Voted as the most beautiful beach of Ilha Grande and as one of the top beaches of the world, the hike to Lopes Mendes Beach should be high on your priority list while you are staying at Ilha Grande. When you reach the 3 km long white sand beach, with crystal blue water, you’ll be glad for the refreshing coolness of the ocean. A popular beach for surfers, the Lopes Mendes beach offers great waves and plenty of space to enjoy a relaxing beach afternoon.
|Duration: 2-2,5 hours, one way. (Time to stop and eat, swim and relax is not included in the tour duration)
Difficulty: Easy – moderate
Length: about 6 km (one way)
When to hike: All year
What to bring: Hiking boots/Trainers, comfortable clothing, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, swimming clothes, towel or canga, snacks and plenty of water.
How to get to Lopes Mendes Beach
Starting point of the hike
When you are facing the pier where the ferries arrive at Vila do Abraão, turn right and follow the beach all the way until the end, that’s where the hike starts from. You’ll see a sign here saying “Lopes Mendes“.
For more information, see map below:
From here, just follow the track into the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest and after 5 minutes of hiking you’ll reach a small beach called Praia Julia. Here you’ll see another sign saying “Lopes Mendes” so keep on the track (instead of going to the beach, you still have a long way ahead of you). From the sign, the track starts going up a bit and after 15-20 minutes of walking there’s a beautiful view coming up on your left side, where you can see the Village of Abraão. From here, the hike continues going up for another 10-15 minutes before it’s starts going down for another 30 minutes.
The track takes you up and down over hills in the middle of the rainforest. If you are lucky you might spot or hear some of the world’s endangered species, like the brown howler monkey or the red browed parrot.
After following the jungle track for 45-60 minutes you’ll finally get to the beautiful Palmas Beach, where it’s nice to stop for some delicious local seafood and beverages at one of the bars or restaurants. A good suggestion for a restaurant is Morango das Palmas, a cute little place with good quality food. It’s easy to recognize because literally everything is painted with strawberries (“morangos” in Portuguese).
After the break, continue walking to the end of Palmas Beach and turn right into the jungle again. You’ll have to climb up a small rock to get to the jungle track. First the trail goes up a bit and then down – after 30 minutes you’ll reach Mangues Beach. Mangues Beach is where the boats drop off those who don’t want to hike to Praia Lopes Mendes. From here you can also catch the boat back to Vila do Abraão if you don’t feel like hiking back.
At the end of Mangues Beach there’s another sign for Lopes Mendes, just follow the path into the jungle for another 5-10 minutes until you get to the next beach called Pouso. Here you will see some people selling boat tickets for the boat that takes you back to the village – you choose if you want to buy the ticket immediately or when coming back from Lopes Mendes just make sure when the last boat leaves. Behind the boat ticket selling point you go back into the jungle and continue your hike to Lopes Mendes. From Pouso it’s only another 20 minutes walking until you’ll finally reach Lopes Mendes Beach.
After crossing a small bridge you’ll see another sign “Lopes Mendes”. Turn right and follow the track and as you get closer, you’ll already be able to start hearing the waves.
After about 2-3 hours of hiking you’ll truly have deserved to spend some time at this paradisiac beach. Check it out for yourself, not for nothing the Lopes Mendes Beach has been selected as one of the most beautiful beaches of the world. And the best thing is that as it’s fairly tricky to get to, most of the times there won’t be many other people around.
So try to spend some time here, go swimming in the crystal clear water, have a picnic, read a book and simply enjoy your day while you are on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches as voted on Trip Advisor in 2014. You won’t be disappointed, the Lopes Mendes Beach is a worthy reward for the hike!
On your way back to Vila do Abraão it’s possible to catch the boat – and most people do. You simply need to walk back the 20 minutes to Praia Pouso where you can buy the tickets. From Praia Pouso you need to walk 5-10 minutes back to the pier at Praia Mangue. From here the boat takes you directly to Vila do Abraão.