15 Best Things to do In Paraty in 2024

LOOKING FOR THE BEST PARATY THINGS TO DO?

You’re in the right place because the Top 10 best things to do in Paraty Brazil are all listed here. The Marvellous City is undoubtedly a wonderful place, but it’s always good to get away and experience something different, especially when Rio is surrounded by idyllic spots.

My recommendation? Head west of the city and follow the coastline south to reach the charming town of Paraty.

Don’t have time to read the whole article?

If you are looking for a unique Paraty example, then I recommend booking this Private Paraty Boat Tour with a perfect ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating.

Paraty is as serene as Rio is exhilarating, with its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses contrasting against the vibrant colored door and window frames. The historical center is closed off to motor vehicles making it a wonderful place to aimlessly amble around.

Ready to learn more about Paraty travel?

Things to Do In Paraty

A Bit of Paraty History

Paraty, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a small coastal town in the Rio de Janeiro state of Brazil. It offers an array of amazing things to its visitors — from scenic landscapes to historical significance.

The town’s rise to prominence began during the 17th century when it became a significant port for the Portuguese colonizers, playing a pivotal role in the exploration of gold and precious stones.

It served as the end point of the Gold Trail, a route through which gold and diamonds were shipped to Europe. The colonial period left a mark on Paraty, which is evident in its architecture. Cobblestone streets are lined with well-preserved colonial houses, their facades painted in vibrant colors and adorned with intricate wrought-iron details.

These tangible remnants of the past have turned Paraty into a living museum, making it an essential stop on any travel guide to Brazil. Today, aside from history enthusiasts, the town also attracts nature lovers and adventure seekers who are looking for fun things to do in and around the area.

Things to Do In Paraty

When to Go to Paraty

Your Paraty itinerary needs to include a boat tour around the islands

Best time to visit Paraty? The summer months are the best time to go as the hot, sunny days create ideal conditions to explore the surrounding islands, many of which are inhabited and have paradisiacal beaches and marine life.

During this time of the year, the town becomes a lively hub of Brazilians and foreign travelers. The deep cultural mix there is further enriched with the local artists, chefs, and writers who have set up base there in their search for creative inspiration.

⭐️ Travel Tip: Winter is much cooler in Paraty Rio, and although boat trips are still running, this time of year is best to make the most of the other activities in Paraty, such as cachaca tasting and forest trekking. Go in August for the annual Festival de Pinga, a festival that celebrates all things cachaca over a long weekend.

15 Things to Do in Paraty Brazil

Paraty sightseeing options are plentiful, regardless if you are looking for history, beaches, or to explore lush forests. So if you are planning on visiting Paraty and need some travel tips, here are 15 things to do in Paraty Rio de Janeiro.

Things to Do In Paraty

1. Explore the Historic Center

The historical center, with its uneven cobbled streets and colonial buildings, is like a snapshot from the past. One of the joys of the old town of Paraty is strolling through the pedestrianized streets and simply taking in the calm and peaceful ambiance. There are various tours that you can take, including this Walking Tour: The Best of Paraty city center.

As a historical UNESCO Heritage Site, the streets are peppered with Baroque churches such as the Chapel of Santa Rita and the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows, historical monuments, and charming buildings. The town demands a slow, relaxed pace, and the greatest finds here are often made when you’re idly wandering along before dipping into intriguing-looking bars and restaurants.

For recommendations, the Refugio Restaurante sets an intimate environment within its bedecked interior and serves wonderfully fresh seafood — one of the best Paraty restaurants

Things to Do In Paraty

2. Paraty Boat Tours

Paraty to do – visit on of the many islands around the town

Just off Paraty’s Green Coast is a collection of more than 65 islands with golden beaches, tropical vegetation, and a thriving ecosystem of marine life. The best and most fun way of checking the islands out is on a boat trip that will visit several islannds, stopping off at each one to enjoy the beach and snorkel in the wildlife-rich waters.

In between island hopping, you can lay out on the deck of the boat, sip on a caipirinha, order fresh seafood made in the boat’s kitchens, and mingle with other holiday-makers. The half-day (5 hours) Schooner Cruise takes you to the main islands and beaches with exotic names such as Ilha Comprida, Lula’s Beach, Praia Vermelha, and Blue Lagoon, which are renowned for their crystal clear waters and fine, soft sand.

Things to Do In Paraty

3. Scuba Diving

Things to do Paraty Brazil, scuba diving in crystal clear waters.

