If you are in Rio de Janeiro and want to visit the island of Ilha Grande, you’ll have to access it via a boat departing from one of the following locations: Angra dos Reis, Mangaratiba or Conceição de Jacareí.
You can get to Ilha Grande by a local bus and then a public ferry or take one of the daily transfer that pickup around Rio. Now there is even a shuttle picking up from Rio´s airport to take you to the island.
Taking local transport involves a bus ride from Rio to one of the above-mentioned towns, then making your way to the docks before crossing to the island by ferry. By taking one of the daily transfer vans you can be picked up from your accommodation in Rio and driven to your included boat for the trip to the island.
Both mentioned options arrive on the island at the township of Vila do Abraão, where most people opt to stay because it is the only real populated town which hosts most of the accommodation, dining and entertainment facilities. There are also taxi boats to take you to the other parts of Ilha Grande, but these are expensive. If staying on the other side of the island from Abraão, such as Praia de Araçatiba, Praia Vermelha then you are best going to Angra Dos Reis to take a boat from there.
The bus company Costa Verde covers the bus route from Rio de Janeiro to Mangaratiba, Conceição de Jacareí, and Angra dos Reis. Their buses are modern, equipped with onboard lavatories and depart every day from 07:00am until 21:00pm, but you would want to travel earlier in the day to make sure you can get one of the boats. Costa Verde buses depart Rio from the Terminal Rodoviário Novo Rio
Mangaratiba is the closest departure point for boats to Ilha Grande and buses take around 2.5 - 3 hours from Rio, but at the same time, it offers the least frequent departures and a long crossing time. The bus company Costa Verde has about 4 departures a day to the town of Mangaratiba, but all of the buses to Angra dos Reis can drop you by the side of the road as they pass the town (remember to tell the bus driver). Either way, you will need to make your own way to the docks.
Best reported connection for this route is to take the 5:00am bus from Rio to get the 08:00am regular service to the island, making it the best way to get there early in the day. The trip takes 1 hour and 45 minutes from Magaratiba (23Km) and for more information about the boat, you can call Saveiro Desirre Phone: (24) 3370-5584.
To reach Conceição de Jacareí the bus journey from Rio takes around 3.5 - 4 hours and you can take the Costa Verde bus from the Novo Rio Terminal. Remember that you will be required to tell the bus driver that you need to get off at Conceição de Jacareí and they will stop at the side of the road as the bus passes through the town at KM 455 of the Rio-Santos highway (its also a good idea to remind the driver again during the comfort stops to make sure they remember to stop there for you).
From the road, it's about a 15-minute walk from where the bus drops you to the beach in front of the town. Once you hit the beach walk all the way to the left to find the departure dock. Conceição de Jacareí also has the advantage of being the closest point from the mainland to Ilha Grande with a crossing time of 40 minutes to an hour, plus it has the most regular departures out of the three towns due to its close proximity.
For anyone suffering from seasickness, this problem will be minimized by making the crossing here. The ticket costs R$ 15.00 per person (Monday to Friday) / Saturdays, Sundays and holidays R$ 20.00 per person. Saveiro Andréa Phone: (21) 9744-0732.
Although Angra dos Reis is the furthest of the 3 options from Rio, and also the furthest from Ilha Grande, getting there is straight forward because you arrive at a bus terminal with all the associated facilities.
Costa Verde has departures from the Rio Novo Terminal to Angra dos Reis every hour between 04:00am and 21:00pm. The trip costs around R$41 and takes less than three hours to get to the Angra dos Reis bus terminal. The bus station of Angra dos Reis (Terminal Rodoviário Nilton Barbosa) is located on "Praia da Chácara", it's about 2.5 km from downtown which is about a 20 - 25 minute walk or around R$20 by taxi. The terminal address is Av. Almirante Jair Carneiro Toscano de Brito, s/nº - Balneário - CEP: 23906-805. And the Phone: (24) 3365-2041.
Angra dos Reis has three piers which are called Cais in Portuguese:
Cais da Lapa - This is the dock located furthest from the bus terminal, but from here the daily ferry departs to Vila do Abraão on Ilha Grande. This is the cheapest service.
Cais de Santa Luzia - This is the area in the middle of the waterfront where you take the faster Catamarans or you can contract boats to Vila do Abraão, plus Saco do Bananal, Enseada de Sítio Forte, Araçatiba and Provetá;
Cais de Turismo - You can contract boats to Saco do Bananal, Enseada de Sítio Forte y Araçatiba.
