Paraty, Brazil: beaches and the beautiful old town

Paraty is a small town on the coast between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro . It is an old traditional style town with cobbled streets, little shops and a port full of boats. Many tourist go here to get away from the bustle of the city and I can see why. If I had more time, I think I would have stayed some extra days too.

The following day, I needed to be up early as I was planning on take a bus to my next destination: Paraty. Packing up my things as quietly as possible, I escaped the hostel (with difficulty due to the door not unlocking) then walked to the subway, not to far away. With some confusion, I managed to find a desk at the bus terminal, which was selling tickets to Paraty but unfortunately I couldn’t get the bus I planned as all the bus were booked for the next few hours. I purchased the fare then hung around at the terminal until it was time depart; drinking coffee, eating cheese bread and playing on my phone as there was limited free wifi.

Around lunchtime, I hopped aboard the bus, which took around 6 hours, stopping on the way. It was an uneventful journey.

Straightaway, I noticed that Paraty is a small, beach town with a cobbled old town. I arrived early evening, where my hostel was a 5 minute walk away. I checked in, had a shower and dumped my bags. I contacted the girls I met at Iguazu falls as I knew they were in this town. They were just about to go to dinner so they invited me along.

It took around 10 minutes to walk to the old town from my hostel, where the streets were cobbles and extremely uneven with it being difficult to step on. We ate at a Thai Restaurant called Thai Brasil, which had authentic décor and a choice of dishes but it didn’t taste or have the same ingredients as you would in Thailand. I had a pad Thai, which was disappointing because there was lots of extra vegetables, no tofu and chilli flakes. It’s just me being fussy as I like more traditional food.

After we went to a pub in the main square to have a cocktail or two of a Caprisa, a typical, Brazilian drink made from Cachaça. Then we parted ways and I strolled back to my hostel to sleep.

I had arranged to meet the girls the next day basically to have a beach day and build on our tans; and that’s exactly what we did. Once I had woken up, showered and eaten the complimentary breakfast of bread, cheese, cake, fruits, cereal. Juice and hot drinks, I wandered into the centre to meet them.

From the old town, about 10 minute walk away, there is a sandy, quiet beach called Jabaquara with a supermarket and restaurants. We literally laid here all day soaking up the sun, only walking to the supermarket to buy some food for lunch.
When it started to cool down, we mooched back to our hostels. On the way, I stopped at an agent to sort out a day of scuba diving for the next day but unfortunately this failed as there weren’t boats going out.

Back at the hostel, I freshened myself up before cooking some dinner. I was meant to meet the girls for a drink but it didn’t happen so I had an early night.

Waking up around 9, I got myself ready for the day and had some breakfast. Then I wandered around the old town, taking some photos, and walking along the water, where the boats sat, presenting a beautiful photograph. I mooched to the same beach as the previous day but stopping off at different points to admire the view and take some pictures.


This time, I dawdled to the end of the beach, where I was told about a natural mud pool. Basically as you near the end, the water becomes muddy and thicker, causing a mud-like pool. I put in one foot but didn’t want to put my whole body in. There was no-one near here but I wasn’t prepared to be covered in mud. I laid on the sand for a bit, getting some rays. Then I did the same as the day before and bought some food from the supermarket before resting on the beach again and eating it. Stupidly, I open a can of fizzy and I attracted a few bees even though I hadn’t seen them before this. I ended up trapping about three in my can, losing my drink altogether.

When the sun was going down, I decided to head back to my hostel to relax. On the way back, I bought a bus ticket for the next day to go to Rio de Janeiro. I wanted to go to Isle Grande but the weather didn’t look too good and I didn’t want to waste my time as my journey would be long.

At the hostel, one of the guys staying there offered to make dinner for everyone, which was super nice. He cooked fish with a sauce and a variety of potatoes and veg; it was delicious. After socialising for a while, I headed to my room just to chill before sleeping.

Where I stayed: Carpe Diem hostel was a lovely hostel extremely close to the bus station with dorm and private rooms. It had hot showers, comfortable beds, a book and breakfast included.

How I got to Paraty: I took a bus from Sao Paulo to Paraty from the main bus terminal. It would be best to book early as I had to wait 5 hours for an available bus. It took 6 hours and cost £17 ($20).


1 Comment

  1. Katy

    I went to Paraty decades ago, with my first husband. I remember cobble stone streets, colorful houses, and the smell of the food! Very pleasant memories. Thanks for posting about your experience!

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