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Ilha Grande

(4/5 based on 14,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: beaches, nature, historic sites
A tumultuous and unsavory history has kept Ilha Grande relatively undeveloped and free of the trappings of the modern world. Originally inhabited by pirates, then housing a leper colony, then a prison, the island's paradisal charm has ironically been preserved by the ugliness of its history. Today, the picture looks brighter, with restaurants, bars, and guesthouses clinging to the island's pristine beach areas. Tourism in Ilha Grande has been relatively slow to take off, leaving much of the natural features unsullied and uncommercialized. Except for emergency services, there are no automobiles on the island, meaning that travel is on foot or by boat only. Plan your holiday in Ilha Grande and other destinations, from the rural, to the urban, and everything in between, using our Brazil vacation route planner.
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Where to stay

The village area by the dock is home to the largest number of Ilha Grande's accommodations, with options varying from family-run, rustic pousadas (guesthouses) to mid-range and luxury hotels. Elsewhere on the island, you'll find upscale resorts offering wide-ranging amenities, such as swimming pools, bars, restaurants, and spas. Though most lodgings lie along the coast, a couple of options farther inland situate you in scenic parts of the jungle interior. Alternatively, head back to the mainland to sleep at one of the simple hotels in Conceicao de Jacarei, the destination of the Ilha Grande ferry service.
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