The large ferry departs Cais de Lapa pier from Monday to Friday at 15:30 and costs R$7 during the weekdays. On the weekends and public holidays, the departure is 13:30 and doubles in price. The crossing takes about 1:45 hours and you arrive at the main dock in Vila do Abraão.
There are catamarans at higher prices but with upgraded amenities, such as the Catamaran IGT, connecting Angra with Ilha Grande in only 45 minutes (R$ 25). Other options include private schooners, which have no fixed schedule at an average price of R$ 15 but they only depart with a few people. Ask around the Cais de Santa Luzia for these.
If you want the most economical way and have time, then take a local bus and then a public ferry from Conceicao do Jacarei or Angra dos Reis. For convenience and to get there faster take one of the daily transfers.
If going to Abraão on Ilha Grande then the closest and best port is Conceicao do Jacarei, which also has the most boat departures to the island. If going to Praia de Araçatiba or Praia Vermelha on Ilha Grande.
By local transport it can take 5 hours because you have to make your way to the bus terminal in Rio, and from there take a 3 hour bus takes, then you have to walk or get a taxi to the pier where the boats depart, and the depending on which boat you take, the crossing is 20 minutes to an hour.
By transfer, the shuttle & boat combo takes around 4 hours considering it takes the van an hour to collect everyone around Rio, then picking up passengers from the airport before driving 2 hours south where you take a speed boat across to Abraão on Ilha Grande.
You need to take the Costa Verde bus from the Novo Rio bus terminal in Rio to either Conceicao de Jacarei or Nagra dos Reis and then go to the port to take a bus. Below is a link to a page which will tell you how to get to the terminal. If you book a transfer to Ilha Grande they will come to collect you from where you are staying.
The area of Rio where the daily shuttles pick up include Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana, Leme, Botafogo, Catete, Flamengo, Downtown (Centro), Lapa, Gloria, Santa Teresa, and Lagoa. There are also meeting points at the Santos Dumont Airport, and the Rio International GIG airport. The vans pick up from hotels and apartments, but they will not go into areas which are considered favelas or not safe, and also to streets which are narrow or steep.
Yes, if you take one of the transfers, you will also receive your boat ticket for the fast boat crossing to Abraão on Ilha Grande.
There are no banks or even cash machines (ATM) on Ilha Grande, so it is best to bring money with you. Many of the shops, supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels accept Visa & Mastercard credit cards. There may be money exchange in Abraao, but the rate would be better in Rio.
The Green Toad can reserve you a daily transfer which picks you up from your accommodation in Rio and transfers you by a shared van to a boat at Conceição de Jacareí for your included trip to Abraão on Ilha Grande.
You can be picked up from Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana, Leme, Botafogo, Catete, Flamengo, Downtown (Centro), Lapa, Gloria, Santa Teresa, Lagoa, Santos Dumont Airport and a few other places.
There are 3 departures per day starting at 7:00am, 10:30am, and 14:00pm.
The van picks up all over Rio so sometimes it can be delayed, but you are supplied with a phone number to call if you wish to contact the assistant in the van to see how far they are away if the time goes past estimated pick-up time. The transfer meets a boat for the included trip to the island.
The boat arrives at Ilha Grande at the Abraão central dock. There are no vehicles allowed on the island, and walking to your accommodation on Ilha Grande is not suitable for baggage on wheels due to the sandy trails, but there are porters you can hire at the pier to take your bags to your accommodation.
There are 3 return transfers per day which depart from the same docks at 10:00am, 14:00pm, & 17:30pm. Return drop-offs in Rio are only made in the areas mentioned above, but it is also possible to be dropped off at the airports (if being dropped off at the airport make sure you leave plenty of time before your flight in case there is delays).
For more information about the transfer go to this link: Ilha Grande Transfers.
Shuttles from Rio's International airport to Ilha Grande
Now there are 3 departure times for shuttles from the Rio International Galeao Airport (GIG) to Abraão on Ilha Grande. There is a meeting point outside terminal 2 where the van will pass by to collect you, and you drive 2 hours south to Conceição do Jacareí, where you board the included boat to Abraão. You can read more about the airport shuttles here:
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