BRally - Europe or Africa to Angra dos Reis


Posting from Jill & Bruce, SV Daemon

Ilha Grande Cruising Notes
SV Daemon, Jill Upchurch and Bruce Bird

All prices are May-June 2013. Caveat: Be aware that Brazil is not a cheap country any more, expect to pay first world prices for things. Anything to do with boats attracts a duty of 100%, so make sure you have plenty of spares with you and don’t plan any major maintenance projects here. Also be aware launch drivers are maniacs and have no respect for other boats or rules of the road. Beware! Apart from this, the whole Ilha Grande area is a cruisers dream, incredibly beautiful with many sheltered anchorages. You could spend years here.

Guide Books Used:
Cruising the Coast of Brazil – Marcal Ceccon, 2000
Slightly disjointed to use, but very helpful on anchorages. Ignore all pricing and comments about free nights in marinas, that has all changed. According to other cruisers, fuel docks in some places north of Rio have closed as well.

Brazil Cruising Guide – Michel Balette. Imray 2010
Useful photographs, with an emphasis on marinas. Pricing and free night information is also obsolete. Be very careful using his waypoints – we have found several to be inaccurate.

There is also a very useful Nautica guide to Paraty and Angra available for free from some chandleries and restaurants. It lists anchorages, services and marinas, as well as a plethora of bars and restaurants.

Lonely Planet is also useful for some things – get a copy before you get to Brazil, as they are hard to come by here, most local guidebooks here have been translated to English from Portuguese and don’t go into things that non-Brazilians need to know.


Angra Dos Reis:

Anchor off the Angra Dos Reis Marina Clube at approx S23”00.7’, W44”18.2. Mooring buoys are available R50 per day, useful if you need water. All marina rates are more reasonable for long term berthage. Marinas in Angra are ridiculously priced – we were quoted R470 per day for a 32 foot boat at Marina Piratas, a nondescript, smelly marina with few facilities.

An alternative anchorage is at Praia Do Bomfin, which is pretty with an old church on an island, but can be crowded and rolly. S23”01.3, W44”19.85. You can walk, take the dinghy or get buses to Angra central from here.

Clearing In:
Angra is a great place to clear in, everything is close and the officials helpful and friendly. Take your tender to the fishing harbour on the town water front and on your left as you enter is a small floating jetty. You can tie your dinghy to this (out of the way of the area used for boarding) and go into town. As you head down the jetty to town, the small building on the corner of the quay is a rubbish collection point. As you round the quay heading to town, on the left are stalls selling sarongs, t shirts and other tourist stuff. Head behind these and you will see a pale blue building behind them on the road to the Port. This is the Policia Federal (Immigration), your first stop. They will need to see all crew, not just the captain. From here each office will direct you to the next one (Receita Federal then Capitania dos Portos). If you have to renew your visa, this is a good place to do it. At Rio we had to wait for over 5 hours in the office at the airport for our application to be looked at.

We were never really sure about the procedure for clearing out – some people said it was necessary between towns, others between states (possibly clearing from the port you cleared in at), and other didn’t bother, saying no-one cared as long as you didn’t make trouble. We cleared from Angra for Vittoria, but stopped in Rio without doing formalities, except for a visa extension. No-one seemed to care, even when we visited  Policia Federal and Customs to extend our visas. Your call.


In the main street of Angra opposite the wharf area. There are also machines upstairs in the Zona Sul complex at Marina Piratas.

Diesel & Petrol:
The best places are the floating pumps just off Angra town, or the pumps at the fisherman’s dock at the wharf. The diesel from marinas is a lot more expensive. BR is a good brand.

Either 110V or 220V, but both are 60 hertz, so beware if you are not an American boat.

We used the Red Economia on the Angra town waterfront or, for more specialised shopping, the Zona Sul at Marina Piratas. This has a wall inside the marina where you can tie for two hours free, or a floating pontoon where you can tie your dinghy.

There are some good fruit and vegetable places if you turn left on the main street from the jetty and head towards Bonfim for a short distance.

There are a few in the main street of Angra, in the old two story white building to the right of the jetty. Also useful is Roll Angra, up a small side street behind the park beside the aforementioned white building.

Overseas bottles can be filled, but at a 100% surcharge. The Iate Clube Angra dos Reis (ICAR - more later) can arrange for this. We bought fittings from a local harware store and decanted our own. A typical (local fitting) charge for 13kg was 43R. One of the gas shops in Frade would “lease” a bottle for the day and deliver to the jetty. Ask around.
Shockingly expensive in Brazil. We used a place behind Marina Piratas and the charge was 30R per basket. In Paraty it was only 10R.

