A piece of Brazilian history in Paraty

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A piece of Brazilian history in Paraty

Paraty is charming! I must say a cute little gem town located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, historic architecture, and vibrant culture. I have been there for years in a row, and it has been my favorite place to travel for my Carnaval holidays. I share a bit of my days there and what makes Paraty a must- visit destination for travelers.

streets and restaurants

Paraty is a town with a rich history, evident in its well-preserved colonial architecture. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its historic center is full of colorful buildings and cobbled streets. The town was founded in the late 17th century as a port for exporting gold to Europe, and its historic buildings reflect its prosperous past. The best way to explore the historic center is on foot, as the streets are narrow and traffic is limited.

one of some of the churches in the town

One of the main attractions in Paraty is its beautiful beaches, but not the ones downtown. There are over 65 beaches in the area, each with its own unique features. Lush tropical forests surround the beaches, and many of them are accessible only by boat, which makes for a fantastic adventure. Among the most popular beaches are Praia do Sono, Praia do Cachadaço, and Praia de Trindade – by the way, Trindade is a spectable by itself. It is almost independent nowadays, but in the past, it was a kind of hidden paradise and a hippie refuge.

beach and boat

Another highlight of Paraty is its vibrant cultural scene. The town hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Paraty International Literary Festival, which attracts writers and book lovers worldwide. The town also has a rich culinary scene, with many restaurants serving traditional Brazilian dishes, including seafood and feijoada, a stew made with black beans and meat. It is also famous for its cachaça production and there’s a festival for it as well!

bad weather but the best time in Paraty in 2021

Paraty is also an excellent destination for adventure seekers. The town is surrounded by mountains and forests, offering plenty of opportunities for hiking, trekking, and exploring nature. The Serra da Bocaina National Park is a must-visit for nature lovers, with its beautiful waterfalls and diverse flora and fauna.

Paraty also holds some historical curiosities related to the Monarchy and the Empire. It played an important role in Brazil’s imperial era. During this time, the town was a significant port for exporting gold and other valuable commodities to Europe. The gold mined in the region was transported to Paraty, where it was loaded onto ships bound for Portugal.

cachoeira da pedra branca in 2015

The town’s importance as a port led to significant economic growth during the 18th and 19th centuries. The prosperity of the town is reflected in its well-preserved colonial architecture, which includes numerous mansions and churches. Many of these buildings were built during the imperial era and reflected the wealth and status of the town’s residents at that time.

Paraty was also a significant stopover for travelers on the “Gold Trail,” a route that linked the gold mines of Minas Gerais with the port of Paraty. The trail was an essential transport route during the imperial era, and it played a significant role in the region’s economic


Nossa Senhora dos Remédio Church

The imperial era ended in 1889 with the proclamation of the Brazilian Republic. However, Paraty’s rich history and architectural heritage are still evident today, and visitors to the town can explore its many historic buildings and learn about its connection to Brazil’s past.

And what about the name Paraty?

One theory is that the name comes from the Tupi-Guarani language, which was spoken by the indigenous people who lived in the region before the arrival of the Portuguese. According to this theory, “Paraty” means “river of fish” or “fisherman’s river” in the Tupi- Guarani language, which is a reference to the abundant fish found in the region’s rivers and coastal waters.

Another theory is that the name comes from the Portuguese word “Parati,” which means “a pair of pots.” This theory suggests that the name refers to the shape of the bay where the town is located, which is said to resemble two pots placed side by side.

central square in Paraty in 2008

Regardless of the origin of the name, Paraty is a town with a rich history and culture. Its name has become synonymous with Brazil’s colonial era, and it continues to be a popular destination for visitors interested in exploring the country’s past and experiencing its vibrant present.

Paraty is a magical town that offers something for everyone. Its rich history, beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and natural beauty make it a must-visit destination in Rio de Janeiro. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, Paraty will surely exceed your expectations.

Trindade in 2008

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