On my first trip to Paraty in BrazilI spent about 15 days installed in this city, small, but one of the most beautiful and with the most history in the entire country. ParatyAlthough highly visited, it is not a mass tourism destination but rather a small-scale one, capable of attracting the charm of its colonial old town in an environment of incomparable beauty and well preserved. In this post I am going to tell you what to see in Paraty and its surroundings based on my experience in the place, but also the reasons why I think you should seriously think about visiting this destination.
3 reasons to travel to Paraty (just to start)
Before continuing, I like to give a good overview of the reasons why this historic destination is so worth visiting. Paraty has a lot of history in its buildings, its cobbled streets, an interesting cultural activity all year round, and above all, beaches that are a paradise just steps from the city, on remote islands or in the city itself (such as the Jabaquara urbanization ). I will tell you about everything in this post.
Its old town is a World Heritage Site
Along with the nearby Ilha Grandethe colonial center of Paraty is declared together as World Heritage for Unesco for its well-preserved appearance, its cobblestone streets and its churches, testimony to the early days of the incipient Brazil.
In its surroundings there are endless islands and paradisiacal beaches
The truth is that the best beaches in Paraty are not exactly next to the old town, but in the wonderful surroundings of Paraty, and you can get to the nearby islands on excursions and boats, or by car to some nearby beaches following the coast. I will tell you about that below in the detail of places to see in Paraty and surroundings.
It is surrounded by protected areas of jungle, mountains and waterfalls
Paraty’s environment is pure exuberant nature, jungle, mountains. For example, very close is the Sierra de Bocaina National Parknearly Trinity. Add a total of 104 thousand hectares and from Trindade (about 30 minutes from Paraty) you can do some trails. But I am also almost encouraged to say that there is no road that does not end in some corner that looks like a postcard of a tropical paradise with waterfalls, rivers, and hidden beaches.
Where is it and how to get to Paraty.
In the blog I made a post with the explanation of How to get to Paraty from Rio de Janeiro also using public transport. Rio de Janeiro is one of the most common gateways to this city and region of the Ilha Grande Bay. Since Rio de Janeiro It is 249 kilometers to the south along a highway that winds along the coast between mountain and jungle landscapes once we move away from the Marvelous City. It’s part of the call green Coast on the famous BR-101 route that borders a large part of the Brazilian coast.
I also share an option transfers from Rio de Janeiro to Paraty, And this other option for transfers from Sao Paulo to Paraty.
Stay in Paraty.
In the blog I made some specific posts of recommendations to stay in Paraty. For example, I recommend that you see my tips on where to stay in Paraty where I explain the zones, security. Or if they directly seek to stay next to the beach, the post with 10 hotel recommendations next to the best beaches in Paraty.
Anyway I share too 3 options to stay in Paraty next to the beach Jabaquarawhich is right next to the old town, about 15 minutes walking:
Pomar do Aconchego House / apartments with access to a beautiful garden and pool.
Squid Flats Paraty / These apartments are more modern in style, excellent in design and details, with access to individual terraces, shared garden and swimming pool.
Pousada Chale Suíço / Spacious rooms with access to a beautiful garden with a swimming pool.
These two photos are from the Hotel Sandi where I stayed in the old town:
What to see in Paraty and surroundings
Now I leave you my list of recommendations:
Walk through the historic center
Enjoying and touring the historic old town of Paraty is essential. One option for the first day is to do the free tour of Paraty (which is actually with the system to the cap). They will give you a good introduction to the old town and the history of the place. In any case, I recommend taking off again and again to walk around the old town on your own.
During the colonial era, this city became one of the main gold exporting ports, which is why its development was very early and in a colonial style so marked until today.
As a curiosity, it has a very unique design where the streets were designed to be at the level of the tides. In this way it was frequently cleaned of household debris and sewage. Currently the old town continues to flood with the tides, which is a very unique spectacle.
In the old town you will find the main stores of typical products, restaurants, ice cream parlors. The most traditional hotels are also located there in original colonial houses. The reason why this town is so preserved in its colonial aspect is precisely because of the economic decline when the port and trade diverted to Rio de Janeiro, leaving it isolated and stopped in time.
By the way, if you are traveling in a group, I recommend you consult this option guided tour in groups of an hour and a half.
