I'm Sophia! Follow me through all my adventures around the world. 

Hope you have an inspired stay!

Ilha Grande Beaches pt 1: Praia Lopes Mendes, Praia Santo Antonio, and Trolling through the Aqueducts!

The next morning we booked a taxi boat at our pousada to take us to Lopes Mendes Beach and San Antonio Beach. !) It  cost about 70 Reals, which is approximately 35USD. Quite an affordable excursion for a whole day trip! We had breakfast at our posauda and made a quick pit stop at the grocery store to pick up some things for lunch (sandwiches, Baconzitos, and of course gummy bears!) We were picked up right at the main dock by a tiny wooden boat complete with an adorable boat dog! No matter how much I stared out to the sea, I could not get over how beautiful the deep blues and greens the water was. It was seriously perfect weather with sunny blue skies, my favorite! When we docked onto the island again, we followed some very badly kept signs to Lopes Mendes Beach. What I wish someone told us earlier, was how steep the hike was! The hike was about 30 minutes up very steep and large steps and then about 20 minutes down. It was a good hike, but Hanhwa and I definitely were not prepared for a hike like this seeing we were in swimsuits and flip flops. But once we got to the beach, boy was that hike worth it…!! Lopes Mendes was rated as the number 7 most beautiful beach in the world, and it definitely lived up to its title.  There are two mountains on each side of the beach, with luscious jungles to shade you from the blazing sun, and soft white sand.  Also, right along the right side of the beach (if coming from the main entrance), there is a tiny corner of the beach where there are giant rocks you can climb on. This place was my favorite spot of the beach. It was fun climbing through the maze of rocks, but the reason why it was so great was because it allowed you to get to the deeper waters without drowning. Where the water is deeper, there are so many colors of blues contrasting the orange brown rocks. It was almost unreal how much this little spot looked like a beautiful painting. After exploring, we laid out on the white sandy beach. On this beach, you can see little color crabs pop up from under the sand! I was so amused watching this little guy while I was eating my lunch. For people who do not pack their lunch, there is hope for you all! There are men on the beach with sandwiches and drinks (even beer!), but you will have to pay up the ass for these things. If you want to drink more with less money, BYOB!

After beach bumming on Lopes Mendes Beach, we decided to try the hike to San Antonio Beach.... Damn was that a hike! There was only a sign at the entrance of the hike trail, a maybe 6" wide unkempt trail within ravenous vegetation and long leaves scratching our legs... It made us completely paranoid thinking that they were animals or who knows what... not to mention SNAKES crawling along the path! So got so paranoid, that we literally RAN the whole hike screaming on the top of our lungs... I'm sure we looked like two crazy Chinese people in the forest, especially in just flip flops and bikinis. But since there was no one around.... who cares? hahah The way to this beach was definitely more rugged and the path less taken, but it was so worth it. People who only go to Lopes Mendes is missing out on this hidden gem of a beach. Literally completely desolate, only one couple, no trash along the beach, just pure blue skies and hundreds of colors of blue along the horizon. Santo Antonio Beach is almost a small beach cove surrounded by mountains on each side. The way the mist from the waves illuminating from the sun along the mountains and the waves hitting on the deep orange rocks made this moment feel like a dream. I really thought "Is this real life?!!!?!?!?!" Honestly out of all the beaches I have been do in the world, this was by far the best beach I have ever stepped foot and laid eyes on. It took the whole time we were at this beach for my eyes to soak up and understand what was going on, that's how amazing this place was.

We took the last 4:30PM taxi boat ride back reflecting on the day while staring deeply into the ocean. Seeing these beaches really reminds me of all the great things God has created.. who knew running and screaming from snakes through a jungle in my bikini would lead to this secret beauty on this random Brazilian island?  It almost makes me feel so small, knowing how that there are such grand places on the smallest dot on the world map... and if this beach is just a small dot, what am I? I am just a tiny speck, but even then, God knows and loves all of us... That, right there, is profoundly peaceful.

Once we got docked onto Via Abraao, we decided to go back to the National Park and explore the other things we missed like the Aqueducts, waterfalls, and cliffsides... Another 2 mile walk! If you ever visit this island, please bring proper hiking shoes! Once we finally got to the aqueducts, we took trolling photos and decided to head back. We had dinner a small cafe along what they consider a town square, where we both enjoyed File de Frango with french fries and rice. After dinner, there was no hope for us to go back out later that night. We were exhausted!

One tip I have: DO NOT expect ice cream flavors to taste the way you think they will… If you're hot, sweaty and want a delicious taste of Strawberry ice cream.... the Strawberry ice cream, does not taste like strawberry. Pistachio does not taste like Pistachio… just a warning!

Speed Boating around Ilha Grande, Brazil

"Thriller" Ride Along the Brazilian Coast to Ilha Grande