Paraty

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Paraty (also spelled Parati) is a coastal historic town in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was first settled by the Portuguese in 1667. Its old churches, cobbled streets and nearby forests, waterfalls, islands and emerald-green sea attract lots of tourists interested in mixing cultural tourism and more natural settings.

Understand[edit]

View of Paraty from the water

Paraty grew in the 18th century as a strategically important port for exporting the gold mined in Minas Gerais. When shipments in nearby Rio began to attract the attention and ambition of pirates and privateers from rival European powers, the Portuguese began using Paraty as their safe port for getting their gold to Lisbon. Together with Ouro Preto, the town was part of the Estrada Real (Caminho Real or Caminho do Ouro, Gold Road), a route used to export gold in colonial times. It was also an obligatory sleep-over stop for travelers between Rio and São Paulo until the late 1800s, when the inner road was opened. This caused Paraty to be forgotten, stalled in time, away from "progress" and disfiguration and helped it preserve its old city as it was in the past. In the 1970s, it was rediscovered as a popular tourist destination.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Paraty can be reached by air from Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo, but only by chartered helicopter or small commercial and private aircraft because it only has a very small airstrip.

By boat[edit]

Another possibility of transport is to arrive by sea by way of a sailboat or cruise ship from Rio de Janeiro, Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande. Fast boat transfers from Safari Transfers from Angra dos Reis are also available.

By car[edit]

Paraty is connected by road to Rio de Janeiro (236 km) or São Paulo (330 km), via road BR-101.

By bus[edit]

Air-conditioned buses go back and forth from Rio to Paraty and Paraty to Rio. Buses to and from Rio depart about nine times a day for R$49.00. The trip takes about four hours. The trip to and from São Paulo takes about six hours and costs about R$37.00. From São Paulo try Reunidas Paulista; from Rio de Janeiro, Costa Verde Transportes

  •    Bus stationRua Jango Pádua (500m from historic center).

Get around[edit]

The historic town is compact and can be covered on foot; cars, save for taxis picking up or dropping passengers, are not allowed into the historic city center. The rough boulders of the old city streets would quickly destroy the shocks of most cars anyway.

Buses to the beautiful village and beaches at Trindade (30km south of Paraty) and outlying beaches leave from the Bus Station. Buy tickets onboard approximately R$3 to Trindade.

See[edit]

Historic Center[edit]

Santa Rita chapel
A cobble-stoned street in Paraty's historic center

Something of a time capsule, the historic center looks much as it did back in the 1800s. Once a month, at high tide when the moon is full, seawater rises from its normal levels and comes in through special openings in the seawalls that separate the city from the bay, to wash the Historic Center streets — a marvel of ancient city planning. The streets are only flooded for a short time, until the tide recedes. The water is usually only six to ten inches deep and a few merchants near the seawall put out small bridges to span the flooded streets for the benefit of pedestrians.

  •    Igreja Matriz (First Church of Our Lady of the Remedies), Matriz Square. Built from 1787 to 1873. Houses a museum of sacred art. Its square can be considered the town center.
  •    Casa da Cultura (Culture House), Rua Dona Geralda, 177 (corner of Dona Geralda and Samuel Costa streets, adjacent to Matriz square),  +55 24 3371-2325. 9AM-7PM, closes at 2PM on Sundays. Built in 1754 as a jail and reopened in the present state in 1990. According to UNESCO, the most beautiful representative of 18th century local architecture. Temporary and permanent exhibitions, bookstore, cafe and small theater.
  •    Espaço Theatre (Teatro Espaço), Rua Dona Geralda, 327 +55 24 3371-1575, e-mail: . Cultural space. Has a twice weekly presentation of a famous puppet group.
  •    Santa Rita churchLargo Santa Rita (on the waterfront). The oldest church of Paraty, inaugurated in 1722, regarded by Lúcio Costa (urban planner of Brasília) as the most beautiful church inside Brazil.
  •    Forte Defensor Perpétuo (Perpetual Defender Fort), R. São Pedro de Alcântara, s/nº, Morro do Forte +55 24 3371-2289. 18th-century stronghold built with British cannons to defend the gold against British privateers. Built in 1703, reformed in 1822 (when it received the present name, a homage to D. Pedro I) and restored in 1985. Technically it's not a fort but a battery, as its walls don't completely encircle its perimeter. Inside there's a museum of popular arts and crafts, a few remaining cannons and very nice views of the bay.

