Navigate in the Waters of Paradise

The legend tells that when the European explorers came to this place for the very first time, they thought they were nothing less nothing more than in paradise. The abundant vegetation, the crystal clear waters, the golden beaches, the blue sky, the clouds and the graceful mountains, everything here is combined to surprise and charm every visitor.

It is true that Brazil is a full of magnificent and varied landscapes, none other place of Brazilian coast reunite so many islands and interesting people as the Green Coast in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

However, to explore this region the way it should be done; there is nothing better than to navigate its waters, since the true beauty of this place is hidden in its remote beaches and abundant bays, isolated and exclusive, just like paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

The most impressive places are located in a region of the Green Coast called Bahía de Ilha Grande (Great Island). The island covers an area of 193 square kilometers and approximately 130 square kilometers of the perimeter of the coast. The bay is flanked in each end by the city of Angra dos Reis and the colonial city of Paraty, with Ilha Grande, at a few kilometers of the coast.

 

Angra dos Reis, the bay of the kings

The first Portuguese explorers that arrived to Brazil adopted the habit of naming each place they discovered according to the day in which this event happened.

This way emerged, for example, the name of Rio de Janeiro. Initially, the Portuguese thought, wrongly, that the bay of Rio de Janeiro -with its abundant cliffs and islets- was a river. Its discovery took place the 1st of January of 1502, which determined its name. Curiously, that same expedition made the same mistake some days later when they arrived to Angra.

Crossing the canal between the coast and Ilha Grande (Great Island), the expedition did not realize that they were passing in front of an island, thinking that this was joined to the continent. It was like this that, thinking that they have arrived to the end of the bay (“angra” means inlet), they decided to baptize this place as Angra dos Reis because it was discovered the day of the Three Wise Men.

Nowadays, Angra is mainly well known for its marinas and for being the embarkation point to go to Ilha Grande. The Bay of Angra counts with more than 300 islands, each one more beautiful than the previous one. It’s so unique composition (full of little islets and bays) turn it into a beautiful green labyrinth, ideal to be toured in a vessel.

 

 

 

You must not miss Angra

 

Praia do Dentista, Angra’s glamour

All the beautiful people of Angra is reunited in this beautiful beach. The beach is located in an island close to the coast called Ilha da Gipóia. The secret of the popularity of this beach is its interesting mix of fame and beauty which attracts a great quantity of ships to its coasts during the whole year, especially in the summer. It is also possible to visit the famous bar-ships of Angra, which attend the customers on board.

 

Ilhas Botinas, the wonders of the sea

With its crystal clear waters, these small islands are an obligatory visit when you navigate by the Bay of Ilha Grande. It is about two very small islets, surrounded by water with very little depth, perfect to practice snorkel and marvel with the thousands of tiny colored fish that live there.

 

 

Ilha de Cataguás, sand and vegetation

This small island captivates the visitors with its white sanded beaches and crystal clear waters. It is one of the closest islands to the port of Angra and for this reason, besides its incomparable beauty, usually is visited for many people. Recently the government of the region decided to transform the island into a Municipal Park, with a controlled access, for which only 340 people are allowed to enter at the same time.

 

Ilha de Itanhangá, to socialize

This is one of the most concurred islands in the bay. Without a doubt this is because the natural beauty of its waters, the dramatic view from the crags that surround it, as for its popular bar located in the beach. Especially during the summer, visiting this place guarantees you to meet people and enjoy of one of the most impressive views of the Bay.

 

Ilha de Caras, only for celebrities

The original name of this island is Ilha Redonda, but due to its popularity with the celebrities of Brazil and from the world, is now known as the Island of Faces. The exclusivity of this place is truly strict: the access is restricted and the only way to be admitted here is by invitation or if you have the pleasure to know someone of the numerous personalities that meet in this place. The island is mainly visited during the summer events of the Caras Magazine of Brazil and during its Regatta Ihla de Caras, which takes place after the carnival of Rio. The next carnival will be from the 20 to the 25 of February of 2009.

 

Ilha Grande, the Brazilian Caribbean

The impressive beauty of this island has earned the nickname of the Brazilian Caribbean. There are a great number of remote and virgin beaches around the island, as well as mountains and the jungle Mata Atlantic type, which turns it into the personification of the tropical paradise.

From remote times, this island was the stage of great adventures: first it was one on the covet territories by the native Indians of the region, for later on to be used as the base of the slave smuggling by the colonizers, and adopted as a refuge by the pirates of that time. 

In most recent times, it was used as a prison until 1994, for which it is about a touristic destination relatively new. There are no cars or ground motor transportation in the island, it s only allowed to walk or to ride a bike. The most part of the services are concentrated in the town of Villa de Abraão, a picturesque place with paving stoned streets, where there are located some inns, restaurants and touristic services. The only way to explore the beaches and bays along the island is on board of a vessel.

 

 

 

 

The best beaches in Ilha Grande

 

Praia de Lopes Mendes, the treasure of the island

This beach is considered one of the most beautiful of the country. The purity of the sand, the waters and the vegetation that characterize this beach turn it into a real paradise. The total extension of the beach is 3 kilometers.

 

Lagoa Azul, the peace of the sea

This small corner is an obligatory destination for those who navigate around the island. It is perfect to snorkel and wonder with the fish and sea stars that are rich in its waters.

