Paraty is the secret port of the colonial gold route, and awaits you for a relaxing vacation in a small bay surrounded by tropical jungle and islands.
If you are looking for somewhere in Brazil that offers nature, culture, romanticism and peace and quiet, well the cute colonial port of Paraty offers a condensed version that will delight you.
Found in the Rio de Janeiro region, on the Costa Verde, this port which is listed as a World Heritage site is hidden in the heart of the « Atlantic primary forest ». It’s a place that has both a beautiful historical heritage and a preserved natural surrounding with beaches close by.
It’s about 4hrs by car from Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo, but it’s a choice stop for those who love culture or are looking for idyllic postcard style landscapes.
Almost forgotten and inaccessible by road only a few decades ago, in the 17th century Paraty was the port of arrival for the African slave galleons that would exchange their human cargo for gold and jewels for the Portuguese crown. This heavily guarded secret activity allowed the port to prosper and the building of beautiful mansions in this tiny idyllic cove on a tortuous coastline with mountainous jungles. Abandoned with the expansion of Rio de Janeiro, this village disappeared rapidly from memory, leaving only a few fishing families. It survived the test of time and was rediscovered in the mid 20th century to become one of the best charming tourist destinations in Brazil thanks to its exceptional colonial architectural heritage set facing the bay.
However, although Paraty is surrounded by magnificent islands and beaches, it isn’t really a beach resort in itself. It is better to drive a little further to reach other surrounding beaches. If you are looking for a more exotic time you can rent a boat and visit the small deserted islands covered by tropical forest that are dotted around the bay.
A tranquil oasis by day, the village comes alive more at night. All the colonial buildings have become pousadas, bars or restaurants, and you can have animated and friendly evenings on a terrace or over a delicious meal .
In our Paraty Tour or Stay
A small museum like colonial town
A lively nightlife
Nature excursions in the surrounding area
Luxury and charming hotels
Description about stays in Paraty
• 1 private transfer from Rio de Janeiro (hotel or airport) to Paraty
• 2 nights in a double room in a pousada from our selection
• 1 private transfer from Paraty to Rio de Janeiro (hotel or airport)
Must see the preserved historical heritage of Paraty, recognised by UNESCO
The history of the port of Paraty is closely linked to the resources discovered in this region. Founded in the XVIIth century, this small village prospered rapidly by producing sugar cane for Brazilian alcohols then the cachaça and, then coffee. Its location, hidden in the Ilha Grande bay also meant it was a very busy slave trading port. But it was especially the gold and diamond mining of Minas Gerais, a few hundred kms north, that transformed this little fishing port into a hidden loading point for the galleons full of treasures destined for Portugal.
Victim of the expansion of Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of the 18th century, Paraty was abandoned after the opening of a more accessible road to the mines in Minas Gerais. This meant the town froze in time stopping all progress which paradoxically preserved the architectural treasures we now find in the historical centre and which gives its authentic colonial charm. Typical buildings from the period include pretty one-story houses with wrought iron friezes and balconies, and sumptuous Baroque churches, including Santa Rita, in the heart of the historic centre.
The village is entirely reserved for pedestrians for more tranquillity and the buried electric wires also preserve the beauty of the place. These are ideal conditions for discovering these narrow cobbled streets which will reveal hidden treasures, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.
In this quiet and unspoilt atmosphere, you can surprise yourself imagining the old times when the streets were full of stalls, adventurers and intriguing traders, trying to make a fortune from the riches of the “New World”.
Enjoy the Paraty culture with natural paradise on the Costa Verde
Rediscovered only fifty years ago, Paraty has emerged from a deep sleep and now offers many charming pousadas with a yesteryear style and a town centre full of welcoming cafes and restaurants. Paraty also has a thriving cultural life with many exhibitions and artists’ studios. An international book festival, FLIP, attracts many visitors every year.
But its treasures also include its exceptional location, since Paraty is surrounded by beautiful tropical forests that run right down to the ocean. These natural areas have lots of paths to discover this primary forest, the Mata Atlantica which is almost extinct due to the deforestation of the coast.
If you are thirsty for adventure and freedom, we suggest you also explore the islands of the Costa Verde in search of deserted beaches of fine sand, bathed in turquoise waters, where you will feel you have found paradise at last. Paraty is the ideal starting point to reach these islands by boat.
If you want to extend your stay on one of the islands, then why not go a little further on to Ilha Grande? This ecological sanctuary has been open to the public for only 20 years and is the largest island in the region offering beautiful stays for ecotourism lovers. Discover our stay in Ilha Grande !
