Paraty

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

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

By plane

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

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

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

By bus

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

Get around

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

Historic Center

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.

Beaches

Waterfalls

Do

Boats on Paraty harbor

Events

Buy

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.

Eat

Drink

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.

Sleep

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

Outside the historical center

Igreja Matriz on the canal in Paraty

On the beach

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

Connect

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

Routes through Paraty

Santos Ubatuba  S  N  Angra dos Reis Rio de Janeiro


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, November 02, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.