Top 15 things to do in Angra dos Reis, Brazil + Ultimate guide to visit the island paradise

WELCOME TO ANGRA DOS REIS BRAZIL – THE EMERALD COAST!




Angra dos Reis in Brazil is considered one of the most beautiful coastlines in the country and a paradise between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The 365 islands and over 2,000 beaches are the biggest attractions for anyone going to Angra dos Reis. But there are also many other wonderful things to do in Angra dos Reis Brazil, including hiking trails, history, gastronomy, and much more!

The coast of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil holds some hidden treasures. Among the most famous destinations is the Angra dos Reis region, with a bay of protected waters, pristine beaches, and breathtaking views.

If you never heard about Angra dos Reis in Brazil before, or if you already heard, and are looking to visit Angra dos Reis, this guide is for you! You are about to find out all you need to know about how to visit this real hidden gem that is so little explored, even by Brazilian people!

Angra dos Reis is a paradise, located between the two largest cities in Brazil: Sao Paulo or the wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro. Here I will explain in detail how to visit Angra dos Reis coming from the two main cities in Brazil.

But why you should add Angra dos Reis to your travel bucket list!?

Think of a place with beaches with calm and transparent waters and white sands. Plus surrounded by the forest that meets the sea. I could even be talking about a movie set, but I’m talking about a small piece of paradise very close to Rio de Janeiro: Angra dos Reis.

The town of Angra dos Reis is not very interesting and some of the mainland beaches are not even suitable for swimming. However, the real treasure of Angra is the nearby islands, which have a magnificent view and are great for exploring on boat trips. In fact, Angra has an island to visit for each day of the year and more than two thousand beaches! Options abound, right?

Before you travel to Brazil, I recommend you read the Brazil travel planning where you can find all you need to plan and travel safely to Brazil.

Things to do in Angra dos Reis Brazil

WHERE IS ANGRA DOS REIS?

First I would like to share where the paradise of Angra dos Reis is located on the South Coast of Rio de Janeiro state, and it is only 99 miles (160 km) from the city of Rio de Janeiro and 248 miles (400km) from São Paulo.

Angra dos Reis has 365 islands, with green water, white sand, and Atlantic Forest vegetation – the most illustrious and larger Island is Ilha Grande.

The best way to get to explore the island is by boat, on tours that take you to paradisiacal and varied scenarios.

HOW TO GET TO ANGRA DOS REIS

There are several airlines flying to Brazil, and you will be flying to a major city international airport. Most likely in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.

The city of Angra dos Reis is 156km from Rio de Janeiro and 414km from São Paulo. So if you are coming from other regions of Brazil, the closest capital and airport are Rio de Janeiro.

There are several airlines for you to choose from, depending on your departure location. The best way to start your trip to Brazil is to fly to a large city.  I recommend you browse and compare prices for the BEST DEAL with Expedia or Skyscanner to find the best options for flights. 

BEST WAY TO VISIT ANGRA DOS REIS, BRAZIL

If you are driving I recommend renting a car from a reliable source. To get the best service and rates in the market check RentlCars.com. If you have your own car it is the fastest, most practical, and cheapest way to get to Angra dos Reis.

FROM RIO DE JANEIRO

Arriving at Rio airport, the trip by car to Angra takes approximately 3h15min through Avenida Brasil and then accessing BR-101, known as Rio-Santos. There’s no mistake!

Another way to get to Angra is by bus and the one who operates the route is Viação Costa Verde. Buses leave from the Novo-Rio bus station and if you arrived by plane, you’ll have to take a taxi or Uber there.

You can also easily visit Angra dos Reis from Rio de Janeiro on this boat trip, with lunch included.

FROM SÃO PAULO

Leaving São Paulo, the most touristic and beautiful way is through Caraguatatuba. You should take Dutra Highway and enter the access to Caraguatatuba. When you reach the coast, take the BR-101 towards Rio. Google Maps can give you all the options available in more detail.