The crystal clear waters surrounding Paraty are ideal for scuba diving, giving divers a chance to swim with tropical fish, coral reefs, and the occasional lucky sighting of a sea turtle gliding by. Never scuba-dived before? Then try a beginner’s class. The class takes place in the calm, clean waters near Paraty’s shores and is guided by PDIC (Professional Diving Instructor Corporation) instructors.

They teach the theory behind diving and provide all the equipment during the practical, where you’ll dive between 10 and 20 feet. For those already certified, try the 45-minute tour that comes with all the equipment to dive up to 40 feet among the tropical coral reefs.

Things to Do In Paraty

4. Go On A Cachaça Tasting

Cachaça to Brazil is what tequila is to Mexico, and vodka is to Russia. When in Brazil, it’s a must-try, and it’s hard to imagine a better place to sample a few quality cachaças than in Paraty, home to a handful of quality distilleries.

One of the most famous is Engenho D’Ouro which is open to visitors who can see how cachaça is made and try a few samples at the end. A guided tour is a great way to experience this national liquor, and this multi-lingual tour combines cachaça tasting with a jungle jeep tour.

Things to Do In Paraty

5. Explore Paraty Bay by Kayak

Make your way to Paraty Bay and immerse yourself in its pristine beauty through a memorable kayak adventure. The calm, warm waters of the bay are perfect for a leisurely paddle, with views of tropical islands and secluded beaches at every turn. The waters are home to an array of marine life, which you can view up close during your kayak journey.

Try this Paraty Bay: Half-Day Mangroves and Beaches Tour by Kayak or this Mangrove, Beaches, and Islands by Kayak tour. These guided expeditions take you to the most picturesque corners of the bay. Paddle through the clear waters, navigate around islands, and even take a break to snorkel and swim.

🐬 On a lucky day, you might even spot dolphins or sea turtles! This tour is perfect for both experienced kayakers and beginners.

Things to Do In Paraty

6. Experience Quilombo Campinho

Immerse yourself in the rich Afro-Brazilian heritage by visiting Quilombo Campinho, an authentic quilombo community that has managed to preserve its unique traditions and way of life. Here, you’ll have a chance to learn firsthand about their fascinating history, steeped in tales of resistance and resilience, and witness their vibrant cultural expressions.

Quilombo Campinho also boasts a distinct culinary tradition, offering visitors a chance to sample delicious Afro-Brazilian dishes that tell a story of their own. The Quilombo Tour provides a guided exploration of this community, including music and dance performances and craftwork.

Things to Do In Paraty

7. Visit the Trindade Beaches

Lying just a short drive away from Paraty RJ, the Trindade Beaches are a world of their own. Imagine miles of golden sandy beaches embraced by lush vegetation, with the backdrop of clear turquoise waters teeming with marine life — that’s Trindade for you. Whether you’re looking to lounge under the sun, take a dip in the warm waters, or indulge in some watersports, these beaches are a slice of tropical paradise.

Trindade Guided Beach Tour is a popular choice among visitors. It allows you to explore several of the beaches in the area, each with its unique charm. Some of the highlights include Praia do Meio, Praia do Cachadaço, and the natural swimming pool at Caixa d’Aço. You should also visit Paraty Mirim.

Things to Do In Paraty

8. Go Forest Trekking

One of Paraty’s key appeals lies in its incredible diversity. Those who are debating between beach days or a forest exploration kind of trip will find that Paraty checks all the boxes.

Paraty sits on the edge of the Atlantic Forest, a large stretch of jungle teeming with wildlife, Paraty waterfalls, and intriguing forest trails. The two most popular waterfalls in the region are the Toboga Falls, where the water runs over a large, flat rock that lets you slide over it (bonus points for those able to keep on their feet!), and the Tarzan Falls, with its peaceful pool ideal for swimming.

You can hire mountain bikes and do the trails independently. For an alternative experience, you can explore the forest through a horseback tour or follow the forest trail to the secluded Sono Beach through the forest-beach tour.

Things to Do In Paraty

9. Visit the Historic Capela de Santa Rita

Historic Capela de Santa Rita in Paraty, Brazil - Things to do in Paraty

Take a step back in time and visit the oldest church in Paraty, the Capela de Santa Rita. Built-in 1722, the church is a beautiful representation of Brazilian Baroque architecture and offers a unique glimpse into Paraty’s history.

Its distinctive whitewashed walls and wooden detailing command attention, and inside, you can admire religious artwork from the colonial period. The church also boasts a charming museum that showcases liturgical artifacts and provides more in-depth information about the town’s history.

