The second largest island in Angra’s bay, Ilha Gipóia is also the most visited. Not only is it only a quick 30-minute boat ride away from Angra’s pier, but its waters are ideal for snorkeling and diving and its beaches are spectacular.
The most popular, Praia do Dentista, is famous for its floating bars, where (stranded on the waves) you can feast on fresh grilled fish, lobster, and even sushi, all of which are delivered by boat. There is even a sorveteria that sells ice cream out of a canoe.
Those in search of more privacy can take a boat to the deserted beaches of Juruba or Praia do Norte.
If you want to stay on the island, check into the Pousada Canto do Hibisco (Praia do Vitorino, tel. 21/2239-5841, www.cantodohibisco.com.br, R$330–520 d for full board), which offers six attractive and secluded beach bungalows surrounded by tropical forest.
Getting to Ilha Gipóia
Viação Costa Verde (tel. 21/2233-3809, www.costaverdetransportes.com.br) offers hourly bus service between Rio and the Angra rodoviária (tel. 24/3365-2041). The 160-km (100-mile) journey takes 2.5–3 hours. By car, from Rio, take the BR-101 Rio–Santos highway, but beware of traffic on weekends and holidays.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition