Hidden islands in Rio de Janeiro? We all know of the famous sights in Rio, we have heard of the famous Copacabana or Ipanema beach, seen pictures of Christ the Redeemer and probably googled the view of the Sugarloaf mountain. And though all of them are beautiful as fuck, there are also some magical places, most people have never heard of.

Did you know that there are small hidden islands inside Rio de Janeiro, that lie in a river and can only be accessed by boat taxis? Islands to be found are Ipê, Gigoia, Pesquisa, and they lie in Lagoa da Tijuca. They are quiet, surrounded by palm trees and have some comfortable hostels, where you can hang out with friends and sip on some beers while the sun sets.RIO DE JANEIRO BOAT RIDE

They are safe, you can fly your drone around, hang out outside with your laptop and phone on the table and still, you can reach the city within 10 minutes.

In my case I was heading there to work on my blog and escape busy São Paulo for a weekend. As I barely survived last years’s carnival in Rio de Janeiro,  I did not really want to party this time.




Boats run 24 hours and prices vary between 2-5 Real per ride.





I took a night bus from São Paulo to Rio. They are really comfortable and cost between 25-35 US$ one way. The trip takes around 6 hours and includes a stop in the morning where you can buy breakfast.

I used the Busbud App, which makes it idiot proof to buy your tickets. You can choose between different seats:

conventional– a regular seat, barely adjustable and terrible to sleep in, but the cheapest option here. (around 25 US$)

semi-leito– this means that you can pull your seat back and have some kind of support for your legs to sleep more comfortably. (around 35 US$)

leito– those are the badass sleeping seats! They are amazing! You’ll get a blanket, can lie flat down and will sleep like a baby. But, as you might have guessed, those are the most expensive ones. (around 65 US$)

I mostly choose semi leito and with an inflatable neck pillow I always fall asleep pretty fast.

Make sure to book the seats in the front as they have huge windows and you can see the beautiful landscape with all of the green tele tubby mountains in between.

Do NOT- I repeat Do NOT choose the seats in the back as the bathrooms are located there and (trust me – I know hat I am talking about), this can make your life a breathing hell.

T A X I / U B E R

Once I arrived in the Rodoviario (Bus station) in Rio, I had a quick breakfast and got an Uber down south. The ride with the Uber took around 40 minutes and cost 40 Reals (which is about 10€ at the moment).


Boat rides to the island are around 2-3 Reals. Boats leave 24 hours, but cost 5 Real after midnight. Still really cheap though!

If you want to go to town the boats even ship you to the metro station, from which you’ll be in town in around 10 minutes.


The hostel I was staying at cost 100 Reals for 2 nights in a dormitory. This one is actually really comfortable as it has built-in lights and electricity plugs in the bunk beds and you can close a door to have some privacy! I’ve never seen that before, but thought it was a great idea!


Make sure to visit the secret islands in Rio de Janeiro when you’re around, They are definitely worth spending your time there.

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