The longest and best boat tour I took on Ilha Grande was the Volta à Ilha (BRA$140). It went around the entire island in a speedboat, beginning and ending at Vila do Abraão. In my opinion, this boat tour stopped at the most beautiful beaches on the island.
The boat left Vila do Abraão at around 9am and headed out towards the Atlantic side. The ocean was very choppy so it was a rough ride on this side of the island. We passed by Farol, the lighthouse on the southeastern tip of Ilha Grande.
Praia do Caxadaço
Our first stop was at Praia do Caxadaço. We swam to the beach and climbed up a small hill to go to a rocky outcrop. It was a little dangerous and slippery, but I managed to climb up the rocks to get an amazing view.
This was a great first stop. Everybody enjoyed climbing around on the rocks to the other side to see the waves crashing against them.
Praia da Parnaioca
After cruising past Praia de Dois Rios, we stopped at Praia da Parnaioca. I walked all the way to the end and found a small church and a river that flowed out into the ocean. The forest behind the lagoon was an incredible sight. Of course, I didn’t bring my camera and wish I had.
Praia do Aventureiro
We then stopped at Praia do Aventureiro, which is located within a nature preserve on Ilha Grande, Reserva Biológica Estadual da Praia do Sul. This beach had the most stunning setting of all. At the end of the beach, there was a palm tree with a 90 degree angle in its trunk jutting out over powdery sand and rocks. Just incredible!
A short trail next to the palm tree took me to Pedra do Coqueiro, some rocks with yet another wonderful view of the island.
Praia dos Meros
A 30 minute stop at Praia dos Meros was where I grabbed a quick nap. This was a tiny, pristine beach with calm waters for swimming. It’s also located within the nature preserve.
We made a quick stop at Lagoa Verde, where I had stopped on the Meia Volta, and it was off to an overpriced, low quality lunch stop at Ubatubinha before making our way back to Abraão. I had overcooked calamari and fries.