The ferry from Angra dos Reis was a breath of fresh air, the last 1.5 hour leg of my trip I was longing to complete after one day between connections and flying time.
And jungle I found, plenty of it. Abraćo is a jungle-like village, with a few dirt roads cutting through it and houses that can hardly be seen in the sea of green that Ilha Grande is.
In fact, the whole island is covered by thick, luxurious mata Atlantica (Atlantic rainforest), making it one of the best and well preserved ecosystems in this part of Brazil, a stone's throw from Rio de Janeiro.
Well, it's just around three hours away but you get the picture. Just drive or take a bus to Angra dos Reis, in the heart of the Green Coast.
Vila do Abraao is provably the friendliest, stress-free and safest town I've ever been to in the whole country.
Day or night it's a placer to walk through, where you can hear local Portuguese as well as every imaginable language spoken by tourists and a bunch of foreign residents who had found a good excuse to remain there forever.
With over 2,000 residents throughout the year, it can get a bit claustrophobic during peak times of January and February though, a good reason to avoid if you could. December proved to be just fine to me.
So what do you do in Abraćo?
First of all, leave all stress at home because it's not required there in the least. Secondly, bring a pair of flippers or scuba diving gear because you are gonna need it big time, or rent it on the spot if you prefer.
And a pair of hiking shoes of course, as Ilha Grande can be walked through or just about. If you love nature, quietness, wildlife and pristine beaches seek no other destination.
Give yourself a few days to poke around. One week wasn't enough to me.
There are 16 trilhas (trails) to choose from, opened some centuries ago by native Tamboios and Tupinambįs indians still in use, the best way to discover Ilha Grande.
Jump to the list of them to start planning your trip.
As for beaches, Ilha Grande has plenty of them - over one hundred - being Lopes Mendes the absolute number one, Abraćo's most famous attraction by far.
Not the best one for swimming though, being exposed to the open waters of the south part of the island, its high swells are most suitable to surfers, but the scenery is simply stunning.
Another must-visit is Dois Rios, Aventureiro and Praia dos Meros. Truly recommend you to do the full circle around Ilha Grande on a fast boat, I was only able to do half of it due to choppy waters at the time.
Passeios de escuna (schooner rides) are very nice as well. You'd go snorkeling to Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde (flippers and masks provided on board) with lunch stopover in Praia do Japariz most likely.
Make sure that Saco de Céu and Freguesķa de Santana are also included in the tour. Try to reach the little Aripeba.
Enough chatter for now, let's see some images from Vila do Abraao to help you get the feeling of the place...
But it doesn't finish here, there are more snapshots from Vila do Abraao coming up pretty soon, as well as several little galleries to show you some of the beaches Ilha Grande is famous for.
In fact, here's is a short list to get you started...