Located 3 hours from Rio de Janeiro and 4 hours from Sao Paulo, Paraty is a village of Brazilian colonial architecture. We take you to visit Paraty and its surroundings, in the Costa Verde, for a more than successful stay in Brazil.
To visit Paraty and get to know the surroundings, you will need several days. In our opinion, a minimum of four days is necessary to get to know the Paraty area.
Historical context of the city
Paraty is a colonial town that saw its heyday as a port during the Brazilian gold cycle . The Caminho do Ouro or Estrada Real passed through here , which linked Minas Gerais with Rio de Janeiro.
Paraty’s streets were designed with the tides in mind, so its cobbled avenues can be quite a challenge for walkers, who have to fight against slippery stones, water and inclination.
Visit Paraty and its surroundings
Located on the Costa Verde, it is a place full of charm. The architecture here combines influences from Asia, Europe and Africa. Steeped in history, the city has hardly changed since the 17th century. Initially is the most important ports of Brazil, especially thanks to gold. The port of Paraty was the departure of the Galleons who took gold to Portugal, before being abandoned in favor of Rio de Janeiro.
In the middle of Serra da Bocaina , Paraty is a corner where it seems that time has not passed. Its downtown area, all pedestrianized, has a peculiar charm, with an impossibly irregular cobblestone that makes the cafe tables wobble, narrow alleys that are illuminated at night and avenues with stagnant rainwater that gives reflections of incomparable beauty.
In addition to its particular architecture, Paraty and its surroundings offer magnificent nature: splendid beaches, waterfalls and forests are unmissable places. Listed as a national heritage since 1966, Paraty is definitely worth a visit. Nevertheless, it is unfortunately becoming more and more attractive. This is not yet the case for the surrounding villages. Take the opportunity to visit them as well: Picinguaba, a village hidden at the bottom of a bay, and the village of Caluçaba which is inland.
Not far away, on the coast, the small village of Trindade is also worth a visit.
What to do in Paraty?
Plan at least 3 days in Paraty. A day to discover the city and its historic center, A day to discover the coast, its beaches, and the neighboring and peaceful fishing villages. They remain little known because you have to access them by boat. Finally, 1 day to discover the land and the hinterland.
There are also festivals. The best known are the FLIP for literature at the beginning of July and the Paraty Film Festival for cinema. Experience the hospitality of the Caiçaras, the inhabitants of the region.
They live from fishing and practice subsistence agriculture. As for crafts, you can’t leave Paraty without visiting Wagner and tasting his artisanal cachaça! The owner is adorable and his “meu Deus” caipirinhas
Also, do not forget to discover the city by boat. This is the best way to appreciate the landscapes of the bay and conquer its small islands. Several options are available to you. You can either take a small fishing boat to be alone or board a tourist escuna (schooner). We recommend the first option which remains the most intimate, perfect for discovering this city of Brazil in an authentic way. So it’s up to you to discover the beautiful beaches in the bay of Paraty, all in an enchanting setting!
The town, once a place for fishermen, is now a tourist center full of shops and car parks that offer to leave the car all day, bathe and shower for a small fee. Little remains of its fame as a quiet town, full of surfers and hippies.
At Praia dos Ranchos , with easy access from the town, chairs and beach bars crowd up to sit on the beach and have a drink. It is necessary to get away from the hustle and bustle and continue walking along the strip of sand to find, now, a very lush vegetation that caresses the coast, offering a landscape that, in some way, reminds us of what we saw in Cape Tribulation , in Australia. Here, jungle and sea come together in a visual spectacle that leaves you breathless.
Finally, do not leave Paraty without having admired its cachadaçaos (waterfalls), in particular that of Tobogã, un natural slide in the heart of the jungle on the old gold road in the hinterland of Paraty. Thrills guaranteed. Also go to discovery of Trindade : a fishing village located just 40 minutes from the city. Authenticity, beaches and natural pools await you.
Visit Paraty: How to get there?
From Rio de Janeiro, you can either take the Bus in 4h30, or go there by car in about 3H30.
From Sao Paulo, you can either take the Bus in 5h30 / 6h, or go there by car in about 4H30.
For the bus, 2 companies go there: The company Util and Costa Verde Transportes
Paraty is about four hours from Rio de Janeiro and another four and a half hours from São Paulo , so it is possible to get there by car from both capitals.
✓ If you get to Paraty from São Paulo along the mountain road from Aparecida, the route is winding and in some sections in poor condition, but leafy and impressive, with a mountainous landscape that leaves you breathless. The coast road is longer, but less complicated.
When to go to Paraty?
You can go there all year round. However, it is better to favor the month of February to April to avoid the rains.
It is better to visit Paraty outside of the high season , to be able to walk calmly through the streets and choose accommodation and excursions calmly.
We went in November and in the middle of the week, so we enjoyed the town without crowds. From what the guides told us, during the Brazilian summer (months of December-January) the town fills up with tourists, as it is fashionable as a national tourist destination.
Tips for visiting the city
- The tourist office is right at the entrance to the pedestrian zone. In it you can obtain maps, information on the options in the region and the contact of a tourist guide with whom you can hire excursions.
Visit Paraty: Where to sleep?
Owhere to sleep when you go to visit Paraty? This city in Brazil has several hotels, guest houses and luxury establishments. Our favourite? The Mani Om Pousada e Centro Holistico is a charming establishment just 3 km from the center of Paraty, in a zen and relaxing setting. His promise? Offer a real moment of tranquility and serenity with a service with small onions.
> Address: Rodovia Paraty – Cunha 3474 – 23970-000 ParatyBrazil