Paraty, the old city, both beautiful and dangerous.

Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Brazil | 2 comments

Visiting one of Brazil’s oldest Portuguese cities can be made into a fun and easy day trip from Ubatuba that is well worth it.  Paraty is an absolutely charming city adorn with white colonial buildings lining cobblestone streets dotted with pink flower blossoms.

Flower Blossoms

It honest to god feels like you are walking in a vibrant scratch and sniff oil painting. However if you’re in high heels, not recommended for cobblestone street walking, or just don’t feel like huffing it, you can take in the city’s picturesque views by way of water taxis or horse drawn buggies since there are no cars allowed in the Historic District… strict.

Like an Oil Painting

Water Taxi

Ben and I went after Carnival, during the offseason. We enjoyed having the colonial city mostly to ourselves.  Even though not all the shops were open, the ones that were, were more then enthusiastic to have us wander in.  Our favorite shop being a canned peppers and spirits vendor that gave us free shots of cachaca! Cachaca is a distilled alcoholic beverage produced in Brazil and made from sugar cane. Cachaca IS THE very potent and secret ingredient in caipirinhas, the official cocktail of Brazil.

Canned Peppers

However to truly experience Paraty’s uniqueness and rich culture, I would have loved to have visited during one of one of the city’s many festivals.  Paraty is known around the world for their colorful traditional rituals, both patriotic and religious, where the locals make ornate carpets out of colored dust and flower pedals, pretty.

Capela de Santa Rita

Since Paraty is located in Ilha Grade Bay, it is a great place to stay while visiting the area’s beautiful beaches, remote islands, tiny coves, and cachoeiras (waterfalls).  There are scheduled jeep jungle tours of the area’s highlights but Ben and I being budget-minded travelers decided to do our own tour and rent bikes. After a very long three-hour uphill bike ride with only rudimentary map of the cachoeiras, we made to the Tobogan Fall. This waterfall is unique because you can actually slide down it like you would a water park slide! What, what!

Nature's Water Slide

Ben and I slide down the waterfall together… awww!!! But disaster stuck, when Ben’s hand that was holding his waterproof camera hit a rock and he dropped his camera! Footage and camera lost but what an adventure! Lesson learned though, always tightly secure your camera before descending down waterfalls.

After that the weather stopped cooperating with us.  We were forced to move on without visiting Trinadage, a well hidden but near by beach community that was highly recommended by locals and famous for it’s own waterfall, “The Rock that Swallows”.  Seeing that we only scratched the surface with this visit, it’s safe to say we will be back.


  1. That really sounds like a fun trip, Leah! I am looking forward to seeing more pictures of your travels. Take care!

  2. Fab info thanks so much! I’m a British Airways crew based in London and have just picked up a 6 day Rio! CAnt wait :)

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