WHY WOULD YOU LOVE TO VISIT ANGRA DOS REIS

Angra dos Reis is right in front of another very popular place in the Call Costa Verde (Green Coast) because the road connecting these amazing coastal towns in Brazil, including Angra dos Reis, takes you on a journey with incredible views of the amazing emerald green ocean. Ilha Grande is the largest island, and it is another destination that is well.

Things to do in Angra dos Reis Brazil

Located in the south of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Angra dos Reis is one of the most beautiful cities in Brazil. Known for its beautiful beaches and natural landscapes, it has 365 islands dotted in a sea of green and crystalline waters, receiving thousands of visitors annually.

In Angra dos Reis, you can enjoy several walks close to nature, enjoying stunning landscapes and having the option of diving and getting to know the marine life that inhabits Angra dos Reis.

In addition, you can visit the Historic Center, delight in the menus of the restaurants or enjoy the city’s famous nightclubs. So that you don’t get lost, we have prepared a special tour of what to do in Angra dos Reis.

THE HISTORY OF ANGRA DOS REIS BRAZIL

Angra dos Reis means King’s Cove. The city is one of the oldest in Brazil and its name comes from the fact that Angra means small cove and it was discovered by the Portuguese on January 6, 1502, known as the day of the Kings. Hence the name we know until today.

However, Angra dos Reis was only colonized in 1556, and today it has 195,000 people living in this paradise.

Angra dos Reis has over 2,000 beaches and more than 365 islands, which are the biggest tourist attraction in the region, the biggest of which is Ilha Grande.

Things to do in Angra dos Reis Brazil
top 15 Things to do in Angra dos Reis Brazil
Amazing Things to do in Angra dos Reis Brazil

TOP 15 THINGS TO DO IN ANGRA DOS REIS BRAZIL

Now, it is time to review the top 15 things to do in Angra ds Reis, Brazil. If you are visiting Angra dos Reis for the first time, I recommend joining a group or private tours, especially for some activities. A safe and great option I recommend is to book through Get Your Guide, as they have many options for tours, and you can plan and book ahead.  

1) Explore the Historical Center of Angra dos Reis

Angra is one of the oldest cities in Brazil and walking through the historic center of Angra dos Reis allows you to learn a little about the history and architecture of our country. There are several houses and buildings from the colonial period that are worth the visit.

In the center you can visit the Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, which is one of the oldest in Brazil, and the Convento do Carmo. Also stop at Praça Almirante Tamandaré. There you will find Mercado Redondo, where you can find a variety of super fresh fish and seafood.

Unique things to do in Angra dos Reis Brazil

2) Visit the Beaches in Angra dos Reis

The beach at Biscaia, in Ponta Leste, has one of the most beautiful sunsets in the region! It is about 30 minutes away from the center of Angra dos Reis and is very calm, great for going with children. From here there are also some trips by schooner and boat in the islands of Angra dos Reis.

3) Explore the Cuisine of Angra dos Reis

After you fall in love with the paradise beaches and islands of Angra dos Reis, it is time to fall in love with the local cuisine. With some great options to taste the real flavor of the local food, you can find places to eat amazingly fresh seafood, including the famous local scallop, Italian, and even hamburgers. I have listed (below) my top pick restaurants in Angra dos Reis you must try.

In Angra dos Reis you can also find some local breweries

4) Go Island Hopping in Angra dos Reis

The highlight of your visit to Angra dos Reis is to go on a boat tour. Ideally, you will rent a private boat to explore the islands and beaches in Angra dos Reis, but you can also go on a schooner that offers day tours, with stops for diving among the colorful fishes. Because it is almost impossible to know what islands to visit, below are the routes that are recommended by the locals:

PRO TIP:

If you don’t like big crowds, avoid going island hopping in the schooner ride, especially on the weekends, when the islands get crowded.

