Hi, my name is Eva, welcome to my travel blog.
I travel since I was a kid but seriously started to discover other continents and more countries in 2006, first in Europe, then in Central America and Africa.
Currently I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Check my Instagram profile for more recent pictures and visual stories of my travels.

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Paqueta Island - The Bike's Heaven

2 June 2019

First I ever heard about the Paqueta Island was when I missed a language picnic Organised there. I took a look at the map and found out a little island in the Guanabara Bay just between Rio de Janeiro and Niteroi. Ever since then I wanted to go there. I finally got an opportunity one Sunday at the beginning of May and a nice weather seemed to favour the idea of a day out of big city.

Paqueta Island view

Paqueta is not part of the city of Rio de Janeiro but at a short distance and lots of its residents work in Rio. It has two favelas but despite it the life seems very calm and safe there, also the atmosphere is peaceful in striking differece to busy streets of Rio. Houses are small, often deep in green gardens and it gives the place rather countryside feeling.

The island is only accessible by ferry from the maritime terminal at Praca XV in Rio de Janeiro. The journey takes a little bit over an hour - the exact time depends on whether you pick up old or new ferry. The new one is more comfortable but on the old one you can go out off the passangers hall to admire the sea view which is possible on new boats only through windows. The ferry circulates every 1.5h on Sundays. The cost of one-way ticket is just R$6.30 and you can use your Rio Card.

On the way you can admire the Rio's aglomeration from the distance, docked ships and small islets on the bay. The boat passes by the Governor Island (Ilha do Governador) - part of the city and connected with it by a motorway.

Paqueta Island bike rental

It was very nice to hear for me that the cars are forbidden on the island. Back a few years ago it still allowed horse-drawn carriages as a way of transportation and it was quite an attraction too. Currently the carts are banned and the only way of getting around overland is by foot, bike or rikshas. Hundreds of them are for rent for visitors. It is easy enough to walk as the area is small - not too long and quite narrow - you can literally cross from the ferry terminal to the another side in less than 5 mins.

You can simply go there to relax, have a picninc or to ride a bike. But despite it's size the island offer a few things to see and I recommend you to add it to your schedule.

Paqueta Island templae in the park at sunset

The southern part houses a large park with lawns and forest with the only African baobabs in Brazil. Cycling traffic is forbidden so better to return your bike or rent after the visit to the park. The area has two easy accessible hills to admire the view of the island and Rio de Janeiro in the distance. Each takes no more than 5 mins walk to get to the top.

On the island you can also see a quite exceptional Birds Cementery, a small lighthouse that you can spot when arriving by ferry. Apart of it you can take a ride by bike, riksha or a bike cart around the island to admire the views and countryside atmosphere or simply have a beach time away from busy Copacabana or Ipanema.

See more pictures of Paqueta Island in my Instagram profile.