When someone mentions visiting Brazil, I think most immediately conjure up images of the frenetic, wild, magnificent, spectacular Rio – the chaos, colour, samba, and spice. However, just a few hours west, there is a charming treasure to explore: Paraty (pronounced para-chee).
Paraty is a quiet colonial town, a UNESCO world heritage site which captures the Portuguese colonial history in the historic centre.The only word to describe the historic centre is charming – charming colourfully painted doors, charming little restaurants spilling out onto the streets with wobbly tables perched precariously on the uneven cobbles, and music around each corner. The streets are cobbled with the most intense, ankle-breaking stones, which require a visitor to be very aware of every step, and forces you to really be caught up in the present moment. Basically, this is a blog post where I have just taken endless pictures of windows and doors… As you leave the centre, “real life” starts to sprout around the part of town that is frozen in time. Hints of modernity, graffiti, and laundry hanging off railing whisper about the real life that grows around this pocket of Brazil that has been frozen in time.
Practical travel tips:
Paraty is accessible to both São Paulo and Rio. From São Paulo, I booked a car through Green Toad Bus, which ended up being a private transfer in a very comfortable van and was a few hours drive.
I also booked the transfer from Paraty to Ilha Grande through the same bus service and my final transfer to Rio. These transfers were seamless and I would definitely book this transport service again.
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