Paraty is one of the prettiest towns in Brazil. Located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, the city is home to stunning colonial architecture, pristine beaches, and lots of nature parks. On this basis, here are the best things to do in Paraty, Brazil.
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Welcome to Paraty: Brazil’s Picture-Perfect Colonial Town
Portuguese colonists founded the village of Paraty in 1597. However, most of the structures you see today date from the late 17th century – when the town was formally established.
Paraty became a hub on the Brazilian Gold Trail as its port served as an export base.
Today, the city is one of the best-preserved colonial settlements in all of Brazil and a popular tourist destination.
Apart from picturesque colonial houses, the region is home to several natural parks – as well as pristine islands. Together with Ilha Grande, the area of Paraty is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
If you’re traveling in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Paraty is undoubtedly worth a stop as it offers a laidback atmosphere and breathtaking natural sites.
To make the most out of your trip, here are the top attractions and best things to do in Paraty, Brazil.
The Best Things to do in Paraty
You’ll find the top activities in Paraty in and around the historic center, so that’s the best place to start.
Explore the Stunning Historic Center
Paraty’s historic center is one of the prettiest in all of Brazil and a must during your visit.
You’ll find lots of well-preserved colonial houses as well as charming alleyways here.
The historic center is also home to some of the most famous churches in Paraty, including Santa Rita, Nossa Senhora do Rosário e São Benedito, and Igreja Matriz da Nossa Senhora dos Remédios.
As such, getting lost in the maze of cobbled streets and admiring the Portuguese colonial architecture is one of the best things to do in Paraty.
Apart from historic sites, the center is also the best place if you’re looking for Paraty nightlife spots.
Relax on the Best Beaches in Paraty
Paraty has numerous paradisiacal beaches.
The closest ones are Praia Pontal and Praia Jabaquara, but these aren’t the best beaches in Paraty.
In this regard, Praia Grande and Praia do Cão Morto are only a short taxi or bike ride away, and they are among the most beautiful beaches in the region.
Check out the Jabaquara Mangroves
The lush Jabaquara Mangroves are only accessible by boat, adding an extra element of adventure to this natural wonder.
The easiest way to get there is to rent a kayak on Jabaquara Beach and paddle through the mangroves.
Many companies offer boat tours in Paraty’s port, and these will take you to several beaches. For around 50 BRL (~10 USD), you can hop on a tour going from Paraty to the stunning Praia da Lula, Praia Vermelha, and Praia de Santa Rita.
The boats also offer snorkeling gear and food and drinks.
Sip Some Cachaça in the Local Distilleries
Paraty is famous for its Cachaça liquor distilleries which you’ll find outside the city’s core. In this context, the Alambique Engenho D’Ouro is one of the best distilleries near Paraty.
In the city center, you’ll also find Jeeps offering tours to various Cachaça distilleries.
If you get tired of Cachaça, head to Cervejaria Caborê, one of the city’s top breweries. You can drink local craft beer here, and they also offer brewery tours.
Visit the Surrounding Natural Sweet Spots – Best Day Trips From Paraty
There are lots of excellent day trip opportunities in Paraty, and you can reach many by bus from Rodoviario Paraty. Others require an organized tour.
In this context, the sleepy town of Trindade and its famous beach are a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon.
Apart from Trindade, the Saco do Mamanguá is a fjord-like sea arm with great hiking paths.
Finally, the Graúna region is an underrated mountainous location with small villages nestled between towering peaks.
Where to Stay in Paraty
The best area to stay in Paraty is undoubtedly the historic center. You’ll find lots of traditional hotels (pousadas) and Airbnbs for any taste and budget here.
Alternatively, there are some tranquil pousadas on the river, just outside of the historic core.
Things to do in Paraty: Know Before You Go
To have the best possible experience in Paraty, here are some FAQs and things to know.
How to Get to Paraty
You can reach Paraty by bus or airplane. The city has a small airport serving seasonal flights to São Paulo and Rio by Azul Airlines. However, due to a downturn in demand, neither route is operating as of 2022.
As such, if you don’t have a car, the only way to get to Paraty is by bus.
Luckily, there are lots of affordable connections from the larger cities.
From Rio, it takes around 4-5 hours, and you can take the company Costa Verde. From São Paulo, Reunidas has bus journeys every two hours, and the trip is around 7 hours.
You can book tickets for both routes on Clickbus. It’s best to book online in advance as these journeys sometimes fill up.
Paraty, Brazil Safety
Paraty is one of the safest towns in Brazil. You’re unlikely to run into any trouble here, but it is still Brazil.
Stay in the historic center and its immediate surroundings when venturing out at night.
The Best Time to Visit Paraty – Paraty Weather
There is no “bad” time to visit Paraty as it’s warm all year round.
However, during the summer months (December to March ), it does rain quite a bit, and the heat can become oppressive. In terms of tourism, the most popular months are May to September.