Paraty: A Slice of Colonial Paradise

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Situated on the beautiful Costa Verde of Brazil, Paraty is a vibrant little town brimming with character, 236km southwest of Rio de Janeiro. A popular tourist destination for both Brazilians and internationals, the town boasts quaint colourful architecture and view of the bay. Horses and carts are a frequent sight, and the pedestrianised historical centre allows you to stroll along the cobble stoned roads away from cars. There is much to do in the town, from shopping amongst the boutiques for clothes and unusual trinkets, to hiking in the lush tropical forests. If you fancy letting your hair down then there’s also a bounty of party boats in the harbour ready to whisk you off drunkenly around the bay.

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An unusual thing happens in the town of Paraty though: the roads flood. Deliberately designed to do this, when the tide rises and comes in, the water cleans the streets. The flooding lasts only a short while before receding, and in the mean time shop owners stick out planks of wood for pedestrians to cross. You may find yourself at a dead end or two – so be prepared to backtrack!

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With only a couple of days in Paraty, I managed to fit in a stroll or two around the streets souvenir shopping, a delicious meal of crepés at a quaint, family-run French restaurant, a morning hike up to Forte Defensor and a day downing caipirinhas from a bucket on a bustling all-day party boat. Minus the drama I accidently drunkenly got myself into after departing the boat, my time in Paraty was a great experience. Definitely worth a visit – if only for that beautiful bay!

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