d Ilha de Queimada Grande - The Forbidden Snake Island of Brazil

Ilha de Queimada Grande – The Forbidden Snake Island of Brazil


Ilha de Queimada Grande better known as the ‘Snake Island, Brazil’ is one of those wonders of the world that look enchanting and breathtaking, to say the least. Located about 93 miles off the coast of Sao Paulo, the island is a place full of a surprise at every step, literally.


Isle Grande, Brazil came to be better known as a Snake Island, Brazil because the island is inhabited completed by venomous snakes. And not just any snakes inhabit the island, but Venomous snakes like The King cobra and vipers are found on Isle Grande. However, the deadliest snakes to be found there are the Golden Lancehead viper. Over a meter long, each of these snakes is lethal. According to statistics, about 90% of deaths resulting from snake bites in Brazil are caused due to bite from this snake. A single bite of this snake contains enough venom to kill two humans at a single time.

Several tales have been associated with Isle Grande, Brazil and the venomous snakes of the land. Mostly, the dense population of snakes has kept humans away from the island but according to those tales, a fisherman once wandered off the to the island, only to be bitten by one of the thousands venomous snakes of the area. He barely made it to his boat before giving up his life. Another tale tells about family of a lighthouse operator and his family on the island who were bitten by the snakes. Bodies of the family members were found over the island.

Ilha de Queimada Grande

Besides being highly venomous, the Snake Island, Brazil’s deadly inhabitants are capable of causing a lot of damage in a short time. Their venom causes the skin around the bite to melt away, making survival chances of the victim extremely slim.

Human habitation is nil on the island. Entire Isle Grande, Brazil comes under strict watch of Brazilian government, forbidding any access to the island. Only scientific personnel after having granted permission to do so can visit the island. The snakes live mostly on migrating birds that stop on the island for rest. A plan to establish a banana plant on the island had been proposed at one point. However, for obvious reasons, it was never established.

The Forbidden Snake Island of Brazil

However, there is more to Ilha de Queimada Grande than being the Snake Island.  Located close to Rio de Janero, the island would be a heaven for those who love nature. Sadly, presence of king cobra and vipers hinders with exploration of the island. But for tourists who visit other parts of Brazil, the forbidden Ilhe de Quiemada Grande remains an enigma and element of intrigue.

Nearest city: Snake Island, Brazil lies about a few hundred miles from Rio de Jenaro, and only 93 miles from coast of Sao Paolo.

How to get there: Ideally, following a flight to Sao Paolo, a boat could be taken to Snake Island, Brazil

Best time to visit: Unfortunately, there is no best time to visit the island. With about five snakes every square meter, tourism is completely forbidden on the island.

Image Credits: itanhaem, blogspot

Map of Isle Grande, Brazil