Get to know its historic churches
There are several historic churches in Paraty. For example, the oldest is the church of Santa Rita, sadly built by slaves. The Museum of Sacred Art of Paraty currently operates in it. You will find different churches walking through the old town, and it is recommended to visit each one and learn about its history.
Try their sweets in the carts on their streets
If there is something very characteristic of Paraty, it is the doces (sweets) that are sold from the colorful wooden carts that you will find on many corners at later hours in the historic center. When I found out about this custom, I thought it was very original, because one can choose portions of different cakes and desserts made from coconut, or with tropical fruits such as passion fruit, lime, without missing the classic chocolate. They are presented in a pristine way in cars that they have as showcases. You will see them and probably you will not resist tasting them.
Get to know its two closest beaches
Jabaquara Y Praia do Pontal They are the two closest beaches where there are services to enjoy by the sea: beach bars on the same sand where there are umbrellas with bar service. Pontal Beach is on one side of the old town, while Jabaquara It is an urbanization that requires a walk of about 20 minutes. Many who prioritize staying by the beach choose Jabaquara to stay in Paraty. All the following photos are in Jabaquara:
Take a boat tour of the islands and beaches of Paraty
There is something very traditional about Paraty that are the colorful tourist boats (they are called schooners) that you will find in the main pier of the city. These boats offer different excursions, some full day, touring islands and beaches in the area that can only be accessed in this way. After my experience, I think it is the best way to get to know the beauty that surrounds Paraty, as well as spend an unforgettable day. You can hire these tours both online (following link), as well as in the same agencies that you will see throughout the center of Paraty, or at the pier itself. Although I recommend making sure you book at least the day before.
Consult the price and details of the excursion to the islands and beaches
Get to know the Mamanguá Sack
Consult the price and details of the excursion to Saco de Mamanguá
One of the most beautiful bays to see in Paraty and surroundings is the Mamanguá sack. It is known as the tropical fjord because of its rugged appearance. It is a river mouth invaded by the sea, in an environment of wild nature. It is a place of unparalleled beauty, and is only accessed by boats and tours that usually visit beaches such as Engenho, with the ruins of a colonial hacienda, the Costa beach, snorkeling spots, and the Mamanguá islet.
Visit the waterfalls of Paraty
Paraty is not only about beaches and coast. Also to enter the jungle and discover numerous waterfalls. You can visit them on day tours that you will find in the different excursion agencies from the commercial center of the city. The most common to visit are the cachoeiras de white stonethat of slidethat of tarzan pitamong many
If there is something to see in Paraty and surroundings, a good getaway is to visit the nearby town of Trinityand, with his natural pools of Cachadaço wave Praia BravaTrindade, is one of the towns with incredible and very quiet beaches just a step away from Paraty. It was an old fishing village that today grows thanks to tourism and its incredible beaches. It is only 30 minutes by road from Paraty.
There’s also excursion option to Trindade from Paraty
Visit the farms where they produce Cachaça
One of the most typical products of Paraty is the Cachaça, which is neither more nor less than sugar cane brandy. It is believed that production began in Paraty in the year 1600, and there are currently numerous distilleries that continue a renowned tradition famous for its quality. In the historic center you will find shops that sell cachaças directly from the farms along with regional products such as sweets, spicy foods and preserves. In these stores or on the farms themselves, you can do tastings and buy to take home as souvenirs.
Get to know Praia do Sono
Just as you can go for free, you also have the option of hiring this guided tour to Praia do Sono
One of the wildest and most beautiful beaches in the area of Paraty is Sono Beach and the even more preserved beach of old. They are near the town of laranjeiras about 28 kilometers from Paraty. To get to these beaches, there is a one and a half hour hiking route that you can do on your own on a guided tour. In this way, you will travel a completely natural stretch of coastline, typical of Brazil’s Atlantic forest. The area is protected within the Cairuçu Environmental Protection Area. Praia de Sono is a beach with some fishing villagers, and Caiçara gastronomy restaurants, native cultures of the place. This excursion is one of the most beautiful if you are looking for a connection with nature and the beauty of the beaches.
And here my recommendations.
There is probably more to see in Paraty and its surroundings, ideas that of course you can always add in comments or leave the query.