Ilha Grande

Mountainous jungle and historic ruins
On the summit of Bico do Papagaio
Beautiful excursions along natural trails

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Ilha Grande/Angra dos Reis

The perfect starting place to discover the jungle

As you approach the low-lying, whitewashed colonial port of Vila do Abraão in Ilha Grande with your MSC cruise ship, the mountains rise dramatically from the sea, and in the distance there’s the curiously shaped summit of Bico do Papagaio (“Parrot’s Beak”), which rises to a height of 980m and can be reached in about three hours.
There’s really very little to see in Abraão itself, but it’s a pleasant enough base from which to explore the rest of the island. Ilha Grande comprises 193 square kilometres of mountainous jungle, historic ruins and beautiful beaches, excellent for some scenic tropical rambling. The island is a state park and the authorities have been successful at limiting development and maintaining a ban on motor vehicles.

Ilha Grande offers lots of beautiful excursions along well-maintained and fairly well-signposted trails, but it’s sensible to take some basic precautions. Carry plenty of water with you, and remember to apply sunscreen and insect repellent at regular intervals. According to legend, the pirate Jorge Grego was heading for the Straits of Magellan when his ship was sunk by a British fleet.

He managed to escape with his two daughters to Ilha Grande, where he became a successful farmer and merchant. However, in a fit of rage, he murdered the lover of one of his daughters, and shortly afterwards, a terrible storm destroyed all his farms and houses. From then on, Jorge Grego passed his time roaming the island, distraught, pausing only long enough to bury his treasure before his final demise.

If there is any treasure today, though, it’s the island’s wildlife: parrots, exotic hummingbirds, butterflies and monkeys abound in the thick vegetation.

Must see places in Ilha Grande

Discover our excursions

4 results found

  • SNORKEL EQUIPMENT RENTAL FOR ALL SCHOONER TOURS

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    BRAGR11

    Snorkel equipment for rental (Mask & Snorkel - it does not include fins). The equipment rental is only available for guests on any of the Schooner tours. The equipment will be delivered at the pier before boarding the Schooner. Remarks: Extreme limited equipment's available. We advise guests to book early to avoid disappointment. A USD40 (Forty US dollars) fee will be charged on guest's on-board account (cruise card) in case of loss/damage of the equipment during the excursion. It will not be possible to rent the equipment once onboard the schooner. We kindly request guests to sign a waiver form at the Shore Excursion desk prior to the departure of the excursions. This excursion is not available for call: MSC Preziosa January 01st 2014
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      6 h

    • AdultsR189Price per person

    • ChildrenR189Price per person

  • WALKING THROUGH HISTORY Duration: 2 ½ hours

    CITY TOUR

    AGR09

    We will meet our guide at the pier to start this amazing trekking for approximately 2.5 hours that will take us through the path denominated T1, where the history of Brazil will be laid showing the times of the Indians, the corsairs, the former Brazilian emperor Dom Pedro II, the coffee and sugar cane farms. Passing by the Lazaretto ruins, the political prison, the aqueduct and its falls where a swimming is optional, the black beach (also a swimming is optional) and the Praia Preta view point. During the return to the Abraão village, the tour guide will give you all the information and show the internet place, pharmacy, post office, hospital, restaurants and bars. It is for sure an excursion for the nature and history lovers. Please note: This excursion is not suitable for guests with physical challenges or walking disabilities as it includes long walking over uneven ground. Use of hat and closed toe shoes are advisable along with a backpack, beach towel and sun lotion. A bottle of water will be given to each guest. This tour will not be canceled due to the weather conditions (rain). Excursion is only available in Portuguese. For all calls of Grand Voyages (to/from Europe) please check with the tour desk the availability of tours in German, French, Italian and English. Tour guide reserves the right to refuse any guest using high heels or flip flop sandals.
    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      2 h