Not easily available. Best to hold out for ICAR.

Take two valium, weep gently. Trying to get connected in Brazil is a nightmare. You can buy simcards, but to register you need a CPF or local identity number. We befriended some local yachties who used their numbers to unlock our sims. There is hope a more-tourist friendly system may be in place for the World Cup and Olympics. TIM seems to be the favourite amongst yachties, but no-one has a good word to say about any of the companies. Their internet is cheap, around 50C per day (if you buy a 27R top up, it is valid for a year, any less is valid for a month) but very slow after the initial 10MB per day.. Recharges can be done at convenience stores – just give them the phone number and they do it automatically, this is easier than trying to work out the scratch card system. TIM to TIM calls are free, unless you move outside the area where you purchased the sim, and then a charge applies, but not if you are in your area calling a TIM phone outside. Confused? Welcome to Brazil telecoms!

For anything data intensive, use an internet café, which are usually cheap (about 2R per hour) and faster. Free wifi is a rare concept in Brazil, and in larger cities you do not want to be taking your computer with you to town for security reasons.

ICAR (Iate Clube Angra Dos Reis) Anchorage:

Anchor off the moored yachts in around 5m at S22”56’.5, W44”19’.8. Be warned that the holding here is particularly bad – we dragged twice in a week, despite having plenty of chain out. We have only dragged twice before in 8 years of cruising. Watch for cold fronts as the fetch from a SW wind is long and brings a bad chop into the anchorage. However, if it all turns bad, there is a small island, Ilha da Caieira, half a mile off the yacht club, and you can anchor anywhere around it to get shelter in the lee in any wind.

ICAR itself is a treasure – very friendly and welcoming. Take your boat papers in to become a temporary member and you will receive a card which allows you to charge food and drink (at very cheap rates) to your account, payable each evening. You can use their facilities as a guest. These include showers and wifi, and you can get water (they have taps for washing and for drinking) beside the club house.

Bracui/Frade Area (Enseada Bracui)

This is a beautiful, very compact cruising area. At the head of the bay lies Marina Porto Bracuhy, where you can safely leave the boat while you travel. Rates for monthly berthage need to be negotiated, as here, as well as at other marinas, you will be quoted a ridiculous amount initially. Note that very few Brazilian marinas have fingers on the pontoons – you drop your anchor or tie to a mooring and reverse in, tying off on the jetty. As we are a double-ender, this made getting on and off impossible without using the tender. You can get diesel and water at the jetty, and there is a small convenience store there as well, with a few staples. There is a bus stop for Angra and Paraty.

Anchor off the beach by the old town (S22”57’.6, W44”25’.85) and take the dinghy in to the right of the jetty. Frade is a town of two halves – the rich live in canal developments down by the marina area, and everyone else lives in the old town. Walk away from the beach down the first street by the jetty and you will come to the town centre. There is a super market, a couple of butchers, a fruit and vegetable shop, and an internet café. You can also lease gas bottles from one of the gas supply places. Sorry, no details, as someone else did it for us.

Ilha Cunhambebe Grande:
Just off Frade, a good place to shelter from the SW fronts. It has the world’s smallest beach which has a good set up for BBQs. S22”58’.04, W44”25’.14.

Ilha Itanhanga:
Lovely peaceful spot to hide out. It has reasonable snorkelling, and onshore bar/restaurants. S22”59’.3, W44”24.64’.


We fell in love with Paraty. The historic old town is beautiful, yachting services excellent and the local liveaboards friendly. In particular, Fabio from the yacht Planckton, anchored off Engenho, speaks English and enjoys helping cruisers. His website is The town specialises in festivals, so there is often something to relieve the off-season deserted feeling. This is a good place for any projects. If you are going into town, wear sturdy shoes as the cobblestones are very uneven and hard to walk on. Also, watch the tides, as the lower streets flood during springs, making it tricky to carry stuff down them.

Anchor off the top of Marina Engenho at around S23”13’.36, W39”.45’, taking care to avoid the cable to the nearby island. Alternatively, anchor off the town jetty in about 3m water, but this can get noisy at night with bars and clubs.

Tie up at the left side of the jetty, opposite the start of the beach. The water shallows here so only dinghies can access it. As you come off the road from the jetty, turn right, then take the first left by the small convenience store. Eventually you will exit the old town. Keep going ahead until you are almost at an area of banks (with ATMs) on the left, then turn left down the street before them. Go along until you reach the bus station, turn left and you will see it on the right, a block or so along. (There are shorter routes, but this is a good first time one to show you where the main things are in town) It has an ATM inside but DO NOT USE IT! We have heard of several people having their card skimmed at it.

