Renowned for its Portuguese architecture, fertile rainforests and proximity to the Costa Verde, the Brazilian city of Paraty is home to a tropical climate and UNESCO-listed Old Town. Initially founded in 1597 by Portuguese explorers, the indigenous Guaianás Indians gave the city its name – the ‘River of Fish’. Following the discovery of gold in the 17th century, thousands flocked to Paraty, with new exports like coffee and sugarcane helping the town's economy grow.
Situated in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Paraty’s fishing villages and colonial history provides a suitable location to learn about old-time Brazil. Similarly, Madriz Square in the Old Town is home to white-washed Portuguese-style architecture. Outside the city, the waterfalls and beaches of Praia do Cão Morto offer relaxation, while the Jabaquara Mangroves and the Saco do Mamanguá provide an authentic jungle experience. Top off your stay with an evening in a distillery drinking cachaça and chatting to locals.
Despite its size, Paraty boasts high-quality dining options with both Brazilian and international cuisine available. In the historical centre, you’ll find Banana da Terra serving Amazonian duck and a diverse cocktail list. Elsewhere, the Margarida Café offers a welcoming environment for brunch, lunch or dinner, with freshly caught shrimp moqueca and live music played all day. For nightlife, head to one of Paraty’s many beachfront bars or visit the Van Gogh Pub for traditional snacks and a taste of Brazilian pub culture.