Beaches[edit]

  • JabaquaraNext to the fort. Very calm sea with almost no waves. Beach kiosks sell snacks and refreshments.
  • Lula Beach. Clear water and calm sea.
  • Paraty Mirim. A long beach cut in half by a river.

Waterfalls[edit]

  • IririRio-Santos highway km 158. Beautiful low waterfall ending in a shallow refreshing pool.
  • Pedra Branca (White stone), Paraty-Cunha Rd (keep right after the white bridge, trek starts at road's end). Low fall with a pool. Along with the waterfall, there are the ruins of the town´s first power plant.
  • Poço do Inglês (English's Well), Downstream from Pedra Branca. No fall, just a pool. Very relaxing..

Do[edit]

Boats on Paraty harbor
  • A boat trip through the bay. You can even find your own private beach on one of more than 300 islands. Small boats are available for charter near the river mouth. Negotiate a price before leaving.
  • Diving
  • Snorkeling in the bay. When you rent a small boat (and hire the driver for the afternoon) you can ask about getting a mask and snorkel. They'll also supply you with fish food. You just jump off in the middle of the bay and float around feeding fish.
  • Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boarding in the bay to islands, beaches and mangrove.
  • Trekking the Caminho do Ouro/ Gold Trail. Access located in the Paraty-Cunha road. Lots of trails through the Atlantic Rainforest to tropical beaches, like Praia do Sono.
  • Shambhala Asian Day Spa, e-mail: . A day spa with a stunning view on the bay, at 10 minutes walk from the historical center. The Asian way of getting pampered and looked after…with natural body treatments and traditional massage techniques.
  • Palombeta Speedboat (By the Pereque Acu river, near the bridge.),  +55 24 999757859, e-mail: . Speedboat trip will get you to more uncrowded and remote beaches. As many stops as you want, snorkeling, photos, stop and a restaurant at the end then back to town. English speaking guide. 700.

Events[edit]

  • Bloco da Lama (Mud Carnaval), End of Jabaquara Beach. February. Crowds of people go to the end of Jabaquara beach on the Saturday afternoon before Carnaval, cover themselves in mud and chant. Sounds crazy but it's a lot of fun.
  • FLIP (Festa Literaria Internacional de Paraty), e-mail: . Usually takes place in July or August. Held in large tents next to the sea, this literature festival gathers some of the best national writers and guest international authors. There are shows, exhibitions, workshops and film screenings. Hotels can get pretty crowded, book well in advance for this period.
  • Festival da Pinga (Festival da Cachaça), Matriz Square. 3rd week of August. A town well-known for its sugarcane liquor, it's no surprise that there's a dedicated festival to celebrate pinga. Regional versions of cachaça can be tasted at stands set up in Matriz Square. There's also live music and plenty of food stands.

Buy[edit]

Cachaça bottles

Paraty is one of the famous producers of cachaça, a strong spirit distilled from sugarcane juice. In fact, a century ago cachaça was known as parati. Dozens of excellent brands are available, and there are shops with shelves of cachaça filled from top to bottom. The town is also home to many artists inspired by the scenic surroundings, and there are quite a few gallery and handicraft shops. Miniatures of the colorful boats that dot Paraty's harbor are commonly found souvenirs.

  •    Cachaçaria Cana CaianaRua do Comércio, 100 (a block away from Matriz Plaza),  +55 24 3371-7366. 9:30-22:30. Gives out free samples to try before you buy, and also sells plenty of homemade sweets.

