Located about 160 km from the city of Rio de Janeiro, Angra dos Reis and its clear blue-green waters offer tourists the possibility to visit a different island every day of the year. The region includes more than 360 islands and approximately two thousand beaches covered in lush native Atlantic Forest vegetation, which makes it a favorite spot among visitors who enjoy sunshine and beach activities.
However, tourists are fascinated by much more than Angra dos Reis’ natural charms. The destination is home to captivating history and customs, and it all starts with its discovery. Considered one of the oldest cities in Brazil, Angra dos Reis got its name because the region was discovered on January 6th, Three Kings Day, back in 1502. Due to its vast history, the city has a rich heritage collection, listed by the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN). Its charming architecture comprises large colonial houses such as the Casa de Cultura Poeta Brasil dos Reis.
Visitors into religious tourism will simply love Angra dos Reis. The city is home to many places of worship, such as Santa Luzia Church, where there is a baroque image of the saint, and the Mother Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, which has several altarpieces, religious vestments and images, and its own marble baptismal font, donated to the city by the king of Portugal back in the 18th century.
And those who wish to learn even more about the religious heritage of this wonderful destination can do so easily. Interesting religious attractions include the ruins of the Convent of Saint Bernardino of Siena and the Chapel of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Penitence.
The two buildings form an ensemble on Morro de Santo Antônio (Santo Antonio Hill), from where tourists will have a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and the local port. The city’s religious history is so relevant that, in 1992, the Angra dos Reis Museum of Sacred Art was built. Located on the premises of the Church of Our Lady of Lapa, the museum contains one of the most important sacred art collections in the state. It also hosts masses, processions, and other celebrations in which visitors can participate.
There are lots of different events in the charming city of Angra dos Reis. The Festival of the Divine Holy Spirit (Festa do Divino Espírito Santo), for example, is one of the oldest and most popular Catholic celebrations in the region. The Folia de Reis Luz Divina (a celebration on Three Kings Day), has been held since the 1990s and is a traditional local celebration.
But please note that the cultural scene in Angra dos Reis is not only based on religious festivities. FITA, The International Theater Festival, is an important Brazilian festival that makes local tours even more interesting and diverse. The event attracts renowned artists to Angra dos Reis and provides a wonderful opportunity for local artists to showcase their talent. FITA takes place at the Dr. Câmara Torres Municipal Theater, located in the Theophilo Massad Cultural Center building.
Last but not least, tourists must visit Largo do Mercado, where the Municipal Market is located. On the Rio de Janeiro State Cultural Heritage List (INEPAC) since 1988, the place hosts a handicraft and agricultural products market as well as the Casa Larangeiras, a building that dates back to 1822 that hosts presentations by musicians, dancers, painters, sculptors, actors, and poets.
Those who have the opportunity to visit Angra dos Reis will not only be able to marvel at the incomparable local landscape, but also experience popular local culture and history. This fascinating destination is so much more than gorgeous beaches. Tourists will also fall in love with its unique cultural scene. It’s totally worth a visit.