The beautiful Brazilian island with a terrifying backstory
Ilha Grande has served as a leper colony and a prison for dangerous criminals
Today, tourists flock to the tropical island of Ilha Grande, Brazil, in search of sun, sea, and unspoiled nature. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and protected nature reserve, the car-free paradise in Rio de Janeiro state is home to colorful flora and fauna as well as some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. But the island was not always so welcoming...
Formerly a 19th-century leper colony and, more recently, a top-security prison for some of Brazil's most dangerous criminals, it was off-limits for many years. Intrigued? Click through this gallery to discover the dark secrets of this beautiful Brazilian island.
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