A colonial village close to Rio de Janeiro with an exceptional ecological heritage.
The village of Paraty is at the heart of an ecotourism complex in full expansion, as it is surrounded by several protected areas: the Sierra Bocaina Park, of course, but also the ecological reserve of Joatinga and the protection zone for the Cairucu. Also note that Paraty is the gateway to Serra do Mar National Park.
All of these protected areas form a veritable green wall around Paraty and contribute as much to its tranquillity as to the atmosphere of ancient times when the settlers had cleared only a few acres of land. This green environment reflects in the waters of the bay and adds to the character of this village-museum of Brazil’s colonial past.
If you are planning a long stay and enjoy walking in natural surroundings, you will be delighted with this part of the Costa Verde, because hiking trails abound. We recommend you discover the Sierra Bocaina National Park, but also to walk some of the Guaianazes Indian trails, or the paved road built by slaves in the eighteenth century to carry the gold of Minas Gerais.
Detailed program for a stay in Paraty
Day 1 : Rio de Janeiro – Paraty
Whether from the airport in Rio de Janeiro, or from your chosen hotel, a vehicle and driver will collect you and take you to Paraty at a little less than 250kms by road.
For about 4 hours, you will discover the state of Rio and its landscapes. First, you cross or go around Rio de Janeiro (depending on your starting point,) to reach the south of the city and the famous Br 101, road of nearly 5000kms long that runs along a good part of the Brazilian coast.
Shortly after Mangaratiba, the road runs along the coast and offers a magnificent panorama, the ocean appearing and disappearing according to the curves in the road. You then get to Angra dos Reis, and continue along the coast before arriving in Paraty Bay.
Your driver will leave you at your pousada and after checking-in you can settle in your room.
Whether you have left Rio in the morning or early afternoon, you have time to get a first impression of Paraty by strolling the pedestrian streets, on the lookout for a good table for dinner. Remember to ask your pousada reception about the boat times to visit the surrounding islands, if you want to make an excursion the next day!
Night at the pousada
Day 2 : Paraty
Take your time over a good breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
There are lots of things to do in Paraty :
For lovers of culture and history, you can visit the village and its churches, each of which was originally reserved for a particular social and ethnic group (rich whites, black slaves, liberated mixed race, poor whites). You can also visit the Casa de Cultura (Culture House), the Fort Defensor Perpetuo and other historical places.
If you want to enjoy the pleasures of swimming and relaxation, then go to Sono Beach, one of the most beautiful in the region or for an excursion to Trinidade, an authentic fishing village surrounded by the most beautiful beaches in the region . You can also kayak or stand up paddle or take a boat ride around the islands of the bay.
If you want to exercise in a beautiful setting, then you can walk in one of the surrounding national parks and travel the millennial paths in the footsteps of the region’s natives.
Finally, if you want to discover the local nature but you are not very motivated to walk a lot, opt for the jeep tour of the Serra da Bocaina, you will effortlessly join some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region.
Night on site.
Day 3 : Paraty -Rio de Janeiro/ out
Buffet breakfast served at your pousada and last morning of visits or relaxation.
A vehicle picks you up at the pousada for your return to the airport according to your flight time or at the end of the morning to a hotel in the Fluminence capital.
Arrival in Rio de Janeiro, the driver drops you off at the hotel or airport of your choice.
End of our services.
Pousada do Sandi (standard)
Pousada do Sandi is a small charming establishment in a beautiful period building. It offers cosy and comfortable rooms with a decoration skilfully blending classic furniture with a vivid modern colour design.
The services and facilities are very correct and make this pousada good valur for money for Paraty.
Pousada do Ouro (superior)
The pousada do Ouro is a superior establishment that offers beautiful rooms in a colonial style with beautiful furnishings. Located in the heart of the historical district, a stay in here will immerse you in the village’s atmosphere. Pool, sauna and spa.
There is a very cozy bar is here to start the evening and this is the favorite pousada of the stars, ideal for a luxury upmarket stay.
Pousada Literaria de Paraty (Superior)
Pousada Literaria in Paraty is the latest addition to its upscale pousadas. In an old but completely renovated building, it offers great services combining charm and modernity. It is the official pousada for international writers invited to the International Literature Festival (FLIP) that takes place each year in Paraty.
This is the ideal accommodation for an exceptional moment such as a honeymoon with the famous Paraty suite of 180 sqm on two floors with fireplace & library. A must see for those looking for luxury or exclusivities!