BLUE LAGOON
Perhaps this is probably one of the most famous tours in Angra. The Lagoa Azul, which is actually located in Ilha Grande, is a heavenly place where the water is so clear that it is possible to see the fish even with the naked eye. By the way, if you like to dive, or have never done it, but feel like it, the Lagoa Azul region is great for snorkeling. You will be impressed by the wide variety of marine life that exists there.

BOTINAS
Accessible only with smaller boats, Botinas Islands are a mandatory stopover for those who like to dive, as the visibility within the water there can reach 10 meters on sunny days! Because of the two islets, the Botina Islands are also called Sister Islands and are considered the most beautiful in the region. With a cinema-worthy landscape, the Botinas Islands are a true postcard of Angra.

DENTIST BEACH

Visitors who like more glamor can visit Praia do Dentista. Upon arrival, be prepared to see many speedboats and yachts. It draws attention for its fine white sand, without any structure on top. For this reason, when eating, it is necessary to call a floating restaurant, which takes food to the boats. It is a very pleasant option for those who enjoy a meal at sea.

Things to do in Angra dos Reis Brazil
Angra dos Reis Brazil

5) Go on a Speedboat Tour

If you want to know what to do in Angra dos Reis with more privacy, the ideal is to hire a boat trip to visit the islands and nearby beaches. Even though it’s a little more expensive, it’s worth it. That way you will be able to understand why this corner of Brazil is so special!

I hired a private speed boat for a day, and I was able to visit some real paradise islands, enjoy some private beaches, took incredible photos, and even had the chance to lay down and tan at one of the beaches. You can negotiate the itinerary and the time when you hire a private boat.

6) Ilha da Gipoia

This is the second-largest island in the region, Ilha da Gipóia has an infrastructure with excellent bars, restaurants, and kiosks. From Praia das Flechas, you have a beautiful view of Ilhas Botinas, Ilha Grande and Praia do Dentista. Be sure to visit Praia das Amendoeiras, great for diving, and Praia Brava, suitable for surfing, or the small and crystalline Praia do Secreto

How to explore Angra dos Reis in Brazil

7) Ilha dos Cataguases

Cataguases Island is one of the most beautiful in Ilha Grande Bay. The beach with white sand makes it a real paradise. To complete the striking look, the crystal water in emerald green tones makes everything look like a movie scene! Surrounded by cherry trees, the beach is perfect for those traveling with children due to the calm waters. Also, if you like photos, here is the best spot for you!

Incredible things to do in Angra dos Reis Brazil

8) Go hiking at Pico do Frade

The second highest point in Angra dos Reis, you need a tour guide to reach the peak of its 1500 meters high. The main paths start at Frade and Bananal, taking up to 7 hours to reach the top. Pay attention to the dense woods along the way, so as not to get lost on the trail

9) Take a day tour to Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande is the largest island in Angra dos Reis, and due to the proximity, there are several day trips departing from Angra that go to Ilha Grande.

There you will find beaches for all tastes and all of them of breathtaking beauty. Don’t miss the opportunity and get to know the island. If possible, it’s worth staying a few days there.

Ilha Grande in Brazil

10) Sitio Forte Beach

Fine white sand and a beautiful landscape, interspersing the green of the forest with the blue of the sea. This is Praia do Sítio Forte, still little known among the visitors of Angra dos Reis! To do this tour, you can hire a tour of the islands of Angra dos Reis or rent a speedboat!

11) Praia do Aventureiro (Ilha Grande)

Praia do Aventureiro is the perfect place to be in contact with nature, go completely offline and recharge your batteries. The abundant nature and the “good vibe” of the place are sure to win you over!

Located on Ilha Grande, it is on the face of the island facing the open sea. You have to take a boat in the center of Angra dos Reis and sail for about 2 hours until you reach this corner. The beach has a simple structure of campsites and some fishermen’s restaurants, but if you don’t like camping, you can find some very simple rooms to stay.

