From Mangaratiba, the road continues to hug the coast as it wends its way westwards, rising and falling between towering green-clad mountains and the ocean. Roughly 60km west of Mangaratiba lies the shabby and utterly unprepossessing little town of ANGRA DOS REIS . The lands around here were "discovered" by the navigator André Gonçalves in 1502, though it wasn't until 1556 that a colonial settlement was established. The port first developed as an entrepôt for the exportation of agricultural produce from São Paulo and Minas Gerais in the seventeeth century. Fifteen slave-worked sugar refineries dominated the local economy, which, with the abolition of slavery at the end of the nineteenth century, suffered a dramatic collapse. The 1930s saw the economy regenerated, with the construction of a new port, and shipbuilding remains an important local trade – although today it's off-shore oil that is the mainstay of the local economy.
For those not involved in the oil industry, the main reason to come here is to get out to the thirty or so local islands in the bay. Numerous leisurely boat and fishing trips are on offer, and most yachts have a bar at which you can fill the time between stops for swimming at beaches penned-in between clear waters and tropical forest; visiting Gipóia by boat, for instance, allows you a couple of hours to splash about and get something to eat in the Luiz Rosa bar – all together, a very relaxing excursion. Various companies offer excursions, so it's best to ask at the tourist information office (daily 8am–6pm; Tel:24/3367-7855) in Largo do Lapa, right across from the bus station and next to the Cais de Santa Luzia , from where the boats depart. Trips can also be arranged on the quay with independent operators, but check on the noticeboard for those boat owners who have been authorized to carry tourists. Most trips leave around 10am and return in the late afternoon; on average, you'll pay around R$30 a head.
Beaches in the town are nothing special. Better ones are found by following the Estrada do Contorno (by car), or catching a bus from the bus station (hourly) to the beaches of Bonfim, Gordas, Grande, Tanguá, Tanguazinho, Ribeira or Retiro. There are other beaches within reach, too: along the main BR-101 highway, towards Rio, good spots for bathing and free camping are Garatucaia and Monsuaba.