Things to Do In Paraty

10. Discover the Serra da Bocaina National Park

Embrace the lush tropical beauty of Brazil by visiting the Serra da Bocaina National Park, a sprawling natural wonder just outside Paraty. With a diverse ecosystem full of wildlife, thundering waterfalls, and extensive hiking trails, it’s an explorer’s dream come true. Guided tours are available for those who want an educational experience while they navigate the green wonderland.

A popular tour is this Private Jeep Tour Adventure, an adrenaline-filled journey that combines natural beauty with fun. Your guide will take you on an off-road adventure through the jungle to the park’s most impressive waterfalls and natural pools.

Things to Do In Paraty

11. Walk the Gold Trail

Experience a unique piece of Brazil’s colonial history by taking a walk along the famed Gold Trail. This ancient path was once the main route for transporting gold and precious gems from the mines of Minas Gerais to the port of Paraty, from where they were shipped to Portugal.

Today, the Gold Trail is a popular trekking route, offering hikers a journey back in time, as well as stunning views of the forest-clad mountains, historic bridges, and remnants of the colonial period. The Gold Trail Hiking Tour provides a guided experience of this historic path, giving insights into its intriguing history and significance.

Things to Do In Paraty

12. Take on Hiking Challenges

Things to do in Paraty: Saco Bravo Waterfall. A wave crashes at rocks near a beautiful waterfall in Saco Bravo waterfall, Paraty, Brazil
Beautiful waterfall in Saco Bravo waterfall, Paraty, Brazil

For hiking enthusiasts, Paraty’s surrounding landscape offers an array of trails with varying levels of difficulty and distinct scenic rewards. The hike to the Saco Bravo Waterfall presents a beautiful and challenging route through the rainforest, culminating at a breathtaking waterfall that cascades directly into the sea.

A trek to Pedra da Macela rewards you with panoramic views of the region, encompassing the sea, islands, and the bordering states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. And for those looking for a unique hiking and kayaking combination, the Saco do Mamanguá trail is perfect. It leads to a secluded tropical fjord where you can kayak through the mangrove and swim in the emerald waters.

Things to Do In Paraty

13. Visit the Guarani Indigenous Village

If you are looking for something completely different, then one of the enriching experiences you can have in Paraty is a visit to the Guarani Indigenous Village. The Guarani people are one of the oldest indigenous communities in Brazil, and they welcome visitors to learn about their traditions, lifestyle, and their profound connection with nature.

The Guarani Cultural Tour takes you through their village. This visit provides a unique opportunity to learn about and appreciate the richness of the indigenous cultures and their vital role in Brazil’s cultural tapestry.

Things to Do In Paraty

14. Experience the Magic of the Puppet Theatre

Discover a unique and enchanting aspect of Paraty’s cultural scene by attending a show at the local Puppet Theatre. This centuries-old tradition brings folk tales and legends to life in a colorful and engaging way, with skilled puppeteers manipulating intricately designed marionettes.

An absolute must-see is the Paraty Puppet Show, a mesmerizing performance that appeals to audiences of all ages. The show is filled with drama, humor, music, and, most importantly, an essence of local tradition and folklore. Enjoy the intricate puppet designs, lively storytelling, and let yourself be transported to a world of imagination and folklore. It’s an experience that will make your trip to Paraty truly unforgettable.

Things to Do In Paraty

15. Experience Canyoning in the Usina River

Unleash your adventurous spirit by going on an exhilarating canyoning experience on the Usina River. This thrilling water-based activity involves making your way down a canyon through a mix of walking, swimming, jumping, and abseiling. The Usina River, with its cascading waterfalls and clear, refreshing pools, provides a perfect setting for this adventure.

The Usina River Canyoning Tour caters to all experience levels, offering an adrenaline-filled day under the guidance of professional instructors. This adventurous outing is a fantastic way to get up close to Paraty’s raw, untamed beauty.

Things to Do In Paraty

Paraty Location

So where is Paraty? Paraty is located in the southeastern region of Brazil, on the Costa Verde (Green Coast), in the state of Rio de Janeiro. For the exact location look at the Paraty Brazil map above.

It sits roughly halfway between Rio de Janeiro city and São Paulo, about 236 kilometers south of Rio de Janeiro and 330 kilometers northeast of São Paulo. The town is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the lush mountains of the Serra da Bocaina National Park.

Things to Do In Paraty

How to Get To Paraty

The colorful streets of Paraty

Reaching Paraty, although it involves a bit of a journey, is part of the town’s charm. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Paraty is accessible via air, road, and even sea, depending on where you are coming from. Here are two common ways to reach this historical gem:

Driving

Renting a private transfer is one of the most convenient and comfortable ways to reach Paraty. If you’re coming from São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, both cities offer numerous car rental services that allow you to make the journey at your own pace. The drive from São Paulo takes approximately 4.5 hours, while from Rio de Janeiro, it’s a 4-hour journey. The route takes you along the picturesque Green Coast, with stunning views of the sea and mountains.

