Things to Do in Paraty
About 36,000 people call the Portuguese colonial town of Paraty home. Its quiet streets, colorful homes, European influence and historic roots attract visitors from across the globe. But it’s Paraty’s easy access to lush forests, untouched coastlines and pristine mountains that make it a true travel destination. Stationed on the Bay of Ilha Grande, Paraty is the southernmost city in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Visitors can kayak or cruise through placid waters and explore the tiny islands scattered throughout the bay. And land lovers can check out nearby Serra da Bocaina National Park and Serra do Mar State Park, for a look at indigenous plants and wildlife.
This beautiful beach located in Porto Belo in Brazil’s Santa Catarina state, is a favorite destination among both travelers and locals. Private boats and impressive yachts cruise through the open port on their way to sea, and visitors can even hire a charter to explore the bay.
Travelers can wander to the pristine—if rustic—beach on foot and enjoy a quiet taste of paradise, or catch stunning sunsets while kayaking through the placid waters. And the evening firework shows—particularly during high season—are a highlight of any trip to Caixa d’Aco.
This Catholic church in the heart of Paraty’s Historic Center is not only the largest in the town—it is also the most popular. Travelers flock to this impressive example of colonial architecture that stretches over an entire block and was built on donated land. Despite it’s beauty, the bell towers and temple of Our Lady of the Remedies remain incomplete. In addition to exploring the chapels, visitors can partake in local festivals during Holy Week and wander the halls of upstairs art galleries year round.
More Things to Do in Paraty
Built by slaves in the early 1700s, the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary is one of Paraty’s most historic—and most visited—religious sites. The ornate wooden altars, gilded in gold, provide a stark contrast to the whitewashed walls of the central church. A brilliant chandelier base secured in the rounded ceiling is just part of what makes a visit to Our Lady of the Rosary unique. Travelers will likely find this homage to the slaves who worked tirelessly on its construction an important landmark in Paraty’s rich social, religious and cultural history.