Hola! I’m Anna from Academic Troll Blog, Finnish expat blogger based in Lima.
My blog is mainly about life in Lima and travels in Peru, although I occasionally write about other topics, too. In this guest post for Alla Fiorentina I decided to share my tips for a place I particularly liked in Brazil, the island of Ilha Grande, which is located Southern part of Rio de Janeiro. The weather is pleasant and sunny practically all year round.
Ilha Grande Brazil: Forro Dancing and Finnish Ice Cream
Why You should go to Ilha Grande:
After visiting hectic and crowded Rio de Janeiro, Ilha Grande offers relaxation and nature experiences. The island is a hotspot for small scale ecotourism. No cars, no ATMs on this island. You arrive there with a ferry boat or a catamaran, and on the island you move around mainly by walking, by bicycle or by boat taxi. Two of the Brazil’s best beaches are located in Ilha Grande: Dois Rios and Lopes Mendes. Hiking through rainforest to beaches and to waterfalls, surfing, diving, yoga, kayaking and snorkling will keep you busy at the daytime. There is plenty of tropical flora and fauna to observe. In the evening, you can enjoy a refreshing caipirinha cocktail followed by a dinner with fresh seafood by the ocean, with your feet in sand. On weekends, musicians arriving from Rio organize jam sessions and beach parties.
What to eat in Ilha Grande:
Fresh seafood and fish, but also Brazilian specialities such as feijoada or picanha. As for desserts, there is a Finnish ice cream place! Being from Finland myself, I had to check it out, and the flavours were quite far from what you typically find in the Northern hemisphere: tangerine, lucuma, coconut… Apparently there is a Finnish community in the Brazilian town called Penedo, and that’s where this business is from. There are also some tempting cake trolleys around at the evening time, selling very sweet cakes and pastries made of local ingredients: coconut, cocoa and cane sugar. As a healthy option or a snack, you can also have an açai berry sorbet with granola and banana.
On our way back to Angra dos Reis, the motor of the ferry boat suddenly stopped working for unknown reason, and we stayed floating in the ocean for a couple of hours, waiting for a towing boat to rescue us!