Angra Dos Reis Guide

Hotel Fasano Angra dos Reis' General Manager Takes Us On A Journey—By Land And By Sea—Through This Brazilian Paradise

Gabrielle Espindola

General Manager, Hotel Fasano Angra dos Reis

Although she hails from a small town in southeastern Brazil, Gabrielle Espindola was a consummate urbanite—working at the iconic Fasano Rio de Janeiro on Ipanema Beach—by the time she got the call to manage the group's new property in Angra dos Reis. "I happily accepted," she says. "After living in a big city, Angra feels very different, but I quickly fell in love with the lifestyle." Said lifestyle means boating on turquoise waters among hundreds of islands and islets, hiking on mountainous tropical forests, and swimming in waterfall-fed pools. "It feels so good to be surrounded by nature," adds Gabrielle. "It's so easy to just head to the sea and come back feeling renewed."

Gabrielle Espindola, general manager at Hotel Fasano Angra dos Reis.

Local Recommendations

Explore Angra dos Reis with Fasano's general manager, Gabrielle Espindola

Angra dos Reis is the highlight of Brazil's Costa Verde, or Green Coast, an unspoiled region with vast swathes of tropical greenery bordering miles of sandy beaches and rocky bluffs. Just beyond the coast is a picturesque archipelago where schooners, yachts, and sailboats shuttle to and from the islands’ fashionable vacation villas and secluded beach bars. Ilha Grande, the biggest and most biodiverse island in the area, is an ecotourism haven crisscrossed by hiking trails that run through pristine rain forests. More forests await on the mainland, as well as an idyllic colonial village named Paraty.

Boating Around The Angra Dos Reis Islands

Spend The Day At Sea

About a third of all leisure boats in Brazil are found in Angra dos Reis, and that's no coincidence. The area's 365 islands, islets, and cays are surrounded by aquamarine waters offering endless opportunities for diving, snorkeling, and nautical schmoozing. During the December-to-March high season, dozens of vessels converge at Praia do Dentista, a calm bay where boaters play music, mix cocktails, practice water sports, and make friends with neighboring revelers. A quieter scene awaits in Ilha Grande's Lagoa Azul, a cove whose impossibly blue waters compel everyone to just dive in. Closer to the mainland, Ilha do Bonfim makes for another interesting stop. This tiny speck of an island harbors a historic church built in 1870 by a Portuguese sailor who survived a shipwreck. No matter where you choose to drop anchor, Fasano's chartered yachts and schooners are stocked with drinks, snacks, fresh seafood, and every accoutrement needed for an enjoyable maritime jaunt.

An aerial view of Lagoa Azul, a favorite swimming spot near Ilha Grande.

A Day Trip To Paraty

A Cobblestoned Jewel

The beautifully preserved 17th century town of Paraty, which was a gold-trading port during the Portuguese rule, has been a source of inspiration for painters, musicians, and writers. Paraty's narrow cobbled streets are lined with tiled-roof colonial houses whose colorful doors open into cozy cafés, candle-lit restaurants, and art spaces like C.A.N.O.A (18 Rua Dr. Samuel Costa, Centro Histórico, Paraty; +55-24-3371-1422), a gallery and shop featuring distinctive artworks and handicrafts made by indigenous communities living in remote areas of Brazil. In recent years, this scenic hideaway has evolved into the most culturally rich destination in Costa Verde, with a burgeoning calendar that includes music festivals, photography exhibits, and a notable literary series called Flip (www.flip.org.br), packed with cachaça-fueled parties and readings by star authors such as Ian McEwan and Isabel Allende.

The beautifully preserved 17th century town of Paraty is an hour away from Hotel Fasano Angra dos Reis.

Angra Dos Reis Restaurants

Fresh Flavors From The Sea

Anyone visiting the Costa Verde should book a table at Crudo (Rodovia Governador Mario Covas, Km. 512; +55-24-3369-9500), Rogério Fasano's much-buzzed-about seafood restaurant. The inspiration for the recipes comes from Italy, but the ingredients are invariably from Angra. For a behind-the-scenes peek at the restaurant's hyper-local practices, hotel guests can spend an afternoon at a scallop farm in Ilha Grande, watching the mollusks being pulled from the sea and tasting them right out of the shell or lightly grilled. Up in the Serra da Graúna, a hill near Paraty, Le Gite d’Indaiatiba (Rodovia Rio Santos, Km. 562; Paraty; +55-24-9999-9923) is a casual eatery offering a delightful menu of French-Brazilian dishes like grilled sea bass with a creamy heart-of-palm sauce.

Freshly caught seafood is the calling card at Crudo, Fasano Angra do Reis' flagship restaurant.

Angra Dos Reis Shopping

Go For What's Local

Fasano's guests (and residents of the adjacent FRAD.E residential complex) have direct access to the Boulevard Carlos Borges (Praia do Frade, Angra dos Reis), an intimate open-air shopping center surrounded by gardens. Find gorgeous bikinis and caftans at Sinesia Karol, a beachwear label that’s regularly featured on the Brazilian edition of Vogue magazine. Espaço Aberto is a home décor store with a tasteful selection of locally-made candle holders, ceramic plates, and woven baskets. Not many people know this, but Brazil produces a handful of high-quality wines. Pick up a bottle at Fradega, a wine boutique with a curated supply of national and international vinhos.

Panetteria, one of the shops at the resort's open-air shopping boulevard, sells gelato and baked goods.

Nature Experiences In Angra Dos Reis

Forest Hikes And Waterfall Dives

Angra dos Reis is largely covered by a rain forest called Mata Atlântica, an enclave of biodiversity full of vertiginous peaks, rugged trails, gushing waterfalls, and swimming ponds. Reaching the top of Pico do Frade—a relatively challenging hike up 5,000 feet of verdant paths, led by expert guides—rewards visitors with a striking bird's-eye view of the entire archipelago and the Serra da Bocaina National Park. For a more laid-back adventure, take a walk through the resort's lush, extensive grounds to reach the Cachoeira do Palmital, a secluded waterfall that cascades down massive boulders into a small and very refreshing natural pool.

One of the region's waterfall-fed natural pools.
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