Paraty is not just a quaint little colonial town, but it is nestled in between among jungle-y mountains and close to some incredible beaches.
One of the funnest excursions of my trip was a short bus ride out of town to a natural water slide- Cachoeira do Tobaga. You get off at this cute church and walk up a short trail to the waterfall. It took a second to work up the nerve to take the plunge into the cold water, but it was SO FUN! The rocks are covered with some algae of sorts, so the slide is so fast and surprisingly smooth. There are some local daredevil dudes doing all sorts of impressive things, like standing up and flipping around whilst zooming down the incredibly slippery slide. If you have a little bit more time, you can stop at the cachaca distillery located steps from the bus stop.Also, the scenery on the way back to town is pretty excellent!That afternoon, the word around the hostel is that there are mangrove forests and magical mud areas that you can kayak to. I headed out with a new pal from the hostel and we headed out for a few hours in search of mangroves. No one who has enjoyed my questionable navigation will be too surprised to learn that I did not, in fact, find the mangroves after a brief glance at a (not very accurate) map. If you are in Paraty and want to kayak the mangroves, I would suggest doing the guided kayak tour or possibly getting a real map. All was not lost – we did find the mud! It was some of the greatest mud of all time.