Paraty, Brazil is now known primarily as a beach destination, but most people don’t realize that this sleepy town actually has one of the most storied histories in Brazil. The beautiful beach harbours near Paraty were once ports to a wealth of products, including gold, coming down from the rich Brazilian highlands. Today those beach are now home to tourists from all over the world who flock to their soft sand, bright blue waters and warm climate. The town itself is nothing to scoff at either. The quaint seaside city is lined with cobbled streets, colonial buildings and richly painted churches. Paraty makes a great stop between Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, and a great place to visit regardless of your future or past travel destinations.
Things to do in Paraty
- Beach Hopping: The biggest draw to Paraty, like nearly everywhere in Southern Brazil is the beaches. The beach in town is quite dirty and unattractive but just a short bus ride around the bends sit a number of beaches featuring nice sand and calm waters. There are even a couple waterfalls running from the rivers into some of the beaches.
- Boat Cruising: Some of the hostels in town offer boat trips out to some of the islands, and if you can organize a good sized group of people it is well worth a day. Most of the boat cruises include a boxed lunch and even some rum for between 30-40US$ per person.
- Ingreja NS do Rosario e Sao Benedito dos Homens Pretos: The slave trade was no stranger to Paraty, and the collection of churches describes that relationship. This church was the church built for the slaves to worship at while there are other churches in town built for mulattos and of course one for Caucasians.
- Hiking: If you’re interested in a bit of a hike ask about the old gold trail which leads up into the hills and offers some amazing views of the coastline.
Where to Eat in Paraty
In the center of town there are a number of different cafes which all offer nice light meals. If you’re looking for a more lively meal check out Paraty 33 which also has live music nearly all summer. I also really loved Casa Coupe which sells some of the best burgers, but is a bit expensive. Try the Blue Cheese Burger, it’s amazing.
If you’re looking for cheaper options get out of the old town and head across the river where there are stalls that sell cheap burgers and sandwiches.
Where to Stay in Paraty
The first time I was in Paraty I stayed at the Che Largato hostel which was a great place to stay. It was just out of the center of the old town, had very clean rooms (some with air conditioning others with just fans), and a pool to cool off in and escape the heat. Nightly dinners were also organized as well as a number of excursions.
The second time I visited Paraty, I decided to stay closer to the beach at Chill Inn. It was the perfect location and the staff was incredibly helpful and nice. But, the rooms are massively over-crowded as they put triple bunks in some rooms. I was in an 8 bed dorm that probably was too small for 6 people. But, the location was amazing.
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