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What to do in Paraty in 2 days

What to do in Paraty in 2 days

When we think about Paraty we immediately see the image of the stunning colonial houses in our mind. The impression is that, there is not a lot to do and that a weekend would be enough.



However, you are wrong if you think Paraty is only that. I lived for 6 months in the city and still I did not not see all the attractions. Really, there is a lot to do here. Besides the famous and charming colonial houses, there are clear water where we can find turtles and dolphins, lush waterfalls and alambiques (place where they distil cachaça, the Brazilian national drink) with the best cachaças of the country. Paraty is full of attractions and to choose the best ones for a 2 days trip is a hard task.

Praia da Vila de Trindade em Paraty. Pic of @adleralmeida


But don’t worry. If you can not stay more than 2 days, we have selected the best of the city that you could do in 2 days. For sure, it will be an unforgettable weekend that will let you wanting more.

A little bit of Paraty’s history

The biggest attraction of the city, that you will know for sure, is the historic center. But have you wondered why Paraty preserved its colonial houses? It was not because there was a conscience of preserving the local history, but because there was a lack of resources.


How do you mean lack of resources? The city had three big economic cycles:

  • The first Paraty cycle was of the sugar and some people say it was never over! Up to today the city produces one of the best cachaças of the country, internationally awarded year after year. Cachaça in Paraty became so famous that previously cachaça was a synonymy of Paraty. Instead of ordering a cachaça people would order a Paraty. Some authors say that the city had reached the number of more than 200 alambiques. Today there are six major ones. In all of them it is possible to visit the production and after taste the cachaça.
  • The second was the gold cycle. When the gold was discovered in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais the only highway that connected the mines to the sea was the called “old way” that ended in Paraty. From Paraty the gold would go to Rio de Janeiro (the capital of the country) and after to Portugal

Caminho do ouro - Paraty

Royal Road at the middle of mata Atlântica – Paraty


  • The third cycle was the coffee one. A new highway was build (“new way”) e the gold began to be transported directly to Rio de Janeiro.  However by the proximity of Vale do Paraíba the coffee was drained by Paraty port, what brought movement and richness to the city.

The city lost its place of coffee exporter when, in 1870, a railroad was built between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, passing through Vale do Paraíba.

As rail transportation was cheaper, Paraty port lost its importance and the city faced a recession. After the abolition of slavery, in 1888, the biggest majority of the population left its houses and the city was forgotten.

This forgetfulness that allowed the preservation of the colonial houses. There was no economic resources to the new construction and Paraty was isolated for a long period of time.

Only in 1974, when a highway that connected Rio to Santos (Rio-Santos) that Paraty was rediscovered and, thanks to the preservation of its colonial houses and abundant, it started to receive tourists from many different places of Brazil. Today Paraty is 8th city of the country, in number of tourists.

What to do in Paraty in 2 days


Boat trip

I like to run away from the obvious when I travel! Usually the main attractions are dirty and full of people. But the traditional boat tour in Paraty is an exception. It really is wonderful.

Paraty has 65 islands and innumerable wonderful beaches, a lot of them isolated and accessible only by boat. It would be a shame not to know some of those beaches.

Praia Vermelha in Paraty (only accessible by boat). Picture of blog em algum lugar do mundo


How does the boat trip works?

There are three options for boat trips

The first one is the traditional schooner trips – a big boat that takes up to 90 people. Although different companies might do different routes, the most common is to visit Praia Vermelha, Praia do Lula, Ilha Comprida and Aquário Natural. The price vary from R$80,00 to R$180,00. The first departure schedule is 9:30AM and the last 11AM. The trip lasts about 6 hours.

Schooner in Paray. Pic of Paraty Tours

A lot of schooners have padded seats and others even mats and sun loungers where the sun bears down. Some of them have even a grill. In addition to sound boxes and sometimes even a live band. If you like silent places and not noisy, for sure this is not the trip for you.

All the trips leave from the pier in Paraty.

A tip for you to choose the best option is to walk around the street Roberto da Silveira (the main one outside the Paraty Historic Center) and enter in the agencies, researching prices, types of boats, number of people, if it has or not live music.

Some of the boats (depending on how you choose) serve lunch on the boat and many fruits, without an additional price. Depending on the schooner, you can rent a snorkel or in some cases, it is included on the price. You can also buy drinks inside in some of the boats.

The most famous agency of Paraty is Paraty Tours, but there are other options as Estrela do AmanhãAlbatroz and Eco Turismo Paraty. All of them are located on Av Roberto Silveira. To choose the less famous might mean less full trips and more confortable! In addition to encouraging the small business

Also, it is worth going to the pier and talk to the people to see the options personally. Paraty is a very traditional city and some of the people who do the boat trips are not on the internet (amazingly). Probably you can negotiate, what does not happen if you buy everything online.

