Privileged geography - they are 106 beaches, distributed along a coast with 155 kilometers of extension and an areas of 193 Km squared - this is the Second largest coast island of the between Santos and Rio de Janeiro, losing in total area just for the Island of Saint Sebastião Beautiful Island. Already the Tamoios Indians, their first inhabitants, called it Ipaum-Guaçu, name that, translated, it is the same as appears today in our maps - Great Island. Therefore the name is an indigenous inheritance, Adopted by the Portuguese.
It was discovered by the Portuguese André Gonçalves in 1502, The Portuguese for protecting of the sea open to immense bay of Angra dos Reis. The first settlers appeared in 1556, when they founded a small town in the continent. That town became town in 1608, and in 1853 finally Angra dos Reis.
It was stage of piracy Dutch, French and English and later the slaves' black market, the disappearance it went being a town of farmers and fishermen, appearing the first towns. It existed at the island plantation of cane of sugar and later of coffee. In the beginning of the century XX the farms went disappearing and they were at the island just fishermen. In 1970 the island was transformed in State Park and maid the biological reservation of the Beach of the South. Of the past, the ruins of a quarantine house remained, the call Mansion of the Bat, an old aqueduct, Santana's beautiful church, in the Beach of the Clientele and the old light of Castilian, in the tip of the same name, I exalt east of the island. The prison, called Penal Institute Cândido Mendes, servant in the beginning of the Century, was famous not just for having accommodated some of the most dangerous thieves of the country, as well as for having served as the government's political opponents' prison along the history. To begin for Graciliano Ramos - Memoirs of the Jail, for having participated in the communist revolt of 1935. In 1970 the journalist and today deputy - Gabeira. In 1994 the prison was extinguished and the times are other and the facilities are administered by UERJ that there set up a center of researches and studies oceanográficos. Like this, the integrity of the island was not maintained by environmental laws, but for the bad reputation brought by the prison, serving as villain for the residents and guardian of the natural beauties.