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Overview

Midway between Brazil’s two megacities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Paraty is a colonial gem set amidst a majestic landscape of blue ocean and lush mountains. This charming town of whitewashed houses and cobblestoned streets dates back to the 18th century when it was a port from which gold from Minas Gerais was shipped off to Portugal. After being supplanted by Rio, Paraty fell into splendid isolation until it was rediscovered by hippies and artists in the 1970s. Since then, jetsetters, backpackers, weekenders, and international tourists have increasingly caught on to the fact that this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers an alluring mix ...

Midway between Brazil’s two megacities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Paraty is a colonial gem set amidst a majestic landscape of blue ocean and lush mountains. This charming town of whitewashed houses and cobblestoned streets dates back to the 18th century when it was a port from which gold from Minas Gerais was shipped off to Portugal. After being supplanted by Rio, Paraty fell into splendid isolation until it was rediscovered by hippies and artists in the 1970s. Since then, jetsetters, backpackers, weekenders, and international tourists have increasingly caught on to the fact that this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers an alluring mix of sophisticated hotels, restaurants and boutiques along with primitive beaches, deserted islands, and hiking trails that weave through the dense jungle carpeting the Serra do Mar mountains. Another major lure in the region is Ilha Grande. The largest island in the Bay of Angra, this former pirate refuge and leper colony today attracts divers, trekkers, and lovers of some of the most splendid and secluded beaches on the planet.

Michael Sommers
About the Expert

Michael Sommers is the author of Moon Brazil and Moon Rio, as well as the blog Thrill of Brazil. He has been living in Salvador, Brazil since 1999.

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Michael Sommers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Paraty and Ilha Grande receive visitors year-round, but summer and July (especially during Paraty's FLIP literary festival) is very crowded. Summer can be rainy while winters can be cool.