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Big Island

Its history began to be told in 1502 after its discovery.



The navigator Gonçalo Coelho discovered Ilha Grande, it was January 6th – Epiphany. At first they thought that the island was a continent and to its east, the mouth of a great river.
The name came from Tamoios Indians who called it "Ipaum Guaçu", an expression that means Big Island.

Favorite place for Spanish, Portuguese, English, French and Dutch navigators, Ilha Grande has been the stage of Brazil's history since the time of its discovery.

In 1559, Don Vicente da Fonseca was appointed by the Kingdom of Portugal to take it over and manage it for the Portuguese.


Praias Ilha Grande

D. Pedro II visited Ilha Grande. In the 19th century,   was enchanted by the beauty and tranquility and decided to acquire Fazenda do Ho Holanda (today, Vila do Abraão) and Dois Rios.
A Lazareto was built at Fazenda do Honês , which served as a triage and quarantine center for sick passengers arriving in Brazil (more specifically in cases of cholera)  servicing many vessels during their 28 years of service operation.

The water to supply the Lazareto was diverted from the Córrego do Abraão, and for that purpose a dam and the Aqueduct were built, used by the Emperor for resting. one of the most historically important monuments on Ilha Grande. There is still today, near the dam, the stone bank, called "Banco de D. Pedro",


Trilhas Ilha Grande

Perfect for you, check it out:

Ilha Grande trails

Cachoeiras da Ilha Grande

The Cândido Mendes Penal Institute in Dois Rios, with capacity for a thousand highly dangerous prisoners, was built andn 1940.


The coexistence of political prisoners of the military regime with ordinary prisoners, within the walls of the prison, is attributed to the origin of the so-called "organized crime", punctuating with remarkable events, such as helicopter escapes and others, with wide coverage by the national media. and international.

The fishing activity came to replace the decadent agriculture, at the beginning of the 30's of the 20th century, with fish salting. In the 1950s, fishing reached its peak, when the number of "sardine factories" installed on Ilha Grande reached twenty

In 1994, the Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro, through Governor Leonel Brizola, carried out the demolition of most of the prison's facilities.


With the decline of agriculture, regeneration of capoeiras begins in abandoned areas and higher stages of plant succession.

With the deactivation of the Ilha Grande Prison, the development of tourism began, which remains until then.


Ilha Grande Waterfalls
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