A couple of hours’ drive from Rio de Janeiro along the Atlantic shoreline, the hills and cliffs become cloaked in velvety green tropical forest. Opposite this verdant landscape is the island called Ilha Grande, formerly housing a notorious prison and even now only lightly touched by tourism. It is a gorgeous, car-free place, where the tiny natural beaches and forest trails attract lovers of tranquillity.
Day 1:Transfer (5hrs) by road and boat to Ilha Grande and your hotel, Pousada Naturalia, in its secluded setting within rainforest. The laid-back village of Abraão, with its modest tourist facilities is a short walk from the pousada, partly along the beach.
Days 2,3:Explore the island or swim and relax on the beaches. Crystal clear, aquamarine and jade waters lap at palm-fringed sands on the north side, while sweeping, white-sand beaches and rougher seas characterise the south.
Day 4: Transfer by road back to Rio de Janeiro to continue your holiday or to connect with your international flight.
4 days from £652pp