Make sure of all of this before choosing your agency for a boat trip, this way can plan your day and, for example, bring a sandwich if the boat does not offer lunch.

In all the trips you will see mansions on the islands (after all a lot of them are particular), Ilha do Bexiga (property of the famous Brazilian sailor and writer Amyr Klink ) and will stop in places for swimming that, as we have already said, depends on what you hire.



The seccond option, a little bit more expensive, is to rent a colourful wood boat. They stay just beside the pier. It is cheaper than a speedboat and more expensive than the schooner boat. The price varies a lot and there is a huge margin for negotiation. It all deppends of the time you are going to stay on the boat and the places you want to visit.



The biggest advantage of the wooden boat is that you can personalize your route. If you are in a bigger number of people, price can be the same of the schooner. However the wooden boats have a noisy motor. Again, if you get bothered by noises this is not for you.

The third, more luxurious and expensive option is to pay for a particular speedboat. They a much more comfortable than the schooners or wooden boats, but they are also more expensive. The noise of the motor is more silent and in this option, you can choose the islands and beaches you want to stop. The price of the speedboat varies a lot, according to the boat, but a speedboat for 8 people costs about R$2.500,00 (R$312,50 per person).

Speed boats in Paraty. Pic of viagens cinematográficas blog

Paraty Free Walking Tour

The city was thumbled by IPHAN (Brazilian institute that promotes and the cultural heritage of Brazil) in 1974. IPHAN. When the institute thumbles the place alterations can not be done in the architecture and facedes of the houses. So the thumbling was very important to the preservation of the houses in the historic center in Paraty.

This preservation enabled Paraty to receive another very important title of UNESCO in 2019: Culture and Natural Heritage, being the only mixed heritage in Latin America.

Colonial houses of Paraty. Pic of @alexsupertramp09


When you walk around the Historic Center, there are many details that go unnoticed to the vast majority of people. For example:

  • The symbols that ornament some of the houses, in its majority are masonic
  • The rooters above Nossa Senhora das Dores and Santa Rita churches are Portuguese symbols
  • The 6 doors with different size and shape are small alters used in the processions of Holy Week
  • The tide enter the city, did you know it? And it was not a miscalculation, but something planned on purpose to clean the streets of the city. There was no sewer system when the city was built, therefore the tide worked as a natural sewer system. Genious, no?
  • Most of the windows were doors and there it goes…

Paraty, one of the first planned places of Brazil, has innumerous curiosities, stories and symbols to discover. It is enchanting how to reveal history of the place might make all the difference at the experience of this cultural and historicaly rich city.

To see the city on a fresh pair of eyes the best option is the paraty free walking tour. I lived for one year in Europe and travelled a lot aroud Europe. Everytime I got in a new city I would look for a free walking tour. I have done more than 30 free walking tours in different countries of the world and this always enriched my experience. That is way I decided to unify my passion by Paraty in a relaxed and fun tour.


The best of all is the value. At the end you choose how much you want to pay.

The fact that Paraty free walking tour guides receive only tips by the end of the tour, makes them its best to present Paraty in a participative tour, comic and unforgetable to all. We garantee that when you are the one that chooses if and how much you are going to contribute at the end of the tour, the quality standard improves! We also focus our content in tips of the city and how to save money.


Our free walking tour happens every day 10:30AM and 5PM. There is no need of booking, you just show up at the meeting point – Praça da Matriz – and look for us in red t-shirts. We stay in front of the church Nossa Senhora dos Remédios.

The suggestion for a 2 days trip is to join us 5PM at the first day in Paraty. So you can do the boat trip e meet our group to join the tour that will give you a fresh pair of eyes of how you see the city.


Historic Center by night

After listening to the history of the Historic Center you will have a completly different and a much nicer on the city. The detais will call your attention and the walk will be much more charming.

As in the free walking tour you will not enter in the shops, this is the time to enjoy the innumerous atelies, souvenir shops, coffee shops, restaurants and clothes shops.

If you are looking for a different souvenir, I recommend you to look for an atelie located on street corner of Rua da Lapa and Rua do Fogo. They produce hadmade miniature of boats. There are diverse styles and prices for every budget. The coolest of the place is that they allow you to watch all this manual production of boats.

Another place that you must visit is the atelie of Aersio Sarti. The artist uses truck canvas instead of canvas in his work.


If you want music, the best place is Sarau. Located in front of the court (close to Matriz Square the local gets full of people dancing and enjoying the loud sound (and of good quality) of the bar.

About the food… Paraty integrates, since 31 of october of 2017, the criative cities chain of UNESCO as gastronomical city. The city has many restaurants from the most sophisticated to the simpler.

The typical dish of the city is fish with banana. Banana da Terra, one of the most disputed and awarded restaurants of the city has the dish in its menu. For sure you will hear about this restaurant in another blogs or even in your pousada. The food is expensive, but it is worth it.

