Historic Paraty (pronounced Parachi) is a preserved Portuguese colonial (1500-1822) and Brazilian Imperial (1822-1889) municipality with a population of about 36,000.
After the discovery of the world’s richest gold mines in 1696 in the mountains of Minas Gerais, Paraty became an export port for gold to Rio de Janeiro and from there on to Portugal.
Today, it is better known for its lush location on the Costa Verde (Green Coast) and, by goodness, we’re so glad we discovered it!
Paraty is a colourful maze of cobbled streets lined with carts selling cakes, and restaurant’ tables and chairs.
Meandering along, painted doorways brightly greeted us and Brazilian bunting flew proudly above.
The recently opened and beautifully peaceful Carpe Diem boutique hotel charmingly hosted us for almost a week (we only meant to stay 3 days!).
Kai, Beatrice and their team could not have been more hospitable.
They have created a little sanctuary just 600m from the heart of photogenic town, where even a swimming pool, garden and lounge area add to their haven of tranquility.
They bend over backwards for their guests, including the provision of a delicious breakfast spread, plus gorgeous afternoon tea, coffee and cakes!
We loved hearing about all the special places there are to visit in the locality, and they helped us explore areas we just wouldn’t have known about had we not met them.
Despite the rainy weather when we first arrived we ventured to the local beach, where Albie made friends with local children. They proceeded to cover themselves in the muddy sand!!
We were incredibly lucky to be taken out by Kai and Beatrice in their boat, as a run of sunny days arrived, to see the islands dotting the coast.
The sea is such an unusual emerald green colour; it seems to absorb the lush green rainforest that tumbles into it like giant waterfalls. In this area, is Brazil’s only fjord, another natural wonder for us to experience!
We sweatily climbed through rainforest to the top of this sugar-loaf-like mountain!
It was the steepest most vertical climb we have attempted, and, at times, we didn’t think we’d make it! But check out these views…so worth the ecstatic feeling at the top!
After the strenuous hike, we were taken to Beatrice’s family house, tucked away on an island. We felt like Robinson Crusoe!
During the day, it was great to chat about Brazil; we learnt about other parts of the country, popular foods and also about dances and music particular to various areas.
Another day, we set off to find Praia do Sono, meant to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. It was a little bit of an adventure to find! First, we went to the local bus station, where we waited for a local bus to take us to Vila Onatonio. There, we walked through fairly dense jungle for an hour to reach the beach.
Here, people live with no road access; their only way of getting around is by foot or boat.
After a swim, we asked a fisherman to take us round the bay in his boat, to catch a bus back to Paraty. This is what the locals do when need to shop, go to work or travel anywhere.
This is the interesting and surreal part. The only way the locals can access the roads is to take their boats to a very posh marina at Vila Onatonio, where there is a top security gated condominium complex. Where the boat docks, they are ferried by van, past the mansions, to outside the gates. We followed their path.
Back in Paraty, we had our first açai in a cute cafe called Manue. Açai is a berry found in Brazil and is full of good stuff!! We’re addicted!
Another great find was a natural rock slide (‘tobaga’ as the locals call it). To view our sliding in action, take a look on our Instragram page (travellingtamlyns). Again, we reached it by a 40-minute local bus ride…much better for us than going on a tourist tour!
We were delighted to be in Paraty to watch Brazil’s 1st World Cup match! We love the way the Brazilians get ready for a game with flags and bunting, and really get into the spirit with music, singing and donning clothes of their national colours!
Brazil 1 – Switzerland 1. Come on Brazil!! We will be supporting them, as well as England of course, whilst we’re here; their football is pretty inspiring!
We came to Paraty for just a few nights, but ended up staying for double the time! It’s a place you could stay forever! Our next stop is Rio en route to Bahia…
Carpe Diem – https://carpe-diem-boutique-hotel.negocio.site/