18 hotels in this place
Paraty 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.
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Points of Interest in Parati
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cultural space. Has a twice weekly presentation of a famous puppet group.
- Santa Rita church, Largo 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.
- Jabaquara, Next 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.
- Iriri, Rio-Santos highway km 158. Beautiful low waterfall ending in a shallow refreshing pool.
- Pedra Branca (White stone), Paraty-Cunha Road (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..
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.
- 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.
- 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: email@example.com. 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.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- Paraty & Mediterrani, Praça da Matriz, 6 (in Matriz Square-Historic Center), ☎ +55 (24) 3371.2155. Fabulous local fresh foods with a touch from Barcelona.
- Porto Entreposto Cultural, Rua do Comercio #14 (Historical center), ☎ +55 24 3371-1058. 6PM-. Amazing Brazilian/European menu. Good selection of wines. $R25 for a main.
- sereia do mar, Av Praia do Jabaquara 33 (800 metres from the town centre looking out onto one of paratys most beautiful and tranquil beaches), ☎ +55 24 337111930 for 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 33713163 for resavations, e-mail: email@example.com. 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 Mago, Rua do Comércio 376 (in historic town center), ☎ 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!
Dance with the locals at bar/clubs in the main square, Lado B da Praça or Dinho's Bar, or in Paraty 33.
- Cervejaria Caborê, Av. 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.
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 Caiana, Rua 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.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Paraty on Wikivoyage.