Day 1 - 11 Dec 2020
Content: Paraty is an amazing little colonial town, sat right in between two mega cities - Rio and Sao Paulo - this place is such a hidden gem I couldn't not share it with you! Everyone that we met that went to Paraty ended up extending their time there, and after one day here we were the same - it was so easy to fall in love with the place and I'll show you why 😊 We spent two weeks here, but I'll try and condense the best parts into 5 days - the best part about this place was just relaxing, which was amazing if you're coming from a bustling city like Sao Paulo or Rio! Getting there: There are a few options to get here, we made our way here from Sao Paulo by bus, it took around 4-5 hours and the bus companies in Brazil are super comfortable and make stops regularly which is great. The views along the way are absolutely breathtaking 😍 In this travogram I will only be outlining Paraty, however there are lots of small towns along the way between Rio and Sao Paulo that we didn't have time to check out but would also recommend! These are: Ilha Grande, Ubatuba, Ilhabela (all of these were also recommended to us, but everyone said Paraty was the favourite)! Price: We booked our tickets online on www.busbud.com and found the cheapest tickets through there, it was roughly £10. Changing tickets: It's super easy if you realise you want to change bus tickets, you can either do it online or turn up to the big bus stations (they're everywhere, even in Parati they have operators all day) and they're more than happy to change your ticket. (You may realise you want to stay longer too!)
Day 1 - 11 Dec 2020
Content: We decided to check out Chill Inn for our stay in Paraty and it was perfect! It was right on the beach (30seconds from the hostel), and it was a 5 min walk to the old town across a lovely quaint bridge. It's also right next to the river where all the beautiful coloured boats dock! They served breakfast every morning, you just needed to reserve a time slot and it was such a lovely spread - also because we stayed for a long while they actually upgraded our room for the same price because there was noone else staying there! This was a great place to stay, we stayed here for almost 2 weeks and had no complaints! They don't serve food or alcohol though, but this wasn't an issue as we would wander through the streets nearby to find something as there was lots of options! Price: £22p/night for a private room including breakfast for both people. They also have dorm beds too at around £8 p/person
Content: Something you absolutely have to try in Paraty is Jorge Amado's! They are made using Cachaça Gabriela which comes from and is produced in Paraty. Cachaça is a sugarcane based liquor that is often used in Caipirinhas (the native drink of Brazil) and the Paraty edition adds in cinnamon! Inside a Jorge Amado is 'maracujá' (passion fruit) and it literally tastes like Christmas. It's absolutely fantastic and definitely something you should try on the first night - they are available from every restuarant and bar in Paraty! Afterwards you can stroll through the streets, this place has an amazing vibe at night, so many restaurants with outdoor seating and music playing from every door, so incredible 😍
Day 2 - 12 Dec 2020
Content: On the first day you can explore all the small shops that are located along the pebbled walkways, they range from small clothes shops, vintage jewelry shops to chocolate shops, and of course, alcohol stores to buy some caçhaca Gabriela 😍 We walked for hours through all the small walkways, the old town is small so it's hard to get lost, but you could easily spend hours wandering down all the little lanes! Found so many beautiful beach coverups, shirts and hats that we couldn't help but buy them 😍 P.s. the bikinis here are amazing ! I literally ditched all of my ones and replaced them with the beautiful ones I bought here!
Content: After exploring all the shops we headed to a nearby beach - Jabaquara to enjoy a smoothie and play some card games. This beach was around 15mins walking distance from our hostel. When we went for a swim here the water felt like a bath, I have never been in water so warm before, it was so bizarre but also so awesome to get straight in. The water here is so shallow that it heats up so fast, but even the deeper regions were very warm!
Content: We enjoyed an amazing smoothie at this beach bar where we could leave our stuff while we jumped in the sea, and then the waiter waved to us to let us know our order was ready! Such amazing service. The drinks were also a really good price, around £1 for a loaded smoothie!
Content: A great food that you can find all around Brazil is pastel 😍 they are filled with all sorts, chicken, beef, cream cheese (Brazilians LOVE their cream cheese, it's in everything) Also pastels are great if you're a backpacker, they're on the go, available all day everyday and fill you up! They're also super cheap, around £1 in general but sometimes you can get 2 for £1.50 depending on where you go! Honestly these little baked slices of heaven are amazing, normally the best ones are from street food stalls, and there is one right opposite this restuarant almost every night! But one day we wanted to try a slightly different one so we found a dessert pastel and this restuarant do pastels bigger than your head 😂 was so delicious, I got a Dulce de leche flavoured one (which is also very common in Brazil, it's their version of caramel but sooo much better)! A soft drink you must also try which you can get with your meals in most places is guaraná! A lot of locals choose this instead of coke or lemonade, it's so good! Guaraná is a fruit similar to cherries, so it tastes like a cherry lemonade!
