Just 125 miles south of Rio de Janeiro lies Paraty, a beautiful colonial town located on the Costa Verde. It is renowned for its charming cobbled stone streets which run throughout the historic centre, where vehicles are banned but horses and carts can be frequently spotted. With its combination of historic buildings, beaches and jungle, Paraty is an ideal destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Rio and enjoy a calmer, more relaxed and more natural environment. Below are five good reasons to visit Paraty.
Undoubtedly Paraty’s main attraction is its stunning colonial architecture, most of which has not changed for over two hundred years. Wonderful colourful historical buildings are positioned on the cobbled streets, where pedestrians and cyclists are free to roam, but the lack of cars means the streets are kept peaceful and quiet, free of traffic and pollution. This is notably the main reason that tourists choose to visit Paraty.
Paraty is surrounded by many beautiful beaches. One must-do for visitors is a boat tour of Paraty Bay, which enables you to visit the best of these beaches and go swimming, snorkelling and diving, or simply sunbathe on the sand while listening to the waves lapping against the shore. Nearby fishing village, Trindade, is another hot destination for tourists, as it too has access to a number of fantastic beaches, such as Cepilho, which is ideal for surfing, Figueria, a nudist beach, and Cachadaco, a stunning setting with rock formations and natural pools.
Paraty is bordered by jungle-clad mountains, which blend harmoniously with the town’s old buildings, islands and beaches. You can experience the lush nature of the jungle with an off-road Jeep tour, which takes you to the cascading waterfalls, followed by the Gold Trail Exposition, a cachaca distillery, a farm and finally, a Bromeliad Exhibition with over three hundred different species of plants.
Paraty is an important artistic centre, which plays host to old traditional craftsmen and modern artists alike, who are drawn to the region by its striking scenery and picturesque landscapes. There are a number of interesting art galleries and museums dotted around the historic centre, which exhibit paintings and sculptures as well as ceramics, jewellery and traditional handicrafts produced by the native Indians. For those interested in religious art, the Museu de Arte Sacra (Museum of Sacred Art), boasts some highly impressive religious works of art, alongside magnificently carved woodwork on its altars and doors.
5. Vibrant Atmosphere
Paraty attracts partygoers from all over Brazil, meaning the streets are constantly brimming with young, lively people. While it may be peaceful and quaint during the day, Paraty comes alive at night, when people make their way not only to bars and clubs but parties on the beaches and nearby farms too. Head to Café Paraty for live music, Porto da Pinga to sample local cachaças and Paraty 33 for some late night dancing.
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You only need to visit Paraty for three to four days to satisfy your urge to be out of the city and spend time somewhere that is peaceful and beautiful, but which still manages to maintain a fun and lively vibe. If you’re planning on visiting Paraty, why not book a private transfer to Angra Dos Reis, the gateway to Paraty and Ilha Grande.
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By: Camilla Day