You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The beautiful Brazilian island with a terrifying backstory

StarsInsider Logo By Stars Insider of StarsInsider | Slide 1 of 30: Today, tourists flock to the tropical island of Ilha Grande, Brazil, in search of sun, sea, and unspoilt 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.

The beautiful Brazilian island with a terrifying backstory

Today, tourists flock to the tropical island of Ilha Grande, Brazil, in search of sun, sea, and unspoilt 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.

© Shutterstock

More from StarInsiders

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon