Angra dos Reis is the Bay of Kings, a picturesque coastal city that invites you to enjoy beachcombing, sunbathing and watersport activities at their best. A busy commercial center sits in the foothills of the Mantiqueira Mountains and looks out over a bay scattered with hundreds of islands. European explorers first established a colonial town in Angra dos Reis in 1502. Since then it has grown from a fishing village and shipbuilding port to a popular destination on Brazil’s glorious southeast coast.
Architectural gems and pretty squares line the cluster of bustling city center streets. Visit Angra dos Reis City Hall, the Church of Our Lady da Lapa e Boa Morte, which has an interesting sacred art museum, and the Martriz Church. Browse exhibitions and attend performing arts shows at the Culture House of Brazil Poets. Watch fishermen bring in their day’s catch at Angra dos Reis Port and then experience the buying and selling at the Fish Market.
Cais Turístico de Santa Luzia is the city’s main tourist pier, from where boats depart constantly for an archipelago of the over 300 islands. About a 90-minute journey away is Ilha Grande, a one-time pirate’s hideout, former leper colony and now tropical retreat. Hike trails to hilltop lookouts, waterfalls and beaches, such as Lopes Mendes Beach, and go snorkeling at the Blue Lagoon. Other islands include the scuba-diving haven Ilha da Gipoia, Ilha Itanhangá and Ilha de Paquetá (not to be confused with the Ilha de Paquetá in Rio Bay).
There are miles of delightful beaches to discover in Angra dos Reis without having to board a boat. Hop between them while traveling along the winding beach road. East of the center is Anil Beach and Camorim Beach. To the west is Bonfim Beach and Vila Velha Beach while to the north is Enseada Beach.
Large international airports close to Angra dos Reis are in Río de Janeiro or São Paulo. Public buses and private shuttles operate from both cities. Consider visiting in the winter season to enjoy cooler temperatures, minimal rainfall and fewer travelers.