Filé de peixe ao forno restaurante banana da terra
Banana da Terra dish. Pic of @restaurantebananadaterra


If you do not want to spend much in a meal e do not mind in eating in a less sophisticated place I recommend you to look for Galeria do Engenho. It has a delicious fish with banana at an accessible price. Galeria do Engenho is located on Rua da Lapa, that becames Av Roberto Silveira, the main one outside the historic center.

Other restaurants that I love in the city: Caminho do Ouro, Vinicius and Thay Brasil

Besides the marvelous foods, Paraty also has unique cachaças. One that everyone likes is called Gabriela. The cachaça is made of cinnamon and clove and it is pretty sweet.

In any shop of cachaça in the Historic Center you can find it to sell, including homemade cachaças, made by the families of the city. You can taste and see if you like before buying.

And from Gabriela, comes the drink Jorge Amado. It mixes the tasty cachaça with passion fruit, lime and a lot of ice. The mixture of the sweet drink with the acidity of those fruits makes a really good combination. Almost every bars and restaurants of the city serve this drink.

IMPORTANT! Do not leave Paraty without trying a Jorge Amado. The drink is delicious and there is nothing more typical.

Dia 2 – Paraty-mirim + Saco do Mamanguá + Pão de Açúcar Trek


Most of the people would recommend you to go for a Jeep tour to visit the waterfall and alambiques or to get to know the village of Trindade. Nothing against those places, they are wonderful attractions of Paraty. But my favourite spot of Paraty is Saco do Mamanguá and, together with the free walking tour, those are the activities you should never loose in town.

Saco do Mamanguá
Saco do Mamanguá. Pic of @alohaguesthouseparaty


The closest beach to Saco do Mamanguá is Paraty-mirim. It is located on the direction of São Paulo and approximately 30 minutes by car from the Historic Center. In total 18km of asphalt and 8km in dirt road.

If you are not by car, there are buses that leave from the bus station in Paraty to the beach of Paraty-mirim. You can see the timetable and plan your day on this website.

There is not a lot of documentation of the history of Paraty-mirim, but it is a consensus that Paraty-mirim beach had a fundamental role during the gold cycle.

Besides that, a few decades later, the area was an illegal port to receive slaves to supply the Southeast of Brazil, especially in the coffee plantations.

Paraty-mirim is a show for itself. When you get there, first visit the oldest church of Paraty, Nossa Senhora da Conceição, a church by the sand that remains through the years.

Capela Nossa Senhora da Conceição. Pic of @rodrigues5647


You will also see a pier on the right side. After looking at the church walk by the pier. You will have an incomparable view of the beach and will be surprised by the marine flora of the place. In addition, fishing and trip boats surround the place.

Lastly, the river that ends by the beach is another option of swimming in Paraty-mirim, besides all the different scenery of the mangrove that forms between the salt and fresh water.

Saco do Mamanguá

The main attraction and the reason to go to Paraty-mirim is to take a boat to Saco do Mamanguá. They are the only tropical fjords of the world. This arm of the sea enter the continent for 8km, with 2km width. It shelters a few communities of fisherman and more than 30 beaches of golden sand surrounded by jungle and a beautiful emerald green sea.

The beaches are accessible only by boat. Usually the price of a boat trip varies. But to give you an idea, a boat to the main beaches of the fjords cost approximately R$400,00 (maximum of 6 people)

When combining the route ask him to stop at Praia do Cruzeiro – place of access to Pão de Açúcar peak, that has the most beautiful view of Paraty and also for sure one of the best of Brazil.

Pão de Açúcar Peak trek

Pão de Açúcar trek has 1,5km of extension and the altitude is of 438m from the level of the sea. The trek is very steep, has a lot of climbing, a lot of steps. However it is worth it to get to the top. The visual is rewarding.


Pão de Açúcar Pick view. Pic: Fotos Incríveis


The trek path is very safe, there is no way of getting lost, as it is very well-marked. . The vegetation will cover you almost all the way, except the end where the soil becomes rock and the cover disappears.

The climbing time is approximately one hour our and of downhill one more hour. Some people are faster downhill, but I have heard of people who found the climb easier than downhill.

Useful tips

  • Be always with a good repellent and use it all day
  • Take hiking shoes with you to the trek
  • Take always a good sunscreen, cap, dry fit shirt with UV protection, water, raincoat, flashlight and snacks.


And if it rains? What to do in Paraty with rain?

The fact is that it rains a lot in Paraty. The clime is tropical and even in the driest month – August – there is a significant quantity of rain: 104mm. In the rainier month – January – it rains up to 543 mm.

When planning your days of holidays strongly consider the possibility of rain. However, do not worry – there are many cool options of tours for the days that the sun hides.

1) Free Walking tour keeps happening, even under the rain. Prepare the umbrella or raincoat and schedule yourself to go 10:30AM or 5PM.