There you will be totally connected with nature – it’s amazing to sleep watching the sky and wake up facing the sea! There are also some really cool tours you can take, such as Praia de Parnaioca, Dois Rios and Praia do Caxadaço. Just book the tour in advance with a boatman on the beach!

Boat tour in Angra dos Reis Brazil

12) Visit the Lopes Mendes: The Most Beautiful Beach in Brazil!

Praia do Lopes Mendes is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, with approximately three kilometers of fine white sand, rough sea, and very suitable for surfing. The beach is well characterized by the transparency of the water, as well as its variation in hues.

In the past, the beach was mainly inhabited by the Caiçara community, but nowadays it is almost deserted, with a natural shade from the almond trees that are on its shore. There, street vendors and kiosks sell, snacks and drinks, surfboard rentals, and plenty of space for tourists to go hiking or cycling.

13) Visit Vila do Abraao (Ilha Grande)

Vila do Abraão is the main community of Ilha Grande, with a population of approximately two thousand inhabitants. The village has 14 beaches and 5 islets around it, which are widely explored by visitors who want to see beautiful landscapes and enjoy the beauty of the islands of Angra dos Reis.

The biggest beach is Abraão, where most of the residents live and where you can find the commercial center, embarkation and disembarkation points, restaurants, bars, shops, among other things. The village has a very busy night activity and is therefore very frequented by young people. In addition to the beaches, the ruins of Lazareto, monuments, and ruins from the Brazil Colony era, and trails in the Atlantic Forest, peaks, and streams are other attractions to explore in Vila Abraão.

14) Stay at a unique accommodation in Angra dos Reis

Angra dos Reis has amazing accommodations to choose from. You can stay at the most luxurious resort such as the Vila Galé Eco Resort, or choose to stay at a very unique Cabana do Mar (cabin) built on top of the rock on the ocean. It doesn’t matter where you choose to stay in Angra dos Reis, makes sure you take advantage of your unique stayed the stunning views surrounded by your accommodation, while you relax, wake up with the most beautiful sunrise, and even appreciate a glass of your favorite beverage while watching the sunset in paradise.

Visit Angra dos Reis in Brazil

15) Take a day trip to Paraty, the colonial town

Paraty is my favorite city in Brazil – this magical place has a perfect combination of the well-preserved colonial town, surrounded by the ocean with the forest and mountains in the backdrop. With incredible cuisine, Paraty is also very cultural with many galleries, libraries, and festivals. Even better? Paray is located only a little over an hour driving from Angra dos Reis, or you can take a taxi or a public bus for a day trip.

If you are interested to learn more about this incredible destination, I recommend reading my detailed guide on How to Explore Paraty.

Paraty, Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

BEST PLACES TO EAT IN ANGRA DOS REIS

After you fall in love with the natural beauty and beautiful landscapes of the paradise beaches and islands of Angra dos Reis, it is time for another great surprise when traveling to the region of Angra dos Reis! The food!

Here you can find a great variety of bars and restaurants in Angra dos Reis to try, including everything from great seafood dishes, the famous local scallops, and even craft breweries!

Below you can find the best recommendations to try the real flavor of Angra dos Reis!

  • SAMBURÁ: Considered one of the best restaurants in Angra dos Reis, Samburá is an Angra dos Reis classic. It has been opened for 30 plus years! Specialized in fish and seafood. Its name, by the way, comes from the basket used in fishing boats to catch shrimp.
  • MISTURA CLASSICA BREWERY: a craft brewery in Angra dos Reis, beautiful and with delicious beers! The brewery is located in a very special place: in Marina Verolme, the largest nautical hub in Latin America, where hundreds of vessels are stored and under maintenance, on the water and in sheds. It’s a beautiful place, facing the sea and you would never expect to find a brewery!
  • LUA E MAR: famous for offering a delicious fish with banana. It is the ideal destination for those who like to have lunch facing the sea, because it is located at Praia do Abraão, in Ilha Grande. The location is easily accessible for those in Angra dos Reis.
  • MARICULTURA COSTA VERDE: one of the largest scallop and beijupirá producers in the country, is a must. In addition to seeing the creation up close, it is possible to taste extremely fresh fish and seafood.
  • REIS E MAGOS: The atmosphere is pleasant, with live music and quality service. It is famous for its special caipirinha and fresh and delicious seafood. It is a must place to appreciate the real flavour of Angra dos Reis.
  • FASANO: At Fasano, the gastronomic experience is also incredible. Those who eat at the restaurant will not forget the sophisticated presentation of fish, shrimp, crayfish and even beijupirás. The chef works with a wide variety of seafood. It is a romantic and refined option.

