If you are planning a trip to Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo, you might also want to include the seaside village of Paraty on your Brazilian itinerary. For a small town, it makes a big impression. Don’t be surprised if you are immediately enchanted with this tranquil Colonial port.
Situated almost half way between Rio de Janiero and São Paulo, Paraty is ascetically blessed. Set on the gulf of Baia Carioca, this Portuguese colony founded in the late 1600’s, is surrounded by mountainous dense tropical jungle and intriguing waterways. It is easy to unwind here for a few days, or even weeks as Paraty is somewhat of an oasis in a country, which can be fairly frenetic at times.
After witnessing the epic magnitude of São Paulo from my bus window as we departed the city from the airport, it was impossible to imagine the paradise, which was only four hours away by road. In a short time I was transported from Brazilian’s biggest metropolis to this quiet charismatic village.
Paraty itself is enough of a destination, even if it wasn’t situated in such an idyllic location.
As car traffic is not permitted here, you can peacefully meander around the cobbled laneways, soaking in the vibrant Portuguese architecture and the local ambience. The historic centre is bordered by small rivers, which lead to the gulf. Strolling down these boulevards along the canals, offers another interesting perspective to the area.
For such a condensed space, Paraty is packed with dozens of churches to admire, tonnes of handicraft and artesian shops to mosey in, and numerous restaurants to indulge in the local Brazilian cuisine. You’ll be kept busy, just staying in town.
But the local region offers even more! At Paraty’s doorstep, are a number of nature reserves such as the State Park of Serra do Mar, which provide nature lovers with a place to discover local flora and fauna, as well as the sublime coastline and beaches.
Located on the Costa Verde, otherwise known as the Green Coast, Paraty is a stepping-stone to thousands of tropical islands. Visiting these will no doubt be one of the highlights of your trip to Brazil.
From the Paraty pier you can take day boat trips around surrounding islands with most excursions including visits to the beaches of Praia da Lula, Praia Vermelha, Praia de Santa Rita and the islands of Mantimento and Comprida.
These boat adventures are a great way to see the region in a relaxed way and they usually include a comprehensive lunch with bar facilities, snorkelling and swimming with fish!
Paraty most likely will have captured your heart by now, but if you like cocktails it will grip you even further when you discover what else this town is famous for – Cachaça. This is a local cane sugar and the main ingredient in Brazil’s famous cocktail, Caipirinha. What better way to end a day of sightseeing than with the local tipple!
With so much to offer in terms of relaxation and sight-seeing in a tropical setting, charming Paraty is a must see whilst travelling Brazil.
Sally Watson is an Australian freelance travel writer, journalist, photographer and editor of Wing Woman Adventures. Instagram: @wingwomanadventures Twitter: @wingwomanADV Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wingwomanadventures/
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