Eat[edit]

  • Paraty & MediterraniPraça da Matriz, 6 (in Matriz Square-Historic Center),  +55 24 3371-2155. Fabulous local fresh foods with a touch from Barcelona.
  • Porto Entreposto CulturalRua do Comercio #14 (Historical center),  +55 24 3371-1058. 6PM-. Amazing Brazilian/European menu. Good selection of wines. $R25 for a main.
  • sereia do marAv Praia do Jabaquara 33 (800 metres from the town centre looking out onto one of paratys most beautiful and tranquil beaches),  +55 24 337111930 (delivery and resavations). Open from 5PM-11PM. With 24 varieties of pizza and over 10 other main dishes this restaurant has a mouthwatering menu to satisfy all tastes not to mention an excellent wine list. With live music on weekends and both helpful and friendly staff a visit to this restaurant is a must. From R$14 for a main course and from R$19 for a large 8 slice pizza.
  • Casa do Fogo bistrô (Casa do Fogo Paraty), Rua Comendador José Luiz 390 (Historical center),  +55 24 3371-3163 (resavations), e-mail: . Open from 5PM-1AM. Casa do Fogo serves flambées specialities, all flambée with cachaça - seafood, vegetables and fruits, on the menu you also find meat, chicken, vegetarian, pastas and moquecas. From R$18 for a starter to R$120 for a flambée seafood paella for two.
  • Merlin o MagoRua do Comércio 376 (in historic town center),  +55 24 3371-2157. Fantastic French restaurant; very small but excellent food and drink. A German head chef settled in Paraty to run a French restaurant, and succeeded marvelously. The seafood is caught mere meters from the restaurant, as fresh as can be!

Drink[edit]

Cairpirnha on a sailboat

Dance with the locals at bar/clubs in the main square, Lado B da Praça or Dinho's Bar, or in Paraty 33.

  • Cervejaria CaborêAv. Otávio Gama, 100 (in Caborê, along river Perecé),  +55 24 3371-2248. mon-fri 5PM-12PM, sat-sun 11AM-12PM. Bar-restaurant of local brewery. Home of the Caborê draft.

Sleep[edit]

The Historic Center suits visitors wanting to be where the action is, and it has plenty of charming hotels and pousadas. It can however be busy and noisy particularly at night so its worth considering staying outside and walking or cycling in. Cheaper options can be found at the newer neighborhoods, outside the tourist area. There are over 200 pousadas in the area. Watch out for the busy periods of FLIP (see Do above) in July, Carnaval and New Year's.

Historical center[edit]

  • Pousada Arte UrquijoRua Dona Geralda, 79 (in Centro Histórico, close to Santa Rita),  +55 24 3371-1362. Check-out: noon. One of the coziest and most charming accommodations in the city. You get your own (to keep) handmade slippers to use inside on the clean floors. A/C, safe from $R300 including breakfast.
  • Pousada do CaisR. Travessa Santa Rita nº 20 +55 24 3371-1200. A restored lord house from the XVII century. Made with rich materials, this hotel preserved the colonial architecture and style. Has the luxurious apartment with the best view of the harbor and bay.
  • Pousada Porto ImperialR. Ten. Francisco Antonio s/n +55 24 3371-2323fax: +55 24 3371-2111. This hotel is set in a colonial house next to the Matriz church. Many of the air-conditioned rooms are located at the internal patio and garden. R$200-R$340 (check out high/low season prices).

Outside the historical center[edit]