WHERE TO STAY IN ANGRA DOS REIS

Angra dos Reis definitely has accommodation for all tastes and budgets, from simple hostels and inns to luxurious resorts.

In addition, you can find great options for B&B, cabins, and unique places with all the comfort and privacy you want. Both in a hotel and in a holiday home, the important thing is that your accommodation is pleasant and provides you with the best possible experience (and that it is within your budget too)!

If you don’t have a car, you will have to limit your accommodation in the City Center where is also located the tours that are made through the bay and the departures to the islands.

If you are visiting Angra dos Reis in your own car, you will find more options, as the best accommodations are located in areas far from the city center, and by car is the best way to access them.

Below you will see the selection I made of accommodations in Angra dos Reis:

MOST POPULAR: Vila Galé Eco Resort

Take advantage of this All-inclusive Resort! Located in the middle of the exuberant Atlantic Forest and has clear and crystalline waters and ecological walks, go diving or take a boat trip through the islands of Costa Verde. Despite the simplicity of promoting a more intimate contact with the environment, the structure does not lack elegance, sophistication, comfort, and entertainment.

LUXURY: Hotel Fasano Angra dos Reis

Fasano is the most sophisticated hotel in Angra dos Reis. It has modern architecture and suites with paradisiacal views of the sea and mountains. The hotel has elegant environments and a wide structure including swimming pools, a spa with 2,000m², a kids area, gym, two restaurants, and a pool bar. The condominium provides facilities such as a private beach, golf course, and pier for boats.

MID-RANGE: Pousada Vitorino

Pousada Vitorino features a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge, and garden in Angra dos Reis. The air-conditioned rooms provide a sea view and come with a wardrobe and free WiFi. It has a hot tub and here you can enjoy activities in and around Angra dos Reis, like hiking snorkeling, and fishing.

BUDGET: Pousada e Mergulho Jamanta

Surrounded by stunning nature and boasting scenic sea views. It offers an outdoor pool with an infinity edge, as well as a restaurant with a regional menu. Pousada Jamanta features a garden and guests can enjoy diving and snorkeling activities. The property also offers a kayak and stand-up paddle for guests to enjoy the beaches nearby.

ENTIRE PLACE: Condominio Porto Bali

If you are looking to rent your own place, this apartment is a great option for you. It has 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, dining area, fully equipped kitchenette and a balcony with garden views or the ocean view. It has free private parking and an amazing pool. This apartment is next to the Mercure Hotel, and it offers all the amenities at the hotel.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Cabana do Mar

This accommodation is simply amazing! This eco-friendly cabin is located in private propriety, on top of a rock with a million dollars view. Comfortable, unique, and with an excellent location. It has a delicious breakfast included and the hosts are very helpful and friendly. I couldn’t recommend more this cabin.

WHAT TO PACK FOR ANGRA DOS REIS

Considering that you will spend most of your time enjoying the beaches and islands, I have prepared a list of must-pack for your trip to Angra dos Reis.

PACK SMART ALERT!

If you are planning to carry a backpack for your trip to Brazil, I have compiled a very detailed review of the Best Backpacks for Travel in the market today – Also, I recommend bringing a waterproof jacket for your trip, check my complete review guide on the Top Jackets for Travel and pack smart!

