Paraty

This colonial jewel lies on the coast 165 miles south west of Rio.  It gained fame and wealth in the 18th century due to the discovery of neighboring gold and diamonds.  For more than a century Paraty flourished and its citizens prospered. Opulent mansions and large estates attested to the wealth of its residents.  Its colonial heritage is preserved in the form of elegant colonial Portuguese churches and houses in the relaxed, laid-back atmosphere of a town trapped contentedly in a time warp. 

 

The city was declared a national monument by UNESCO in 1966.  Today, Paraty's architectural charm combined with an array of fine restaurants, bars, handicraft shops, boutiques, and art galleries attract visitors from all over the world.  Paraty is known for it's delicious cuisine as well as being one of the principal cachaca (sugar cane spirits) distilling regions in Brazil.  In addition to its cultural marvels, Paraty has many natural beauties including beaches with pirate coves, waterfalls, national parks, and numerous islands dotted along the coast.