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Tour 2:

Visconde de Mauá – Ilha Grande

Rainforest Tours / Brazil – Visconde de Mauá - Ilha Grande is an advanced - level hiking / trekking tour through three conservation units of the Mata Atlântica Biosphere Reserve, in the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (see tour itinerary and map).

The tour descends from mountain to sea level, crossing the Mantiqueira and Bocaina mountain ranges, passing the Paraíba Valley and ends on the island of Ilha Grande. It traverses different altitudinal zones and ecosystems of the Atlantic Rainforest, such as altitude fields, high montane, montane and submontane tropical and seasonal rainforest, mangroves and restinga.

With peaks up to 3.000 m, the Passa Quatro / Itatiaia - massifs represent the highest elevations in the Mantiqueira mountain range and on the Atlantic side of South America. They were formed about 80 million years ago, towards the end of the Mesozoic, through alkaline magmatism, probably associated with the Trindade Mantle Plume. They probably represent the roots of very old, extinct and eroded volcanoes. Itatiaia is considered the second largest alkaline intrusive complex in Brazil and one of the largest in the world.

Serra da Bocaina is the local name given to a portion of Serra do Mar, along the state border of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. With peaks above 2.000 m, it connects the Paraíba valley with the coastal lowlands. The Bocaina National Park contains several historical trails which prior to colonization, were opened by the Tamoio Indians. During colonial Brazil, they were used for transporting gold and diamonds and later coffee, from the Paraíba valley to the coast. Some beautiful colonial coffee fazendas still can be found in this region.

Ilha Grande is the largest of the more than 300 islands, situated in the bay of the same name, approximately 5 km distant from the coast. Its mountainous relief with altitudes up to 1.000 m is composed of calc - alcaline granites which were formed about 500 - 600 million years ago, during the late Neoproterozoic fusion of West Gondwana. The island, which in its past served as a shelter for pirates and corsairs, as a port for slave traders, as a quarantine station for european immigrants and as a prison for criminals and political offenders has become nowadays a fascinating eco destination in Southeast Brazil.

For dates, prices and booking of this tour, please click here.