Paraty is a charming little town tucked between the lush green mountains of the Bocaina National Park and the island-studded bay of Angra dos Reis. Paraty was the most important export port for the gold and diamonds extracted by the Portuguese in Minas Gerais during the eighteenth century. The port was moved to Rio de Janeiro for safety reasons and Paraty was almost abandoned, and for this reason its Centro Histórico (old town) has been preserved as it was in its 18th century heyday, with cobblestoned, pedestrian-only streets and renovated colonial-style mansions. Many of these have now been converted into restaurants, art galleries, guesthouses and shops, which give the town a unique atmosphere that is at once laid-back, traditional and cosmopolitan.
The colonial architecture is complemented by the stunning natural setting, with unspoilt beaches, forests, waterfalls and islands all within easy reach. All kinds of sports and outdoor activities can be enjoyed, from hiking to sailing to scuba diving.
Paraty has a busy tourist calendar, hosting several annual events such as its renowned international literary festival. The region produces some of Brazil’s best cachaças or ‘pingas’ and so another of its attractions is the annual Festival da Pinga. This year’s festival will take place Aug 15-18, partly overlapping with our event.
The weather in Paraty is mostly warm and humid all year round, with an average temperature of 27C and no dry season. Even though August is winter here, on sunny days it should still be warm enough to enjoy the beaches and waterfalls. Nevertheless, be prepared for chilly evenings (around 10-15C at worst), and also for wet weather.