during most of the 20th century, the reason why it remained relatively isolated and largely unspoiled. In 1994 the prison was closed and the island became a state park, with no roads and cars and making a paradise for hiking.

We offer a full-day, a two-day and a tree-day tour from Rio de Janeiro, including hikes to the best beaches, scenic boat trips, sea kayaking, snorkeling and a hike to the island's highest point - the Parrot Peak.

Some of our favourite places to visit and things to do in and around Rio de Janeiro
What to do around Rio de Janeiro

Sepetiba Bay

Board a schooner boat to sail to the tropical islands of Sepetiba Bay, around 50 miles from Rio.


Head out of Rio to the Imperial City of Petropolis, visiting its palaces, museum and cathedral.

Pedra Da Gavea trek

Take on perhaps the city's best hike through dense forest to magnificent viewpoints, reached by relatively few visitors to Ri…