The most exhausting thing I did on Ilha Grande was to go hiking on one of the many trails through the rain forest. I took trail T10, which begins just outside the Aquário Hostel in Vila do Abraão. The trail ends at Praia do Pouso, where it’s possible to pick up trail T11 to Praia Lopes Mendes.
The suggested time is six hours round trip, but I did it in two and a half hours. It’s of medium difficulty. It was a very invigorating hike. The trail has a lot of steep uphill followed by steep downhill. It’s not marked or well-developed, but it’s easy to follow.
The first stop was Praia das Palmas, which I reached in about 50 minutes. I walked the length of the beach and continued along the trail.
Next was Praia do Pouso. It took me 20 minutes to walk there. There was a small restaurant on the beach where I got an ice cold can of Guaraná Antarctica to get some energy for the hike back. I rested for a good 30 minutes before heading back to the hostel. When I got back, I jumped into the water to cool off.
There are several trails on the island of varying difficulty. My advice is to wear good shoes on any trail on Ilha Grande. Many people were doing the hike in flip flops and I can’t imagine it would be safe this way. It can get slippery and there are some loose rocks. Also, I didn’t pass too many people going in either direction.
Here’s a map of the trails on the island, courtesy of www.loucosporpraia.com.br.