There is also another supermarket at the fishing village, up the channel on the left of the main jetty, but we did not go there. There is a very good fruit and vegetable shop and a butcher shop in the main road, on the right as you pass the square just outside the old town. There are fish markets on the road leading back from the supermarket towards the harbour and around the St Rita church area.

The easiest to access is on the right, just as you leave the main jetty. There are others in the marina area.

We had our engine repaired here, and we can thoroughly recommend Uriel at Urimec, ph (24) 9825-6808 for his professionalism, knowledge, work and labour costs.

There is also a very good refrigeration guy here as well, but we never got his name. Ask the local liveaboards, they know who he is.

In the street near the supermarket.

There are taps on the jetty where you can fill jerry cans, and water is also available from the small house in the bay just north of Engenho Marina, where there are usually liveaboards anchored. This water is fine for drinking, and the house has an outdoor shower and an outdoor sink where you can do laundry. There is also a BBQ area for yachties use.

Available at a couple of the marinas. We had a problem with outboard gasoline we picked up here clogging the engine, and we often saw people cursing and rowing dinghies about. As we put all ours through a racor into the outboard tank, all we can think of is that the high ethanol content of Brazilian petrol dissolved the crud in our tank, flushing into the works. We have had BR recommended to us as a good place to get petrol.

Wifi is available at the café by the wharf and there are internet cafes in the new part of town and near the bus station. We were warned by locals not to use computers in public as there have been snatch and runs.

Saco Mamangua:
Brazil’s only fjord, very beautiful, with a good anchorage right at the bottom and walks to a waterfall. However wind funnels down here very strongly – we have been there in over 20 knots when in Paraty, a couple of miles away, the wind has been about 5 knots, so pick your day well.

Near there is Ilha Da Cotia, a sheltered and pleasant anchorage, except on holidays when it turns into party central, full of rafted boats and a floating bar/restaurant. If this is not your scene, just move half a mile into Saco Grande and you’ll have it to yourself. If you tuck around into the bay on the SW side of Saco Grande, there is excellent shelter. It is deeper than the charts suggest, but proceed with caution.

Ilha Grande Anchorages:

Enseada Das Palmas:
A deep sheltered bay, anchor at the bottom at about S23”09’.48, W44”08’.36, useful as a first or last stop at he Ilha Grande area. We did not go ashore here so can’t comment on facilities. From here  there is a walk to the beach on the ocean side of the island.

Either anchor off the town with all the tourist boats or in the quieter, more sheltered area at about S23”08’.24, W44”09’.48. Abraao is a lovely little town, geared to tourists but still charming. It has lots of island walks if you need some exercise, and good restaurants. There are a couple of small supermarkets with reasonable stocks and an excellent bakery/cake shop, which also sells ice. Water is available from a continuously running pipe on the beach near the waypoint above, Ask local liveaboards for directions.

Saco Do Ceu:
A well-sheltered fully-enclosed bay with a couple of restaurants, a fishing village and many holiday homes. It was our first anchorage and Brazil, and we anchored near the restaurant on the starboard side as you entered the bay (Approx S23”06’.36, W44”12’.16). We were delighted and humbled when we were approached by the owners of Reis Magos restaurant on shore to come for a meal and, after we explained they were our first anchorage in Brazil and we had no local money, they said it was their treat. They also let us use their bush shower.  What a way to arrive in a country after a long trip!

There is also an anchorage further down in the bay (watch the rocks on the port side – they are marked) but this is noisier and not as pretty, and is reputed to have bad holding in strong SW winds.

Lagoa Azul, Ilha de Macacos:

Pretty anchorage with good snorkelling, very popular with local boats. We anchored at S23”05’.13, W44”14’.2, but a sudden shift to strong onshore winds meant we didn’t get time to explore.

Tapera, Enseada de Sitio Forte:
Winds in Sitio Forte have minds of their own due to the topography, We chose to take a mooring at Tapera as the anchorage is deep (they belong to the café at the west end of the beach, so have a beer or a meal there). Water is available from a tap on a rock in the middle of the bay – the restaurant will turn it on for you. We prefiltered and treated it and it was OK. You can anchor/moor near it and take a stern line to the rock and fill up from there.

I’m sure there are many more excellent anchorages that we didn’t get a chance to explore, but time was running out. I hope you enjoy the area as much as we did.

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