Day 3 - 13 Dec 2020
Content: If you're in Paraty you 100% have to do a boat tour! We loved it so much that we did it twice! The boat tours take to you 3-4 different islands so you can jump in the amazing water and explore! There was one island where you could swim with turtles 🐢 but we got very lucky as they tend to be shy of people but one popped its head out next to where my friend was swimming 😂 Price: £15 per person including snorkelling gear and a full day of island exploring 😍 We didn't book this in advance, instead I would recommend turning up to the docks and there are people stood there with signs and boats ready to go, so you can get a good deal if you catch the boats before they leave!
Day 3 - 13 Dec 2020
Content: In the evening we went out for drinks and food with friends we had met from the boat trip. The boat trips are a great way to meet locals and learn more about the culture! 😊 We never planned our meals in advance, we would just walk through the old town and pick a place depending on the vibe, and that's exactly what we did here!
Day 4 - 14 Dec 2020
Content: The next place I would recommend is Trindade. You can get a bus here from the main Paraty bus stops but we decided to share a car ride together with our friends we had met from the boat trip! Some of the roads on the way there are a little dodgy so I would recommend taking a car instead of a bus. In the car it was around 25 minutes from the old town in Paraty. This beautiful place is so worth the drive 😍 the beach has such a great atmosphere, lots of people eating street food, enjoying drinks and relaxing!
Day 4 - 14 Dec 2020
Content: There's also this hidden waterfall if you go on one of the signposted treks in Trindade where you do a small hike and then you end up at this waterfall slide! Honestly it was the most amazing thing ever, you go in this hole and get pushed by the water from the waterfall and you get transported to the other side 😂 The treks at trindade are completely free so definitely worth exploring 😍 I would recommend leaving early in the morning though, as there is so much to see and do before the trails close!
Day 4 - 14 Dec 2020
Content: Somewhere that was great for dinner when we were back at the old town was this restuarant! We enjoyed pizza here and it was so good 😍 Price: The prices were really good, £3-4 for a large pizza! 🍕
Day 5 - 15 Dec 2020
Content: So we read on Google this amazing place where you can slide down a waterfall and it looked so much fun so we decided to head there! It was amazing! There was some really nice spots to eat and you were surrounded by Brazilian jungle and waterfalls - was truly awesome! Getting there: We took the bus from Paraty to Penha and it only cost us 5rs (7rs - £1). From there it was walkable! I would recommend to go by car here if you can. But we caught the bus! I would again recommend leaving early for this one, we missed the last bus home so we had to hitchhike a collectivo (which was fine) but we were waiting around an hour to get picked up! So double check bus times before you go!
Day 5 - 15 Dec 2020
Content: For the final night I would recommend having cocktails at a street vendor bar, this place was really near the Chill Inn Hostel and it was wonderful, so many people joined us and we were all drinking Caipirinhas in the street, talking to random people about their lives! These Caipirinhas are THE best caipis we had the entire time in Brazil, so would 100% recommend trying out a street vendor! They were around £1 and were so incredible. The night vibe in Paraty is incredible, so many friendly people who love to join you for drinks!
Content: I don't have a photo of this restuarant so enjoy a couple more pictures of the old town! Something I didn't know about Brazil is that it's known for its steak! So when in Paraty, a MUST try is fillet mignon because it's one of the best places to get it, and one of the cheapest! It is around £6 for a fillet mignon here, whereas in the UK it's generally the most expensive cut of meat, so you can be looking at a price of £30-£40, potentially even more depending on the restuarant! And they pair it with feijouada or feijou (which is just the beans) as a side dish which is also a cultural, native dish in Brazil. Someone once told me that the reason why it is so popular is because it used to be the dish for slaves (the scraps from the rich), and when that era ended, they kept the dish as a reminder of what life once was, and in every home people make the wonderful dish as a celebration now, and a way to be thankful for their current lives! So when in Brazil, this is a MUST try.