A Travellerspoint blog

Ilhabela

After Paraty, we drive further south to Ilhabela, a big island close to Sao Paolo, known for its beaches, waterfalls, mosquitoes, and for being packed with paulistanos on summer weekends. Fortunately for us, it's winter so no mosquitoes or paulistanos but the weather is not great either. It's rainy when we arrive and continues to rain the next day. No regrets, because Oscar is sick (stomach bug) and the house we rented is great (Matthias has a new friend), surrounded by rain forest... and has full Internet access! The next day, the sun is back, we get explore the local town of Vila and a remote beach on the northern tip. No doubt Ilhabela has its charm, but we did not have a chance to really connect with the island, maybe because of the weather, also because it's quite big and to appreciate it you would need to get into organized tours to the other side, much less developed.

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Posted by AlainJacq 05:07 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Around Paraty

This morning we went exploring the Tobogao Waterfall (the "Slide Waterfall") which is peculiar because you can actually slide down the waterfall sitting on a big rock, and carried by the water. There is a local guy who acts as the master of ceremony, he guides the tourists and once in a while, he slides himself, on his feet! After the waterfall experience, we head towards Trinidade beach, the best beach around according to the hotel manager. Weather is not warm enough for swimming but the beach is spectacular and Matthias and Oscar enjoy a Ninja Hide and Seek game among the beach's massive boulders.

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Posted by AlainJacq 20:39 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Paraty

We left the wonderful island of Ilha Grande, got back on mainland to our car, and instead of driving 1.5 hour to Paraty, we have to drive 2.5 hours to the outskirts of Rio, to meet Jean, the hotel owner from Petropolis who is bringing us the passport we left in our room. Once we have our passports back, we head back to Paraty but due to the delays, we arrive there after sunset, for yet another night drive in a remote place. The apartment is in a posada in the jungle but is very comfortable. The next day, weather is uncertain, so rather than a beach, we head for Paraty to get a feel from the colonial town. Paraty is a unique experience. Somewhat touristy, but yet authentic enough and like no other town we have seen so far.

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Posted by AlainJacq 18:55 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Ilha Grande

We left Petropolis in the morning and had a relaxed drive (3 hours) to the ferry to Ilha Grande. There are no cars on Ilha Grande, so we left ours at a parking lot near the ferry pier and boarded a schooner for a 1 hour trip to the island. As soon as the boat left the dock, we realized we left our passports in Petropolos! A quick call to Jean, the hotel owner and we setup a meeting point at a shopping mall near Rio. Back on the island, our cottage was up on a hill with breathtaking views. The next day we took another schooner to the famous Lopez Mendez beach, quite spectacular. Vero managed to do some yoga right on the beach! The last day we also did a schooner trip (not many other options since no cars on the island). This time we went to see a waterfall and a lagoon, nice trip as well. We really enjoyed Ilha Grande, the lack of heavy tourism, the laid back attitude, the beautiful beaches, a great way to spend the winter!

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Posted by AlainJacq 19:55 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Petropolis

Our next destination is Ilha Grande, two hours away from Rio. Since we have to drive back to the coast to catch a ferry, we chose to spend the night in Petropolis, where the Imperial Court used to retreat for the summer. Our hotel is run by a Swiss Brazilian who has also setup an animal rescue center and organizes programs for local kids. Matthias and Oscar really loved the place, we stayed in the Evita Peron room, so called because... Evita Perone stayed in that room when she came to Petropolis. We leave early the next morning, without knowing that we'll see Jean, the owner, very soon...

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Posted by AlainJacq 18:42 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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