Blanketed in pristine green rainforest and ringed by dozens of beautiful beaches, gorgeous Ilha Grande is the ultimate relaxing beach destination for Royal Holiday Cruises members. The island is also the site of several foreboding ruins from its sometimes-sinister past. As such, it possesses an air of mystery that is sure to appeal to the most romantic and adventurous Royal Holiday Cruises vacationers.
Despite the island’s status as an ecologically protected area, the island is not completely undeveloped. A small but well-established resort town on the island ensures that visitors can explore by boat, enjoy fantastic seafood food, and even do a little shopping while visiting this tropical paradise.
Vila do Abraao
The only real town on Isla Grande, Vila do Abraao is home to around 2,000 people and serves as the primary location for accommodation and dining, as well as the main harbor for the boat services that can take Royal Holiday Cruises guests to and from the island’s many beaches. The Isla Grande State Park, which covers most of the island, is also headquartered here.
Lopes Mendes Beach
Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil—and probably in the entire world—Lopes Mendes beach invites Royal Holiday Cruises visitors with its silky, gleaming white sand and crystalline turquoise waters, all backed by lush jungle. Because it is a genuine tropical paradise, this beach is stringently protected from development, so amenities are limited to a few beach kiosks and lots of peaceful, natural quiet.
Dois Rios Beach
A bit off the beaten path, Dois Rios beach is the perfect destination for solitude seekers, a place as beautiful as it is quiet. For added mystery and atmosphere, the imposing ruins of an old prison silently overlook the beach.
The Ruins of Lazareto
Just off Dois Rios Beach stand the ruins of Candido Mendes Prison, which was in operation until 1994. Prior to its conversion into a prison in 1940, the site had served as a leper colony and care facility, or “lazareto.” In addition to the building’s ruins, an old aqueduct that used to service the facility still stands among the jungle trees.
Serving fresh fish caught by local fishermen, the superb grilled fish of O Pescador is prepared in a style highly influenced by Italian cuisine. In the evening, Royal Holiday Cruises guests can enjoy their delightful dinner on the beach by candle light, for a truly unforgettable seaside meal.
The Blue Lagoon
A natural pool that emerges during low tide, the Blue Lagoon is a popular destination for those Royal Holiday Cruises vacationers who love to swim among aquatic life. The gorgeous sapphire waters here are as popular for snorkelers as they apparently are for the myriad inquisitive fish that swim alongside them.
Lua e Mar
A casual but excellent seafood restaurant, Lua e Mar is a great place to unwind after a long day on the beach. It is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. In fact, the islanders claim that the restaurant’s moqueca, or seafood stew, is among the best in Brazil.
The view from beautiful Praia Preta is stunning, but what really differentiates this beach from most others on Isla Grande is its luxurious black sand.