When we think about Brazil, we imagine the vast Amazon Rainforest, Brasilia - its capital created from scratch, or even the incredible Iguaçu waterfalls. However, what usually springs to mind first is Rio de Janeiro with its mythical Ipanema beach, the Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain where the statue of Christ looks out over and embraces the city with its open arms. What we don't think about so much is its coasts and magnificent sailing routes. Welcome to the Costa Verde and its 200 km of dense vegetation, natural reserves, lagoons, desert islets and villages with colonial architecture scattered throughout the tropical forest.

Departing from Angra dos Reis

To the west of Rio de Janeiro, the Angra dos Reis municipality is an ideal departure point to discover the Costa Verde during your sailing boat or catamaran rental. With its backdrop of mountain chains which can reach an altitude of up to 1000 m and covered in dense jungle, the municipality of Angra dos Reis boasts dozens of islets. There are many mooring points which are perfect for swimming, diving and discovery, some larger than others and some more or less rocky. The extremely rugged coast creates a labyrinth blending water, earth and forest, full of shades of blues and greens - it is a real feast for the eyes. Although it is not the most developed sailing destination, this wild region has fewer tourists - an advantage for the few who want to make the most of these landscapes.

Sail around the Ilha Grande

The Brazilian paradise of Ilha Grande is located just opposite Angra dos Reis. Thanks to its unusual history, this island is protected from building projects and is covered in a lush jungle which goes all the way down to stretches of sand which border the coast. There are no cars on the island - but there are carts! Colourful beach bars serve tropical fruit cocktails full of promise! On the south coast of the Ilha Grande, you can drop anchor alongside Lopes Mendes with its fine white sandy beaches and deep blue waters - a picture-postcard paradise. If your heart says yes, don't hesitate to venture into the heart of the forest and discover many species of plants and animals. The former prison is still there too and is open to visitors who want to dive into Brazil's former penitentiary system.

Dock at Paraty

Get back on the water and sail along the Portuguese gold trade route until you reach the port of Paraty. Founded in the 16th Century, this town is a nugget of colonial architecture with charming streets paved with large stones, white houses with doors and windows in every colour imaginable and churches which display the remnant's of the town's former wealth.

Make the most of this stopover to find out more about local crafts, taste spicy food or visit the Emporio de Cachaça museum, displaying Brazil's national alcohol. Portuguese settlers, native Indians and African slaves - all these influences are combined here to create a joie de vivre that is rich in colour and typical of this great country.

Sail into the Saco do Mamangua Fjord

The south coast of the state of Rio is particularly rugged and rocky. In this labyrinth of islands and islets, a 8 km-long stretch of water reaches towards the mountains, creating the Saco de Mamangua "fjord". This area is also home to lush, wild vegetation and the Caiçara Indians.

Very few tourists have the opportunity to come here, mostly because this area can only be accessed by sea. There are no marked routes here. Make the most of this opportunity to go deeper into the jungle by boat and experience exceptional meetings, full of sharing and friendly people, accompanied of course by fresh, grilled fish.

Drop anchor at Prai do Sono

On the other side of Saca de Mamangua, the fishing village of Paria do Sono is the perfect picture of a village. Its long white sands are just an invitation to go swimming. Once you have dropped anchor in the bay, several huts are ready to welcome you for a gourmet break. This is still part of the route. All the tourists that you see relaxing on the beach will either have arrived by sea like you or via hiking trails which wind through the tropical jungle between the Caiçara villages.

Worth knowing/Advice

  • Official language: Portuguese Spanish is more widely understood than English.
  • Time difference for Angra Dos Reis: -4 hours in summer, -3 hours in winter (4 time zones).
  • Currency: the Real. When you go sailing in slightly less developed areas, make sure that you have enough cash with you as it may be difficult to find a bank or establishments which take cards (be aware of the limit of 500 Reals per week: 1 real is worth around €0.25).
  • When getting a drink, remember to leave a tip of 10 to 15%.
  • Try not to have valuable objects or showy jewellery on you, especially when you are walking around large cities such as Rio de Janeiro.
  • The Angra Dos Reis marina is well-stocked with equipment. You can easily stock up here.
  • Attention: marina tariffs are very expensive.
  • You cannot drink the water Always ask for ice cubes made with filtered water. Secluded anchorages.
  • Fishing is authorised and does not require a permit.
  • Ilha Grande and Paraty are fantastic snorkelling spots. Diving clubs on Ilha Grande to Dois Rios City
  • Lopes Mendes Beach is a magnificent beach on the Ilha Grande and a good surfing spot. Mooring is not permitted on this beach but it can be accessed by walking for 30 minutes along a designated trail.
  • Saco de Céu on the Ilha Grande: pretty little bay with restaurants.
  • The Lagoa Verde is not to be missed. Floating restaurants featuring local dishes and freshly caught fish.

The ports in this sailing area

Angra dos Reis, Paraty ...


  • To go to Brazil, you must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your date of return. A tourist visa is not required for stays of less than three months for French, Belgian and Swiss citizens.
  • Certain vaccines are advised or highly recommended for yellow fever, universal vaccines (hepatitis B and DTP), typhoid fever and hepatitis A
  • To sail here, you will need up-to-date sailing experience and a sailing license.

When to travel?

Although sailing in Brazil is possible all year round, it is most pleasant in the summer months when the warm, humid air is accompanied by regular trade winds.

Be aware of the Pampeiros winds as these can be violent and reach up to 60 knots.


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