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT IN ANGRA DOS REIS

There are so many amazing opportunities for photos and videos, so it is impossible not to capture the amazing moments while traveling around. Therefore, do not forget to bring your camera equipment with you:

TRAVEL INSURANCE: SIMPLE & FLEXIBLE

I never leave my home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. Things can go wrong, and you don’t want to get stuck paying tons of money if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance. 

World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers.

Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!

BEST TIME TO VISIT ANGRA DOS REIS

Angra dos Reis and the surrounding islands are a true spectacle of nature. However, because of its geographical position, close to the mountains, as well as because of the humidity that comes from the sea, it is very likely that you will get rain on several days of the year.

So, I’ll explain to you how the climate is depending on the time of year there:

SUMMER
Firstly, summer is the season considered as the high season in Angra. Temperatures are higher, so you can enjoy the sea. However, at this time we have a high incidence of the so-called summer rains (those that come and go without warning). So you might end up spending a few days at the hotel because of that. By the way, speaking of accommodations, because of the high season, be prepared for an increase in prices (not only for hotels but also for tours in general).

WINTER
On the other hand, the winter months are those with the least chance of rain, but temperatures are lower. If you don’t like ice water, it’s better to choose another season.

SPRING & FALL
Without a doubt, these are the best times to visit the region. With little rain, mild temperatures, and without many tourists, you will enjoy much more Angra dos Reis and the islands.

FAQ BEFORE YOU VISIT ANGRA DOS REIS, BRAZIL

IS IT SAFE TO VISIT ANGRA DOS REIS?

The answer is YES! But like any other place we travel to, I always recommend paying attention to your surroundings, leave your expensive belongings at home and study the place you are visiting before your trip, especially about unsafe areas. Angra dos Reis is overall quiet to visit and go on tours. People are very receptive and like to help and provide information.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO VISIT ANGRA DOS REIS?

The city town of Angra dos Reis is pretty small and you don’t need a car, also, it is very busy and it is hard to find a parking spot. You will most likely spend most of your time on a boat visiting the islands and beaches and you don’t need a car either. But if you have your own car, you can visit different restaurants, and choose to stay at an accommodation that is far from the city center.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RENT A BOAT IN ANGRA DOS REIS?

Private motorboat tours come at a high price, due to fuel, sailors, and all other costs involved. To give you an idea, the average value for a day of the tour is R$2,000 + fuel. Now if you take a tour on one of the schooners it is about R$120 per person.

WHAT IS THE BEST PLACE TO STAY IN ANGRA DOS REIS?

Angra dos Reis has amazing options from the most luxurious hotels to simple B&B. My experience staying at the Cabana do Mar was amazing, to be able to stay at a local cabin by the water while enjoying the most incredible views, I super recommend it. But if you are looking for more comfortable accommodations, the Vila Gale Eco Resort is simply amazing. See the reviews and check prices and availability above.

IS IT EXPENSIVE TO VISIT ANGRA DOS REIS?

It is NOT expensive to visit Angra dos Reis, especially if you are visiting from the USA or Europe, because of the exchange rate. The highest cost can be if you choose to stay at a luxury resort and hire your own boat. Food and drink in Angra dos Reis are very affordable.

HOW LONG DO I NEED TO VISIT ANGRA DOS REIS?

Because the region has 365 islands and more than 2,000 beaches, then one year would be perfect! But okay, let’s get serious. The ideal place to enjoy Angra dos Reis, take the main boat trips, and discover the most incredible spots to dive is a week. But of course, you can stay less time and enjoy it anyway, you’ll just have to prioritize what you like the most and want to really enjoy it.

WHAT IS NEXT?

If you are going to travel to Brazil, pre-planning, research, and understanding what you are looking for will help make your travels far more successful and safe.

Here is some further information I think you might need to plan your  trip:

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