 

Saco Dois Rios, strong  emotions

This beach was closed to the public for half a century due to that closet o it was the prison of Ilha Grande. The place receives its name thanks to the two rivers that run through the island flow here. In days of rough sea, the waves in this beach rise up to two meters, for which it is almost impossible to get close in a boat; this also makes it very popular with the surfing lovers.

 

The best beaches in Ilha Grande

 

Praia de Lopes Mendes, the treasure of the island

This beach is considered one of the most beautiful of the country. The purity of the sand, the waters and the vegetation that characterize this beach turn it into a real paradise. The total extension of the beach is 3 kilometers.

 

Lagoa Azul, the peace of the sea

This small corner is an obligatory destination for those who navigate around the island. It is perfect to snorkel and wonder with the fish and sea stars that are rich in its waters.

 

Saco Dois Rios, strong  emotions

This beach was closed to the public for half a century due to that closet o it was the prison of Ilha Grande. The place receives its name thanks to the two rivers that run through the island flow here. In days of rough sea, the waves in this beach rise up to two meters, for which it is almost impossible to get close in a boat; this also makes it very popular with the surfing lovers.

 

 

 

 

 

Lagoa Verde, a turquoise in the sea

As it name says, the water here is of a crystal clear green, worth of a precious stone. The color the water reflects as a mirror the abundant vegetation that adorns the coast.

 

Paraty, the path to the gold

Paraty is located at the south of the Green Coast, in the Bay of Ilha Grande, between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. It is located at 330 kilometers from Sao Paulo and at 240 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro. The colonial city of Paraty was very important for the Portuguese colonizers.

The first settlements were located aside of the river that flows in the coast and divides the city in two parts. Close to 1640, the native Indians that lived here were moved and the city was built in the same place where it is located today.

Despite of being forced to abandon this place, the natives left their mark in the city through their culture. The word “Paraty” means “river of fish” or “place where the fish lives” in the Tupi language of the natives. The Guaianás Indians called like this the place where the city was raised. 

The colonial city was very important in the XVIIth century due to the discovery of the Gerais Mines. It was the obligatory passing of the valuable merchandise in its way to be sent by ship to Portugal.

During this period, some beautiful residential homes were built here and Paraty turned into the second most important city in Brazil. The splendor of this time may be appreciated today in the colonial constructions very well preserved and in the way that the habitants maintain and show their history and culture.   

Paraty is still preserved almost intact after its long history. The municipality established a rigid legislation that prevents the predatory tourism. There are no department buildings in Paraty and its growth is oriented by a detailed urban planning.

 

 

 

 

Cachaça, Pinga and Caipirinhas

For many years, Paraty was also known as the capital of the pinga and the cachaça (two liquors made of sugar cane native from Brazil). Today the best place to buy these two representative liquors is a store in the center of the city called Empório da Cachaça.

One of the numerous cultural events that will take place in Paraty is the Festival of the Pinga. Each year, during the third week of August, the city fills with de parties and events related with its culture and history.

Main festivals n Paraty 2009: Festival of the Pinga from the 15 to the 24 of August, carnival of Paraty from the 1 to the 5 of February and Paraty’s anniversary the 28 of February.

 

Rio de Janeiro, the city that dances and laughs

From the time the sun rises to the time it sets and during the night, Rio de Janeiro breathes the sounds and the cadences of joy. None other city in the world has a party atmosphere as the one this city.

Especially during the carnival, the entire metropolis turns into a great celebration, but the exuberance of Rio is present during all year long. It is also the perfect platform to go on board of an adventure towards the Green Coast, that it would be well complimented with a visit to the other great Brazilian city: Sao Paulo. But if it is about having fun and relaxing nothing is compared with Rio de Janeiro.

 

 

You should not miss

 

Ipanema

This legendary beach keeps on being the place where all the Carioca’s reunite to have fun, get a suntan and, why not, exhibit their impeccable figures. Taking a walk here will make you ask yourself how it is possible that so many beautiful people concentrate in one place. Here are the most elegant restaurants, the most popular bars and the most modern hotels.

 

Leblon

This beach is located next to Ipanema. The environment here is a Little more bohemian but equally entertaining. Recently, Leblon has experiment a rebirth due to a great number of restaurants and boutiques that have been installed in this neighborhood.

 

Copacabana

Probably the most famous beach in the world, Copacabana keeps being an obliged visit. In spite of that it has lost some of the glamour that characterized it during the golden era of Rio, it still has a lot of attractions.

 

Sugar Bread

This impressive rock is one of the most visited places by the tourists. It is possible to get to the top in a cable railway to admire an excellent view of the city.

 

Redeeming Christ

None other attraction in this city is as popular as the statue of the Redeeming Christ at the top of the Cerro del Corcovado.

Actually, Rio is being renovating and it offers more choices of accommodations, restaurants and bars that reflect the partying environment each time. Anyway, its natural beauties are unique: it is about a city located between the mountains and the sea; the setting is very special. One that you have experimented dose of the endless fun of this city, there is nothing like to go towards the Green Coast to enjoy some of the best attractions of this wonderful country.

 

 

 

 

 

Text: Kundalini Muñoz ± Photo: Getty Images, EMBRATUR´s Image Bank, Flickr, Margarida Luz, RIOtur

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner