Near Rio de Janeiro lies an exotic island, with beautiful beaches and a laid-back Brazilian vibe! Do you want to know how to get there? Then keep reading for the complete guide on how to get to Ilha Grande by bus, transfer, driving & find out which are the best airports to access the island from.
We will also tell you which are the best, cheapest and fastest ways to Ilha Grande from Río de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
You are going to need a boat!
Unless you are Leonardo DiCaprio
As with most islands, to get to Ilha Grande a boat will be required. Your private jet will be no good because there is no airport on the island, but if you do have a helicopter, write to us, we will tell you where to park it!
But seriously, if you need to know which airports give the best access to the island, then skip ahead to see the airports closest to Ilha Grande and how to get to Ilha Grande from the airport.
Where is Ilha Grande located?
The island of Ilha Grande is situated off the coast of Río de Janeiro state, located within the Angra dos Reis region. The distance is 150 kilometers (94 miles) from Rio de Janeiro if you drive along the coastal highway towards Sao Paulo. From the city of Sao Paulo, the island lies 450 kilometers (154 miles) if driving north-west towards Río de Janeiro.
Where do you get boats to Ilha Grande?
The best port to get a boat to Ilha Grande depends on whether you are traveling from Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. Even if you start your journey from another city, it is likely you will need to first pass through one of these large hubs to get to the island.
If you are coming from Río de Janeiro, then the best port to get a boat to Ilha Grande is from Conceição de Jacareí, but there are exceptions where it would be better to go to Angra dos Reis which we explain later. From Sao Paulo, you would first travel to Angra do Reis to take a boat to Ilha Grande.
CHOOSE A CITY TO SEE THE BEST, FASTEST, OR CHEAPEST TRANSPORT!
There is not even a landing strip on the island, thus the closest commercial airports to Ilha Grande are located in Río de Janeiro city. There is a small airport in Angra dos Reis, but it does not receive commercial flights.
The Rio international airport (which also receives many domestic flights) is called the Galeão – Aeroporto Internacional Tom Jobim or simply called ‘GIG’ due to its airport code. The Santos Dumont (SDU) airport only receives Brazilian domestic flights and is located close to the central business district of Río de Janeiro city.
Out of these two airports, neither is better than the other for getting to Ilha Grande. Just take the best flight option to Río which gets you there before 14:00. This is so that you have the best chance of making it to Conceição de Jacareí (a 2-hour drive) before the last boat of the day departs. If your flight arrives later in the afternoon or evening, then it is also possible to arrange a private service by transfer which includes a private boat from Río to Ilha Grande.
How long to stay on Ilha Grande?
Best place to stay on Ilha Grande!