Igreja Matriz on the canal in Paraty
  • PrincipeAv. Roberto Silveira, 289 (One block from the Bus Station),  +55 24 3371-2266fax: +55 24 3371-2120, e-mail: . Pousada with rooms around an internal garden. From $R 115.
  • Pousada do CorsarioRua Joao do Prado 26, Bairro da Chácara. An excellent pousada at a perfect location, along the canal, near the bus station and near the city centre.
  • Pousada Bromelias +55 24 3371-2791. Bungalows, waterfall, natural swimming pool, gastronomy, massages and body treatments, ofuro bath, sauna beside waterfall,tennis.
  •    The Eco-farm (Organic farmhouse lodging in the rainforest), Rod Rio-Santos km 552 (30 mins from Paraty, then hike through the rainforest),  +55 24 9952-4496, e-mail: . Family-run organic farm, only accessible by trail through the rainforest. Experience life on the farm, learn about organic farming, natural medicines and rainforest preservation. Private rooms, dorm accommodations or camping options. Recommended by National Geographic in their South American Staylist, 2011.
  •    Pousada GuaranaRua: 5, 13 Portal 23970 000 (20min walk from Old Town),  +55 24 3371-6362. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Pousada Guarana is a quiet and tranquil B&B located in a residential neighborhood, 20-minute walk from the city center and away from loud streets. Owned by Brazilian wife and American husband. The inn is full of amazing artistic touches, the rooms are huge and comfy, and the daily poolside breakfast is fantastic. Average year round rate: $60USD Double occupancy.
  •    Pousada BambubambooR. Glauber Rocha +55 24 3371-8629. Tranquil award winning pousada in a beautiful riverfront location. Six split level rooms and six standard Garden rooms overlooking landscaped gardens and pool. Sauna, steam room, outdoor hottub and spa with resident masseur. English and Brazilian owners live on the property and provide genuine and generous hospitality. Spacious guest lounge and free wi-fi. All rooms come with silent aircon, coffee machines and original artworks. The buffet breakfast overlooking the river is the perfect start to the day. R$250.
  • Che Lagarto Hostel ParatyRua Benina Toledo do Prado, 22 +55 24 3371-1564, e-mail: . Hostel located 2 blocks away from the historical center. Swimming pool and bar inside the hostel. WIFI, public kitchen and breakfast included in the fee. From 16USD.

On the beach[edit]

  • Sereia do marAv. Praia do Jabaquara 33 (800 metres from town centre),  +55 24 3371-1930, e-mail: . Hostel is situated in front of and only ten metres from Jabaquara beech and 800 metres from town centre.The hostel offers an excellent complimentary buffet breakfast internet access pool and ping pong tables along with a wide variety of tours including kayak jeep and boat excursions. The hostel also has a fully stocked bar and an excellent restaurant. Prices from R$25 for dorm room and R$60 for double.
  • Geko Hostel & PousadaRua Orlando Carpinelli, 5, Praia Pontal +55 24 3371-2507, e-mail: . This hostel in front of the sea has a quiet and relaxed environment where you can enjoy a caipirinha, make friends from all over Brazil and the world, read a book, play the guitar or anything else you may enjoy.
  • Casa do SUP (Paraty Guesthouse), Avenida Jabaquara, 26 (Beach Front - Jabaquara Neighbourhood),  +55 24 3371494, e-mail: . Guesthouse located directly in front of Jabaquara beach, perfect location for Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP). Discounts for board rentals and tours. Prices from R$45 for dorm room and R$120 for double.
  • Corumbe Beach Villas (Beachfront villas for rent), Rod Rio-Santos km 179, Praia do Corumbe, (6km from Paraty Old Town),  +55 24 9999-8834. Beautiful and charming Villas with 4 and 6 ensuite bedrooms with private pool and jacuzzi, right on the beach. Stunning views.
  •    Eliconial Paraty PousadaRua Sete de Setembro, 5 - Jabaquara Beach - +55 24 3371-2486. Check-in: 02:00 pm, check-out: 12AM. In a quiet environment 165 ft from Jabaquara Beach in Paraty, the small Eliconial hotel provides charming rooms with balcony and kitchenette. Free Wi-Fi, pool and parking are available. Guests at Eliconial Paraty Pousada can take a dip in the jacuzzi, chill out on the tropical grounds or enjoy a varied breakfast by the swimming pool. For additional relaxation, there is also a spa unit in the hotel. 160 to 230.

If you need additional options of budget accommodations (Bed and Breakfast): http://www.pousada.com.br

Connect[edit]

There are plenty of internet cafes just outside the historical centre. You can't avoid seeing one while walking a few blocks along the main street.

Go next[edit]

  • Angra dos Reis
  • Cunha - following the remains of old Estrada Real coming from Ouro Preto.
  • Trindade - Popular beach in an old village. Buses once per hour at around 45 after.
  • Penha from where you can walk to the distillery. Around 30 minutes by bus.
  • Ubatuba - just one hour from the city, by car, it is a famous beach town in the state of São Paulo. There you will find more than 90 beaches, nice restaurants and hotels.
Routes through Paraty
SantosUbatuba  S BR-101.png N  Angra dos ReisRio de Janeiro


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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