Ivo Pitanguy: “According to history books, the accredited discoverer of Angra dos Reis (Rio de Janeiro) was Martim Afonso de Souza, on January 6th, 1532, who, amazed by its exotic beauty, baptized this tropical paradise with its present-day name in honor of the Three Kings or Wise Men who visited Baby Jesus upon his birth. This same enchanting location also won over the hearts of André Gonçalves, Américo Vespúcio, Dom Pedro II and just about everyone else, large and small, who came and come to visit Angra, a place that has resisted numerous armed conflicts and invasions and the constant threats from modern-day progress. Observing the quiet coves, green mountains and the rocky ridges of the Bocaina Highland, I still feel the same emotion felt by Américo Vespúcio who, when he first saw this special place declared - Oh God ! If Paradise exists on Earth, it can’t be far from this place!”
Ivo Pitanguy, from his book: Angra dos Reis, Bay of the Three Kings, São Paulo, Marprint, Ind., Ivo Pitanguy Clinic Cultural Project Ltd.
Located in the Angra dos Reis Bay, the Ilha dos Porcos (Pig Island), is nestled in an area called the Emerald Coast, in the southern portion of the state of Rio de Janeiro. This bay presents one of the most beautiful landscapes found anywhere in Brazil, a veritable refuge where the sparkling blue sea meets the dark-green covered slopes of the volcanic mountains dipping down into the water. The Angra Bay is home to more than 350 islands of all sizes, protected from the crisp southeastern Atlantic winds by this fantastic coastline.
Ilhas dos Porcos is much more than a retreat from the urban rush. It is also a secure place for native flora and fauna mixed with harmonious architecture that enhances the enchantment of this special niche. According to environmental norms and a license issued by IBAMA, the Brazilian Environmental Protection Agency, the island was converted into a breeding refuge for wild animals typical of the Atlantic Rainforest – one of the small remnants of the original green breathing spaces on the planet threatened by progress.
Ilha dos Porcos - a natural fish tank
Visitors arriving on the island are quick to notice the large, natural aquarium reaching nearly seven meters in depth. This body of seawater is teeming with various fish and marine species that live safely in this somewhat isolated area of the island at the end of the beach forming a smaller bay, the result of a dyke that separates this natural fish tank from the ocean.
The water is renewed and oxygenated through conductor tubes leading from the bay along the length of the dyke. The tank is a safe haven for many species such as sea bass, grouper, parrot fish, porcupine fish, sea rays, octopus and sea turtles.
Other residents around the tank include many birds species such as white cranes, frigate birds, black swans and Chinese ducks. All the aquatic and air-borne residents are fed a daily diet of fresh sardines which keeps them happy and safe in the protected area.