Ilha Grande, Brazil

Leave a comment

Ilha Grande is a beautiful island a few hours south of Rio. After a rough and wet journey over on the boat I arrived at the Che Lagarto hostel that overlooked the main beach on the island. When I arrived it was a bit cloudy but the weather forecast said that it was going to be sunny for the next few days, and luckily it was spot on!

Main beach the hostel overlooked

The next day I wandered around the island and stopped at the next beach and spent the day relaxing and reading on the beach. After lunch I hit up the self serve ice cream store where you can choose however many flavours you like and they charge you by weight.

That night a big group of us went into town to have dinner and on the way back we came across a group of people drinking around a fire on the beach. After grabbing some supplies from the hostel we joined them and a couple of the guys commandeered the guitar and serenaded us all. The stars were absolutely amazing and although I proved to be hopeless at spotting shooting stars it was almost surreal to be sitting on the beach of a beautiful island in Brazil around a fire and gazing up at a perfect sky. Definitely a night to remember.

The next day we caught a boat over to the surf beach called Lopez Mendez. It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be sitting on a beach, watching the boys try to surf , and taking the occasional dip to cool down.

That night we went to a BBQ at a nearby restaurant where you could choose between different skewers of meats, cheese or a couple of varieties of fish. While it took almost two hours for our food to arrive, and we had drunk quite a few caipirinhas by that time, the food was absolutely delicious! Capped of by the fact that once again we were located on a gorgeous beach under the stars on a perfectly warm evening.

I was meant to leave the next day however I decided to stay on one more night because the weather was absolutely perfect, there were some great people staying in the hostel, and there were still so many beautiful places to explore on the island. A small group of us decided to go on a boat tour around the island that visited six beaches and a couple of lagoons where you could snorkel. We were picked up in an awesome speed boat and spent the day taking in the beautiful sights of the island and swimming in some absolutely gorgeous beaches and lagoons. Although, one of the best parts was the speed boat ride in between the stops because it was quite choppy out on the open water making the trip a bit like a roller coaster ride. Another amazing day!

The next morning I took the boat back to the mainland and a bus trip back to Rio. It had been an amazing few days with perfect weather, beautiful beaches, delicious food and amazing people. If you go to Brazil definitely visit Ilha Grande, it’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway but is also lots of fun if you’re by yourself or with a group of friends. It can be as relaxing or as action packed as you like.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1 Comment

I have been to some incredible cities while on this trip but I think Rio would have to be the most incredible city I’ve seen. The way that the city is designed is just amazing, huge skyscrapers built amongst mountains right next to spectacular beaches. From above the views of the city are just jaw-dropping.

I stayed in a hostel called Che Lagarto which is one block back from Ipanema beach, one beach over from Copacobana. It was a fantastic hostel and the people who work there were absolutely lovely. They also do open bar on Thursday nights which is always great fun as I found out with my new Aussie friends Harry and Giles, my French friend Greg and Norwegian friend Hanne.

Just having a drink or three at open bar night at Che Lagarto

Ipanema beach is gorgeous and Copacabana was really cool, although when I was there it was overcast so it didn’t look as spectacular as I’m sure it would on a sunny day.

Ipanema Beach

Copacabana Beach

On my second day in Rio I did a city tour which took us to Christ the Redeemer, Santa Teresa, the Cathedral, Lapa Steps, and Sugarloaf Mountain.

The views from Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain were absolutely amazing, giving a grand view of the entire city including Copacabana, Ipanema and Centro.

At the Lapa Steps we were able to meet Selaron, the artist who created the masterpiece, and I got him to sign a postcard for me. He was a bit crazy but apparently we caught him on a good day because a lot of the time he doesn’t even come out of his house which is right next to the steps.

On another day a group of us went to Barra de Tijuca where there is a beautiful beach. Alejandro, Andrea, Greg and I had an absolutely fabulous day lazing about and enjoying the sun (and a sneaky caipirinha).

Rio is also an amazing place to go out. Twice I went out salsa dancing in Copacabana, then went to an incredible street party in Lapa with people everywhere, cheap drinks and plenty of samba, and on my last night (Halloween) had a great night out drinking in Lapa and then dancing like idiots in Ipanema.

The food in Brazil is also incredible. I tried some sushi (thanks to encouragement from Greg) and it was delicious but the Brazilians really love there meat which means I was very happy. On my last night, Greg, Hanne and I all went out for churasco, which is pretty much all you can eat meat (chicken, beef, pork, sausage) with a side of rice and chips. Accompanied by a nice glass of red wine, of course. It was AMAZING!!

The vibe in Rio is absolutely awesome! It really has a buzz that makes it the exciting place that it is. The people are all gorgeous and aren’t afraid to let you know it. The guys all get around in tiny swimmers (or budgie smugglers as we’d call them in Australia) and the women wear g-string bikinis, most of the time on the beach I didn’t know where to look!

I’m so glad I went to Rio, because it wasn’t originally on my list of places to visit. And despite many people telling me that it can be dangerous, I felt safe all the time I was there. Rio is definitely a city I’d recommend visiting, but be aware that it’s expensive compared to the rest of South America, with prices for most things on par with Sydney or London.

%d bloggers like this: