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Ilha Grande Beach

With its pristine white sands and turquoise waters, this beautiful, unspoiled beach sits in stark contrast to the dark prison ruins behind it. Visitors have the place practically to themselves, as few people make the arduous 5-km (3-mile) trek through hot jungle to get here. Those who do are rewarded with one of the island's most gorgeous beaches, and the sense of achievement that comes with really getting off the beaten track. The prison ruins are worth exploring, but be sure to head back several hours before sundown. Amenities: none. Best for: solitude.

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Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro  23900–000, Brazil

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