2) Visit an alambique. What about trying the best cachaças of Brazil and of the world?

Which alambique to visit? The most rewarded of the city, and with the most handcrafted production is Maria Isabel (you have to book before). Paratiana is the most famous and it has the best Gabriela (cachaça of Paraty made with cinnamon and clove) while the oddest and most traditional is Coqueiro. Engenho D’oro is part of a set with restaurant and flour house. Do you like strong drinks? Corisco is known for the drinks with high percentage of alcohol. Lastly, if you consider the arrangement of the alambiques, any of them compares to Agua Branca.

3) Get to know Casa da Cultura, the most famous cultural center in Paraty that shelter different exhibitions, dedicating to the preservation of the history of the city.

Casa da Cultura. Pic of @paratyexperience


4) Go to Museu de Arte Sacra (located inside of Igreja de Santa Rita). Unlikely most of the museums, that exhibits parts used in the past, this presents parts that are still used in Paraty processions.

Igreja de Santa Rita. Pic of @sandPaula


5) Eat, eat and eat. We have already said here that there are many options of restaurants in Paraty. A rainy day is the best excuse to enjoy them!

6) If you are in Paraty on a Wednesday or Saturday, do not lose the Puppet show. It is a presentation of puppets without speech. It is something completely different from the traditional, and even without speech, the theatre presents great expressiveness.

Teatro de Bonecos Paraty
Puppet show Paraty. Pic: Gshow


Get to know more of each of those attractions on what to do in Paraty with rain.

If you did not like something of our list, here it goes another options of what to do in Paraty

1) Praia do Sono: If you like treks and beaches with waves, for sure you will love this place. Praia do Sono is one of the most beautiful in Paraty, surrounded by nature. The access is done by boat or trek, and of course that I prefer the trek!


Praia do Sono – Transportal viagens


2) Jeep Tour: Jeep Tour goes from Paraty Center to the National Park of Serra da Bocaina, one of the biggest protected areas of Mata Atlântica. The tour goes through the The Royal Road of Paraty to beautiful waterfalls, where you can bath.

Cachoeira do tobogã Paraty @jehhhmello


3) Go to Trindade: the famous village of fisherman does not leave much to be desired. The place has preserved nature waterfalls and abundant fauna. Trindade has eight beaches, from the most desert to the one with infrastructure and more people.

Praia de Trindade. Pic Quanto Custa Viajar


4) Scuba Diving: scuba diving in Paraty attend to the expectations of experienced divers to beginners divers for its rich marine, great visibility and points variety.

Mergulho com Cilindro em Paraty. Pic of Cupom Tour

5) Praia de São Gonçalo: long beach, this is a very wanted point by the tourists. To get to the beach you need to cross a small brace of the river that depending on the tide, can be done by foot or by canoe. From the beach boats leave to take the tourists to Ilha dos Pelados, a place with bars. The beach is long enough to please all the tastes. It has crowded bars, but also places completely peaceful.

Praia de São Gonçalo em Paraty. Pic of paraty.com.br


Events in Paraty

Paraty is very famous for its festivals. In 2022, there will be more than 60 events. That means that all over the year, in every weekend there is a festival going on.

Your stay in Paraty can get even better if you choose a special event. Although you have to consider that, even the cheapest pousadas might double or triple the price in the most crowded events. Besides that, the city gets full of tourists and you will have to wait up to 2 hours to get a table in a restaurant.

Lastly, Paraty has no structure to receive that many people, so it might lack of light or water.  Even though a few festivals are worth it.

My 5 favourite festivals are:

1 Bourbon Festival Paraty: this is my favourite, no doubt. The historic center gets full of buskers (of great quality!) e two stages, where international and renowned sing for free! The city gets full of tourists but even though very clean!

2 Flip: this is the most famous festival of Paraty. It is the biggest and most important literature festival of all the south hemisphere. The fair has tables, where big names of the names of the literature national and international join. To parents who travel with their children, the festival has also childish schedule.

Cachaça Festival: created to celebrate the culture and nobility of Paraty’s chachaça, the festival happens in a tent where the representatives of the traditional alambiques of Paraty such as Pedra Branca, Engenho d’Ouro, Coqueiro, Corisco e Paratiana; besides that it has a stage with musical shows and food kiosks.

4 Paraty em foco: This is a photography festival that happens in Paraty. The event is focused on professional and amateurs photographers and it has beautiful exhibitions of photography, workshop, portfolio reads and a many talks.

5 Easter: This is a very special time to be in Paraty because of the processions. Even if you are not religious, it is a beautiful ritual to watch. Besides that the door of the steeps of passion are opened (unique time of the year).

Do you have any doubts about your stay in Paraty? Send us a whatsapp +55(21) 97223-1280 that we will be happy in answering your doubts.

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