Paraty is a lovely colonial town that can be found on Brazil's southeastern coast. Just 125 miles away is Rio de Janeiro, while Sao Paulo is approximately 205 miles away. This helps to make Paraty a popular Rio and Sao Paulo side trip destination. As for what people come to see, the town's historic core is the main attraction. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city's old town boasts well-preserved colonial buildings that are a joy to take in. Adding to the allure of a visit are the nearby hills and the area waters. This is an excellent place to play when you're not seeing the manmade sights.
Paraty became a significant Brazilian port in the 1800s, thanks largely in part to the gold that came from the nearby Minas Gerais. The gold that was brought to the coast was destined for Portugal, and when it finally ran out, coffee became the industry of choice in the region. When slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888, the coffee industry dried up, and this saw Paraty fall into a state of relative insignificance. By the early 1900s, the population had fallen from 16,000 to 600. The city might have completely gone to the wayside if it wasn't for its historic relevance. In 1966, the colonial core was designated a World Heritage Site, and this has helped to make tourism the main industry of the day.
Paraty Brazil is set along Ilha Grande Bay, and rising up behind it are a series of hills that are often cloaked in misty clouds. It's a truly wonderful setting, especially when you also figure in the colonial architecture in the historic core. Among the most attractive Paraty Brazil attractions is the Santa Rita church. This old church dates back to 1722 and stands beautifully against the backdrop of the lush, green hills. Rococo accents add some flare, and should you have the time, you can check out the church's Museum of Sacred Art. This small museum might not be the most renowned art museum in the country, but there are quality works with religious themes that art enthusiasts should enjoy.
Other churches that figure among the top Paraty Brazil attractions include the Ingreja da Matriz, the Ingreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosario e Sao Benedito, and the Capela de Nossa Senhora das Dores. The former is the largest church in town, not to mention the most ornate, and while it started out as a chapel in 1646, the church that you will see today dates back to the 1870s. As for the Ingreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosario e Sao Benedito, it dates back to the 1720s and is especially simple and rustic. The simpler design reflects the fact that it was both built and used by slaves. The Capela de Nossa Senhora das Dores, on the other hand, was finished in 1800 and mostly served the needs of wealthy society women.
Taking in the manmade Paraty Brazil attractions, more specifically the colonial architecture, isn't the only reason that this port city begs a visit. Much like the resort town of Petropolis, Paraty makes a fine eco-tourism destination. In the surrounding hills, hiking figures among the top outdoor pursuits, and multi-day hiking and camping tours are relatively easy to arrange. Renting a mountain bike and venturing off to an area waterfall or beach is also an option for land-based activities, as is horseback riding. Options for water-based activities include boating, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Most of the boat tours that can be arranged at the city center pier last five or six hours and include swimming and snorkeling. Lunch is also included. Local dive operators tend to visit the area islands, where wonderful diving experiences await. A number of fine beaches can be found near Paraty, so you can also add beach time to the agenda.
Regardless of what you have in mind for your trip to Paraty, getting there will be a main thing to think about. Many visitors take a boat from Rio to Paraty Brazil, though that isn't the only option. It is also possible to hop on a bus in either Rio or Sao Paulo, and airport transfers can be arranged through tour operators if you are flying to Brazil and want to head straight to Paraty. Paraty has a small airport, and it is possible to arrive by way of a helicopter or a small plane as well. As for those who prefer taking a boat from Rio to Paraty Brazil, cruise ships and sailboats are most often used to make the transfer. One of the best places to arrange a boat from Rio to Paraty Brazil once you're in town is the Marina da Gloria Yacht Club.