Paraty: Costa Verde
West of Rio de Janeiro, the BR-101 highway divides forested mountains from steep coastal cliffs.
This is the Costa Verde (Green Coast)—admired for its tranquil bays, isolated beaches, and lush islands such as Ilha Grande. Offshore, the turquoise waters support a variety of colorful fish, Magellanic penguins, and Southern right whales.
As the coast curves to the southwest around the Baia da Ilha Grande, it arrives in the colorful town of Paraty (or Parati).
Settled by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Paraty became the primary port for shipments of Minas Gerais gold.
The town’s colonial prominence is evident in its fort, baroque churches, and sunken cobblestone streets (ingeniously designed to be cleaned by the tides).
Paraty’s other charms include quiet plazas, a remarkable puppet theater, and over a dozen nearby beaches.
Most visitors come to Paraty for three or more nights.
Paraty hosts a fine collection of boutique hotels, in addition to numerous private luxury villas.
Visitors can enjoy diving, snorkeling, sailing, surfing, horseback riding, hiking and visits to a local cachaça distillery.
Day trips to Ilha Grande by private yacht can be arranged.
Due north of Paraty, the Mata Atlantica (Atlantic rainforest) is broken by rocky ridges and grasslands. This is the home of Itatiaia, Brazil’s first national park.
Visitors to this park can explore forested trails to waterfalls, climb rugged cliffs, and observe more than 250 bird species.
Guided day-trips from Paraty or Rio are available.
The nearest international airport to Paraty is Rio de Janeiro (GIG), 146 miles to the northeast. However, the local airfield is suitable for light aircraft and small jets.
Paraty Helicopter Charters
Helicopter charters are also available, with helipads accommodating aircraft up to 5 tons.
Private land transfers can be arranged from either Rio (3.5 hours) or Sao Paulo (about 5.5 hours).
Both roads generally in good condition and picnic lunches can be arranged.
Paraty is a year-round destination, with high temperatures averaging 80°F to 84°F from October to May. Averages cool to the high-70’s during the June to September winter.
Precipitation is greatest from October to April (6.6 to 9.5 inches per month) and lowest from June to August (around three inches).
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”