Private transfers can also be booked, which include a professional driver. This is a perfect option for those who prefer not to navigate the foreign roads themselves. It’s also a great choice for groups and families.

💡 If you want to go from Paraty to Ilha Grande, you can also take a shared shuttle that departs from Paraty and will take you to Abraão. For tips on things to do in ilha grande, read my complete guide here.

Public Transportation

Public transportation is a more economical option, albeit slower. From both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, you can take a bus to Paraty. The bus journey takes about 6 hours from São Paulo and around 4.5 hours from Rio de Janeiro.

The main bus company that operates these routes is Costa Verde, offering several departures throughout the day. It’s worth noting that the buses are usually clean and comfortable, with air conditioning and reclining seats, ensuring a pleasant journey to Paraty.

Alternatively, you can also catch a bus from other major cities in Brazil. Just be sure to check the bus schedules, as they can vary depending on the time of year.

Things to Do In Paraty

where to stay in Paraty

This is the channel that leads to the main town, staying in the outskirts is best for any looking for budget accommodations.

In budget terms, the Historical Centre is the most expensive place to stay. Budget-conscious travelers could stay at the Pontal or Rodoviaria regions, which are less pricey and only a few minutes walking distance from the town center.

Budget Options

Geko Hostel and Chill Inn are both located in Pontal and offer free breakfast, wifi, friendly staff, and a clean place to stay. The two hostels are popular among the backpacker crowd, so are great places to go to meet and mingle with fellow travelers.

I stayed at the Refron du Mar Pousada in the Historical Centre. It is one of the few budget options in this area, and I loved it. The breakfast was simple yet ideal, with fruits, bread, ham, cheese, granola, fresh fruit juice, and coffee. The owner was friendly and provided invaluable tips that helped me get the most out of my stay in Paraty.

Luxury Options

For a few nights of luxury on a no-expense-spared trip, then go to Casa Turquesa Maison d’hôtes. Located in the Historical Centre, the hotel combines white walls with bright hues to create a contemporary ambiance. The no-shoes policy adds a homely, intimate feel, and guests are given flip-flops on arrival to use around the hotel and to keep as a souvenir after. Each room has its own color theme and is bedecked in outstanding artwork and unique furniture. It’s a wonderful hotel that makes for an unforgettable stay.

👉 Other luxury hotels include: Pousada do Ouro, Casa Mar Paraty, Casa Luz, and Pousada Porto Imperial.

Paraty Rio de Janeiro: Frequently Asked Questions

Is Paraty worth visiting?

Absolutely! Paraty is a gem of historical significance, with its preserved colonial architecture, charming cobblestone streets, and vibrant arts scene. Add in the beautiful beaches, tropical forests, and delightful local cuisine, it’s a destination that caters to all kinds of travelers.

What is Paraty Brazil known for?

Paraty is known for its well-preserved colonial center and beautiful churches. It’s also famous for its surrounding natural beauty, including lush rainforests, waterfalls, and pristine beaches. Additionally, it’s a hub for cachaça distilleries.

How many days do you need in Paraty Brazil?

It’s recommended to spend at least 3-4 days to fully appreciate Paraty,. This gives you enough time to explore the historical center, enjoy a few of the surrounding beaches and islands, take part in cultural activities, and possibly venture out on a hike or waterfall visit.

Is Paraty Safe?

Yes — Paraty is generally safe for tourists. Like anywhere, it’s important to use common sense and stay vigilant, especially at night or in less crowded areas. Keeping valuables secure and maintaining awareness of your surroundings can help ensure a trouble-free visit.

Is the bus from Rio to Paraty safe?

Yes — the bus journey from Rio to Paraty is generally considered safe. The major bus companies maintain good safety standards, and the road conditions are generally good. As always, it’s wise to keep personal belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings.

Final Thoughts: Things to do in Paraty

Paraty serves as a captivating spot for South America exploration, especially for those seeking a mix of historical charm, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant cultural experiences. With the perfect blend of day and nighttime activities, the Paraty nightlife and its colorful days make it an unforgettable part of your Party Brazil Travel experience.

Whether you’re planning to spend how many days in Paraty, the town never fails to enchant visitors with its unique offerings. So, pack your bags, embrace the festive spirit of Prachi Brazil, and make Paraty your next holiday destination for an immersive Brazilian adventure.

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