PaperPlane | August 15th, 2007
Words by Kirk Owers
Rio’s great, if a little nervy (tip: don’t wear a watch, carry a wallet or look lost). But just two hours south of the spectacular beach city you can escape the hustle on Ilha Grande (The Big Island). This is where Caricoas (Rio citizens) come to unwind. No cars, no crowds, no hassles – just an Edenish mix of pristine rainforests, secluded lagoons, cascading waterfalls and 106 of the most beautiful beaches on earth. Unlike so many tropical retreats it hasn’t been tarted up to look like paradise, it simply is one. Rent a Pousada (guest house) in the small harbour settlement and fill your days swimming, diving and exploring. Nights you sip cocktails in a rickety old restaurant, laugh at life and riff off a little Portuguese: caipirinha! por favor! Tops the dream list for romantic getaways.