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  • Writer's pictureDave Jackson

How to get to and from Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

Ilha Grande is a small beautiful island in the state of Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro is a city & a state). Ilha Grande (or big island) as you've probably guessed is an island & therefore you will need to get a boat to get there. There are a few different options when it comes to getting to Ilha Grande, depending on your budget & time. To get there you will be taking a boat to Vila do Abraão which is the main port on Ilha Grande. The options of where to get a boat from are Mangaratiba (which is closest to Rio), Conceição de Jacareí (the closest point to Ilha Grande and with the most boat departures) or Angra dos Reis (which is the closest to São Paulo). We took the one from Conceição de Jacareí on the way out & back to Angra dos Reis on return.


Becca waiting for the ferry on Ilha Grande
Becca waiting for the ferry on Ilha Grande

 

Table of contents


 

Where to catch a boat to Ilha Grande


Option 1 - Getting the ferry from Mangaratiba to Ilha Grande

The ferry is operated by CCR Barcas, it departs at 8am every morning and arrives at the island at 9:20am. The ferry is large holding 500+ people & is the cheapest way to the island (along with the ferry from Angra dos Reis) costing just R$20.50 per person. This is the closest port to Rio to catch the boat to the island from, however the crossing time isn't as quick as from Conceição de Jacareí.


Reverse - boat from Ilha Grande to Mangaratiba

5:30pm, it's R$20.50, takes 1 hour 20 minutes and the tickets can be purchased from the jetty before you board.


Ferry schedule - Mangaratiba to Ilha Grande/Ilha Grande to Mangaratiba
Ferry schedule - Mangaratiba to Ilha Grande/Ilha Grande to Mangaratiba

Option 2 - Getting the ferry from Angra dos Reis to Ilha Grande

Like Mangaratiba the ferry is operated by CCR Barcas. It departs 3.30pm every weekday and arrives at the island at 4:50pm & weekends 1:30pm arriving at 2:50pm. The ferry is large holding 500+ people and is the cheapest way to the island (along with the ferry from Mangaratiba) costing just R$20.50 per person. This is the closest port to São Paulo to catch the boat to the island from, however the crossing time isn't as quick as from Conceição de Jacareí.


Reverse - boat from Ilha Grande to Angra dos Reis

10am, it's R$20.50, takes 1 hour 20 minutes and the tickets can be purchased from the jetty before you board.


Ferry schedule - Angra dos Reis to Ilha Grande/Ilha Grande to Angra dos Reis
Ferry schedule - Angra dos Reis to Ilha Grande/Ilha Grande to Angra dos Reis

Option 3 - Getting the boat from Conceição de Jacareí

This is the quickest of the 3 options, but as you would expect the most expensive. The Flex boat runs roughly once an hour & takes 15-20 minutes. The Flex boat costs R$100 one way or R$160 return, however there is an option to jump on a taxi boat to the island which will cross as soon as there is at least 4 passengers & charges R$70 per person. We opted for the taxi boat but be warned you can only board the boat on the beach as they aren't allowed to use the jetty. This means that it can be a little trickier depending on the sea as Becca found out as she only managed to get one leg in before the wave came in resulting in a slightly wet crossing! (sorry, I wasn't quick enough with the camera 😉)


Reverse - boat from Ilha Grande to Conceição de Jacareí

Runs pretty much hourly on the Flex boat or grab a taxi boat again from the jetty.


Getting the bus from Rio de Janeiro


Costa Verde services this route really well & the buses are super comfy!

Rio to Mangaratiba bus

The buses leave twice daily at 5am & 7pm taking 2 hours, 30 minutes - costing R$42.22 per person. We discounted this route as the early morning bus gets you in at 7:30am which although possible is a bit tight for the 8am boat due to the bus station being 1.6km away from the jetty.


Rio to Mangaratiba bus schedule
Rio to Mangaratiba bus schedule

Rio to Conceição de Jacareí bus

The buses leave regularly from Rio to Conceição de Jacareí. The journey time is 2 hours 30 minutes again & costs R$60.42. Although it is possible to book a bus ticket online in advance we opted to buy at the bus station in Rio before we boarded as they are so regular.


Rio to Conceição de Jacareí bus schedule
Rio to Conceição de Jacareí bus schedule

Rio to Angra dos Reis

This is the route to take if you are looking to have the cheapest possible crossing with enough breathing space to catch the boat over to the island. The bus ticket is R$60.42 per person & takes 3 hours The bus runs regularly from Rio, you can leave enough time to grab lunch in Angra dos Reis (nice sea front town) & still comfortably make the boat times to the island.


Rio to Angra dos Reis bus schedule
Rio to Angra dos Reis bus schedule

Rio to Ilha Grande recommendation for best route


All in all, if money is no object & you are on a short trip wanting to make the most of your time, the trip via Conceição de Jacareí is the quickest way to the island. However, if you end up taking the Flex boat (as you are going south after the island) at R$100 plus R$60.42 for the bus it would likely work out cheaper to grab a package crossing. Hostel Mambembe in Rio were offering to pick you up from the hostel door & get you to the island for R$150 & that saves the Uber/public transport to get to the bus station in Rio. Loads of other hostels & tour companies offer a similar deal.

The best budget option has to be Rio to Angra dos Reis then the public ferry to the island, this works our currently at R$80.92 so about half the price!


Getting the bus to Ilha Grande from the south


Bus from Sao Paulo to Angra dos Reis

Primar & Reunidas service the route, to get in early enough to catch a boat the same day (3:30pm) you would need to take one of the over night buses.


Sao Paulo to Angra dos Reis bus schedule
Sao Paulo to Angra dos Reis bus schedule

Bus from Paraty to Angra dos Reis

The Colitur public bus services this route & takes about an hour and a half. You can buy the tickets from the counter in the bus station, however if like us the counter is closed for lunch when you arrive, you can buy the from the driver on board. Be warned we had a little commission added for the drivers beer kitty! The bus should be R$17.40 (showed on the machine as we passed through the turnstile) but he charged R$20 😏


Getting from the Ilha Grande


Ilha Grande to Rio de Janeiro

Budget - Ferry to Angra dos Reis as mentioned above, costing R$20.50 and leaving at 10am. The Costa Verde bus company runs regularly and can be booked at the bus terminal.


Quickest - Private transfer or Conceição de Jacareí crossing. Then you can jump on regular Costa Verde buses back to Rio from the bus station.


Mangaratiba is not an option as although the closest to Rio you would need to spend the night there as the only bus leaves before the ferry gets in!!


Ilha Grande to Paraty from Ilha Grande

You will want to jump on the ferry to Angra dos Reis as mentioned above, costing R$20.50 and leaving at 10am. Then make your way to the bus station to jump on the Colitur public bus to Paraty. As detailed above the bus takes about one hour and 30 minutes & should cost R$17.40.


Colitur public bus at Angra dos Reis bus station

Heading to São Paulo from Ilha Grande

Jump on the 10am ferry to Angra dos Reis (R$20.50) which takes 1 hour 20 minutes which will leave you enough time to get to the bus station for either the 12pm Reunidas or 12:30pm Primar, which both take 8 hours to Sao Paulo.



All this information was collated in October 2022 so prices and times may change. You can follow the links in the document to double check the current rates.

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