The colonial town of Paraty, recognized as a National Historic Site since 1966, is nestled between Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. Despite the vicinity of the two major cities, it attracts tourists’ attention with its cobbled streets and three-century-old buildings.
PLACES TO VISIT
The Historical Centre of the town with colorful door and window frames is one of the most picturesque attractions in Paraty. Visitors should spend some time strolling along the cobbled streets to absorb the charm of the old times. They should also visit the Matriz Square and the Santa Rita Church.
You should also visit the Church of Our Lady of the Remedies built in the marvelous colonial style. It is impressive from the inside and outside alike.
PARATY FOR FAMILIES
However, it is not the ancient buildings or man-made wonders that make Paraty a good family destination. Instead, the town’s natural wonders make it so attractive for families.
In Paraty, you can enjoy water activities wherever you go. First, you can choose from several beaches. Barra do Corumbê is a little beach with terrific views across the bay. The water is calm and shallow, which makes it an excellent spot for younger kids. Children love the natural swimming pool on the beach that belongs to one of the beach restaurants. When you get hungry, you can have a tasty and healthy seafood meal there.
Praia do Cão Morto is another beach suitable for families with small children. The water is clean and calm, and there are no waves. You can get a snack from people selling food and drinks there.
Jabaquara Beach in the lovely Paraty’s neighborhood is nice and clean and at a short distance from the historical center of the town. A little bit dark color of the water at the beginning of the beach comes from the river that meets the sea there.
When your kids get tired of water activities, take them to the Jabaquara Mangroves. It is an additional adventure as the mangroves can only be reached by sea. You should hire a kayak and row to mangroves.
However, it is not only beaches at the seashore that makes a vacation in Paraty perfect.
Visitors can take a boat trip to some of the magnificent beaches like Praia da Lula, Praia Vermelha and Praia de Santa Rita. You can also get the snorkeling gear and enjoy life under the sea. You can even have a meal and refreshments.
Saco do Mamanguá is the most extraordinary natural wonder in Paraty. However, it is still a hidden gem. It is a kind of fjord with seawater running between several spectacular green peaks. You can also wander among mangroves, stay on one of the beautiful beaches, or even go hiking.
If you want to see Paraty as locals visit Praia Grande, with boats and fishermen and the local fish market, you can get the fresh fish every day at several bars with the tastiest food in Paraty.
There are some more water activities, but this time not in the sea. Visitors can take a tour to the surrounding Atlantic jungle and see the waterfalls named Tarzan, Toboga, Pocos do Penha and others. You will enjoy watching the water running from the hight and enjoy swimming under it. Jeep tours and bikes are available.
If it is too much water activities, you can leave for the Graúna Mountain Region. It is close to Paraty, and with the waterfalls and the small villages, it paints exquisite beauty on nature’s canvas. You can even get a bed and breakfast in the forest. The restaurant at Le Gite D’Indaiatiba serves delicious food. Follow some of many trails and hikes, and you can explore the stunning wildlife around.
Visitors can find family-friendly accommodation in Paraty’s hotels. Besides spacious family rooms, they can also offer a picnic area and a sun terrace with outdoor furniture. They may organize on-site and off-site activities, and they usually provide swimming pools, spa areas, beach chairs, and jacuzzi.
Children can watch television networks or DVDs. They have books, board games and puzzles available, too.
You can usually communicate in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
The Historic Centre may be a good option as it is close to attractions, bars, and restaurants, but it can also be noisy at night.
WHAT TO EAT
In Paraty, you can find all kinds of restaurants, from luxury to budget ones. On the menu, there are international and national dishes, vegetarian and vegan options, and seafood.
• High heels are not very useful at the cobbled paths, so don’t forget comfortable shoes or sneakers.
• If you visit Paraty in July, you can attend an annual book fair. People from all over the world come to visit the fair.
• You can go jogging along the path running by the side of a canal. You can enjoy the sunset there.
• Taxis in Paraty can be very expensive, so be careful to negotiate first if they are not metered.
• Experience Paraty with locals – stay at the bars and clubs at the main square and dance with them.
TIME TO VISIT
Summertime in Paraty is the best time to visit the town. It is from early December through February, with an enjoyable temperature of around 33C.
You can get to the town by buses from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo.
In the town center, vehicles are not allowed, so you have to walk. Locals prefer bikes, and you can do what locals do and rent a bike. Renting a schooner to travel to nearby islands is also a popular way of transportation.
For nature lovers, Paraty is paradise. It can’t beat the vibrant atmosphere of Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro and their city character, but it doesn’t even have to. Paraty is a place to refuel and relax, to let the children be free of city traps and dangerous. Staying in Paraty is returning to nature and the benefits we can have from it.
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