We received recommendations from multiple people to check out a town called Paraty (sometimes spelled Parati), so we listened! Trav was mostly just excited because it’s one letter away from “party.” Paraty is 125 miles south of Rio de Janeiro sitting between the coast and the Bocaino Mountains aka the surroundings are beautiful with beach on one side and lush green rainforest on the other. We initially planned to spend just a few days but glad we extended it to four nights.
Paraty has a preserved historic center with gorgeous colonial architecture with white buildings and colorful doors and windows. The area is closed to car traffic so it’s a great place to stroll around despite the uneven cobble-stones that line the streets – you seriously get a workout just taking steps. It is pretty interesting to see century old buildings on the outside but inside it houses modern stores and restaurants.
Wanting to soak up the beach and rays before we head to cooler temps, we spent most of our time in the sun. The beaches in town aren’t anything special but there are lots of amazing spots just outside accessible by car or boat. One morning we hopped on the city bus and took a 45-minute ride to a nearby hippie-ish village, Trindade. The bus ride was an adventure in itself. The road winds around super steep hills and it is one-way in some places. Once in Trindade we took a little trail that went past a few beaches and up into the jungle hillside, eventually leading into a natural pool surrounded by big rocks. Great spot for swimming and sun-bathing.
A main to-do while in Paraty is take a boat around to the surrounding islands and beaches. So we strolled down the pier one morning to check out the options which range from huge schooners with 60 people to small private speed boats. We ended up finding a great guy with a boat who we haggled down to a five-hour private tour for less than $60 USD. We stopped at three different coves and one beach where we had lunch at a cute little beach shack. It was perfection and so nice to be out on the water! One of the coves we stopped at was pretty busy with other boats and had a cliff people were jumping from. It was pretty entertaining to chill in the water on floaties and watch everyone jump, with honorable mention going to the guy who climbed up to the top, threw his Canadian flag speedo into the crowd of people below and proceeded to do a naked backflip into the water. We wanna party with that guy!
We had an early bus to catch out of Paratay (back to Rio airport then fly to Buenos Aires) so we left our pousada before 5am, not a great time to be out and about. It is only a ten-minute walk to the bus station but it was still dark out so we became extremely vigilant walking with all our belongings in tow. We passed by random groups of guys hoping nobody gave us any trouble and right as we were about to pass the largest group of 6-7 guys out of nowhere four stray dogs surrounded us and started walking with us all the way to the bus station. They would lunge and bark at any motorcycle or person that came nearby like they were protecting us! It was hilarious, like they knew we needed a gringo guard. Trav said he felt like we were in a Disney movie or Homeward Bound 2.
Saying goodbye to Brazil – we’ll miss your beaches, Acai bowls on every corner, and ice-cold caipirinhas. Up next is Argentina!