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Things to Do in Paraty

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Paraty Bay
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11 Tours and Activities

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 the untouched coastlines of Paraty Bay and its 65 islands that make it a true travel destination.

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Cachoeira Toboga
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The incredible Cachoeira Toboga waterfall in the heart of the rainforest doubles as a natural waterslide that sends travelers shooting down slippery rocks into a swimming pool surrounded by Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest. Just upstream, a swinging rope bridge leads to Bar do Tarzan, a popular spot for a cold beer or caipirinha.

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Gold Path (Caminho do Ouro)
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This rugged trail in the hills of Minas Gerais once served as a train route for mining supplies, African slaves, and gold. Once the gold dried up, the trail fell out of use. Today, the Gold Path has become a popular destination for travelers looking to explore scenic mountains, thick forests, and a bit of Paraty history.

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Paraty Historic Center (Centro Historico Paraty)
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The pedestrianized, cobbled streets of Paraty’s compact historic center double as a National Historic Site, home to some of Brazil’s most picturesque colonial architecture. This district, along with the surrounding Brazilian Atlantic forest, comprise the UNESCO World Heritage Site known collectively as Paraty and Ilha Grande.

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Fora Beach (Praia dos Ranchos)
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Brazil is known for its incredible beaches, clear waters and long stretches of pure, white sand. And while the coast is lined with sweet escapes that are perfect for sun worshipers and snorkelers alike, Fora Beach—also known as Ranchos—ranks among the nation’s best.

Located in a part of Rio de Janeiro known as Trindade, Fora Beach (Praia dos Ranchos) is one of six distinctly unique beaches that draw travelers beyond city limits and into the wilds of nature. With impressive waves, protected swimming areas and shaded trees ideal for cooling off, Fora Beach has something for everyone. Plus, its close proximity to rolling hills and thick forests make it a destination that’s as perfect for water lovers as it is for outdoor adventurers.

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Serra da Bocaina National Park
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Between the electric metropolis of Sao Paulo and the lively city of Rio de Janeiro lie the 260,000 acres of rural forest and mountain peaks of Serra da Bocaina National Park. This precious preserve is home to natural Atlantic Forest vegetation and some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the region.

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First Church of Our Lady of the Remedies
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The First Church of Our Lady of the Remedies, in the heart of Paraty, is both the largest and the most popular in town. Travelers flock to this impressive example of colonial architecture that stretches over an entire block and that was built on donated land. The bell towers and temple remain incomplete but the façade is beautiful nevertheless.

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Sono Beach
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Secluded and somewhat difficult to reach, Sono Beach attracts adventurous types with its spectacular views and golden sands backed by a lush wall of rainforest and nearby waterfalls. The beach is home to a small fishing community and little else, making this an ideal spot to escape the crowds of Paraty’s historic city center.

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Trindade Beach (Praia da Trindade)
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Travelers who make the journey to Trindade Beach (Praia da Trindade are rewarded with one of the best stretches of sand on Brazil’s Costa Verde. This popular beach boasts an island vibe, complete with beach bars blaring reggae tunes, serving up fresh seafood and cachaça-fueled cocktails.

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Paraty House of Culture (Casa da Cultura)
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The colonial mansion that houses Casa da Cultura dates back to the mid-eighteenth century, Halls are lined with artifacts from an extensive permanent collection, including historic photographs, video interviews with famous Paraty residents, and unique carpets made from flower petals that were once used in the Corpus Christi festival.

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More Things to Do in Paraty

Long Island (Ilha Comprida)

Long Island (Ilha Comprida)

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Long Island (Ilha Comprida on Brazil’s eastern shore doesn’t have a beach, but it remains among the most popular stops for cruises from Paraty thanks to its stellar diving and snorkeling opportunities. The waters just offshore are a paradise for marine life—a natural aquarium teeming with colorful corals and tropical fish.

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Caixa d’Aco Beach

Caixa d’Aco Beach

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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.

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Murycana Farm (Fazenda Murycana)

Murycana Farm (Fazenda Murycana)

This old school farm and distillery offers travelers a truly authentic taste of Brazilian food and drink. Visitors can tour the scenic grounds, which include a flowing river, a rustic farmhouse, lush fields and thick jungle forests.

Travelers can sample traditional cuisine at Murycana’s popular restaurant amid towering rainforest trees and learn about the history cachaca—a strong local drink that’s still made on site. The well-currated museum and authentic distillery are an essential part of any visit to Muryacana, but travelers agree it’s the Brazilian food and drink that make this jungle sanctuary truly worth checking out.

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Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlantica)

Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlantica)

The Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlantica Biosphere Reserve, covers 14 states and spreads over more than 20,000 acres in Brazil. It’s formed of the remnants of a larger terrestrial ecosystem that once ran down the country's eastern coast, extending 3,000 km from Rio Grande do Norte to the Argentine border and as far inland as Paraguay. Located within the biosphere reserve are the urban parks of Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janeiro and Cantareira State Park in Sao Paulo.

The Atlantic Forest is known for its expanses of tropical rainforest and is home to extraordinary biodiversity and an especially high number of endemic species; roughly half of all the species of plant and animal life in the Atlantic Forest exist only within its boundaries.

At one time, Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest was twice the size of Texas. But today, nearly 85 percent of this natural habitat has been clear-cut in response to the growing demand for local business, industry and trade. In light of these human impacts, the Atlantic Forest has become an important location for organizations working toward environmental conservation. In particular, there are numerous protected areas in the Atlantic Forest that offer visitors the opportunity for hiking, birding, rafting, and many other forms of environmentally sustainable tourism.

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Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Benedict

Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Benedict

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Built by slaves in the early 1700s, the Church of Our Lady of the Rosaryand St. Benedict 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.

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