Discover this island in the middle of a lagoon in Rio surrounded by nature
Imagine a place for those seeking peaceful environs, as if you were in a small village at the seaside, facing a lagoon. Time lingers slowly and nothing seems really urgent. Best of all: just a few minutes on a boat and you get back to Brazil’s most famous city. Sounds unlikely? The place is real and is called Ilha da Gigoia.
Ilha da Gigoia is part of a small archipelago inside Tijuca lagoon, a stretch of land with some 3,000 dwellers. A surprising refuge some minutes from the continent. Small boats and ferries make the crossing for less than 2 bucks. The main pier can be accessed nearby Jardim Oceanico subway station, at the entrance of Barra da Tijuca region.
The island has no paved streets, cars are not allowed. All the paths are small alleys. It’s a perfect place for a calm weekend among family, friends or that special half. You’re technically inside the city but surrounded by nature and water.
Despite the limited space, you find hostels and small hotels you can spend the night. Bars and restaurants compete for the attention of visitores, especially those on the waterfront. You can taste pasta and pizza at the Capriccio or Alla Pergola Pizzeria, tasty pastries and seafood at Bar do Cicero and Laguna Restaurant. If you can’t be away from a little hype, go to Bar Caiçara, and their premium landscape. If possible, hang on until the sunset.
If you can’t stay a day without excercising, there’s a place where you can rent equipament to do some SUP, kayaking or riding a water bike.
One of the main attracions is a tour in a small motorboat that costs around US$ 7. It goes around the lagoon and the visitor can be near all the diversity of fauna and flora: birds, crabs and even alligators. Swimming in not allowed due to a certain level of pollution.
In spite the fact you can run around the whole island in about 20 minutes, you can spend a very peaceful and fun weekend in direct contact with nature. Few locals use to visit the place but the tourists have beeen discovering the spot. It’s defintely worth the visit.