    • AdultsR462Price per person

    • ChildrenR399Price per person

  • GRAND TOUR ILHA GRANDE (VISIT IT ALL) - 6 hours

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    AGR15

    The best tour of Ilha Grande. Would you like to visit the most famous destinations of Ilha Grande in one single excursion? This is your excursion! In speed boats for 6 or 14 guests, you will enjoy the best the island has to offer and do all excusions in one single tour. You will visit Lagoa Azul, Lagoa Verde, Saco do Ceu, Praia do Amor, Praia da Feiticeira with snorkeling stops in the best spots besides a stop in a real marine farm. At the Maguariquessaba beach you will have free time to swim and to enjoy the lunch box from the ship. The boat offers a cooler with mineral water and all the snorkeling equipment. An unforgettable day for you, your family and friends. Please note: Only 4 speed boats available so extremely limited seats, please book in advance to avoid disappointment. A lunch box is included in this excursion. Bathrooms are available in the Maguariquessaba beach but require consuming at the bars and restaurants. We advise guests to carry Brazilian cash if wishing to purchase drinks. This excursion will not be cancelled due to weather conditions (rain). The boat has a captain that will also be the tour guide and the captain speaks portugues only. The size of the boat may vary depending on the number of participants in the excursion. This excursion already includes mask & snorkel. Guests with walking difficulties wishing to visit Lagoa Verde, Lagoa Azul and Lopes Mendes, this tour is easier to board the boat, although the guest will have to board the boat on their own and there will be a gap between the boat and the pier. Wheelchair will not fit in the boat. The excursion time is approximate and is subject to change. All calls that lasts less than 6 hours, this excursion will be performed in 5 hours.
    • Drink included

    • Snack included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      6 h

    • AdultsR1512Price per person

    • ChildrenR1099Price per person

  • PRIVATE SPEED BOAT – 12 passengers Duration: 6 hours

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    AGR13

    Disembark in the port and have a private speed boat with a professional sailor waiting for you and your family. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a boat at your disposal. For a 6 hours itinerary we would like to suggest: Lagoa Azul, Saco do Céu, Praia da Feiticeira plus 1 beach stop on the way back to the Abraão village or Lagoa Verde, Praia da Enseada, do Sítio Forte and Praia de Maguariquissaba or Praia de Lopes Mendes, Praia dos Dois Rios, Praia de Caxadaço and Praia de Jorge Greco. Please note: boat, sailor and gasoline included. Up to 6 hours of navigation, it does not include tickets to any touristy attraction or lunch. The boat captain will be your tour guide and only speaks Portuguese. The service is available for six hours. Speed boats of 28 feet long (capacity for maximum of 12 people). A lunch box will be given on the boat as there are no restaurants available in any of the destinations. Guests may buy beer and soft drinks at the pier prior boarding the boat. The boat will have a cooler with ice. Extreme limited availability of boats, book early to avoid disappointment. The advertised price for this service is per speed boat. This excursion will not be cancelled due to weather conditions (rain). All calls that lasts less than 6 hours, this excursion will be performed in 5 hours.
    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      6 h

    • AdultsR23249Price per person

    • ChildrenR23249Price per person

The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
 
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

South Brazil

Past Christ the Redeemer
Past Christ the Redeemer

In Brazil’s south-east, the three largest cities – São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte – form a triangle around which the economy pivots.

All are worth visiting, but the must-sees during your cruise to Brazil are Rio, which really is as beautiful as it seems in the pictures, and the ravishing colonial relic of Paraty which lies between here and booming São Paulo. North of here, the city of Belo Horizonte sits at the heart of Minas Gerais, where the old Portuguese towns of Ouro Preto, Tiradentes and Diamantina drip with colonial history.

The south, encompassing the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, boasts the spectacular Iguaçu Falls on the border with Argentina – one of the great natural wonders of South America. From Curitiba the scenic Serra Verde Express snakes down to the coast, where you can chill out on Ilha do Mel or beach-hop around Florianópolis.

Despite its proximity to the city, São Paulo’s 400km coast has sometimes been overlooked in favour of more glamorous Rio. North-east, towards the border with Rio state, the area is developing rapidly, but still offers great contrasts, ranging from long, wide stretches of sand at the edge of a coastal plain to idyllic-looking coves beneath a mountainous backdrop.