"PARATY" Top 5 Page for this destination Parati by elsadran

Parati Travel Guide: 272 reviews and 881 photos

A place everybody likes!

It's graceful. It's pleasant. It's peaceful. It is located south of Rio de Janeiro in the Bay of Ilha Grande. With 55 paradise islands and more than a hundred beaches the region of Paraty is rich in natural beauties. It is surrounded by four protected areas, the Natural Park Serra da Bocaina, the National Park of Serra do Mar , the Ecological Reserve of Juatinga and the protected area of Cairucu. They are spread from the mountains as far as the coast, rich in flora and fauna. Beautiful beaches , waterfalls and nice hikes are some of its assets for the ecologists and the adventurers..
The original inhabitants of Paraty were the Indians Guaiana,who lived in the regions around Rio and Sao Paulo. They used to go to the coast to fish, and produce a kind of flour from the fish called "pirati". The name of the town is what the Indians called it, which means river or fish. The Portuguese formally founded it in 1667. The real urbanisation started in 1726. Paraty has been a National Historical Site since 1966 and is trying to get into the list of Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity.
The historical center is a colonial relic and a true work of art. The cobblestone streets and the fact that no cars are allowed make it a charming town and one of the top destinations for tourists.
In the 18th century it was a very prosperous port for shipping gold from Minas Gerais to Portugal. But the fierce attacks of pirates, who hid in the nearby beaches such as those of Trindade, led to the abandonment of the gold route and resulted in economic isolation of the town.
After the opening of the highway the region regained its population which today comes up to 30,000 people. It's a popular weekend attraction for Brazilians from Rio and Sao Paulo. It is known for the production of cachaca, a sugarcane derived spirit, which today is used as the basis for the national drink of Brazil, the caipirinha. I love it!!!

The rest of the town is busy and ordinary containing supermarkets, stores, banks and pharmacies and a busy bus station.
Particularly notable is the artistic atmosphere in Paraty. There are a lot of musical and cultural events, festivals and religious festivities.. Many talented -or not..- artists gather here to exhibit their work or just socialize with others. There are some really original and impressive galleries ( atelier) of painting, sculpture or just artistic items of everyday use. Most common is local artcraft being sold in shops, or stalls in the street! Very nice!
Best beaches nearby: Praia de Sono, Praia Vermelha, Saco da Velha, Paraty Mirim and some small beaches around the peninsula reached by boats and the beaches of Trindade. There are more gorgeous beaches to the north such as Praia Grande, the beach of Barra Grande, the beach of Mambucaba, and Praia Brava and many more.

Best time to go is January-April. This period is also its high season because it starts with Christmas and New Year and goes on with the Carnival, and the prices double, but you can still find some affordable hotels. In case you are on low budget you can stay in nearby villages and commute by bus. But there is also another good time between May and August when the climate is cooler, the prices better, and the town much more quiet.
All the prices are quoted in the brazilian currency real/reais - R$ --, because the rates of dollars or euros change every day. At the time of my visit, January 2009, the dollar was at2.30 reais and the euro at 3.30R$.

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  • Last visit to Parati: Jan 2009
  • Intro Updated Mar 14, 2009
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