18 February 2020
Paraty is an historic colonial town and beauty spot on the Costa Verde (Green Coast) that stretches between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Paraty was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2019, and the position of the harbour town against dramatic mountain peaks, dressed in jungle green, provided a foretaste of Rio de Janeiro-in-miniature.
A box of colours
Paraty is a green-blue emerald, surrounded by the coastal mountains of the Atlantic Forest and Carioca Bay’s islands, isthmuses and protected peninsulas. But it is also a colourful box of Portuguese architecture, picked out in burgundies, oranges and yellows. Visting just before Carnival, the colours of Paraty were even more startling with multi-coloured metallic ribbons lined above the cobblestone streets, all ready for the Bloco street parties soon to come.
Discovering the islands and coves of Paraty’s protected reserves
Paraty is first and foremost about the water, and the sailing boats and charters on the historic waterfront jostle for the attention of visitors and day-trippers keen to explore the many coves, beaches and swimming spots around Paraty’s islands, and the nearby protected area of Ambiental de Cairucu. Diving out in the bay is also very popular for the exotic fishes and ruins scattered across the bay’s floor.
Full moon in Paraty
Paraty’s closeness to the water gets very real every full moon. Specially designed holes in Paraty’s sea walls allow the high tide waters to flood the cobblestone streets each month. The flooding is about 6 inches, or more, and the vendors and restauranteurs are ready for it with special bridges and footholds. Sometimes the best way to manage the slings and arrows of nature’s fortune is to embrace it – to open the sea walls and let the water flow, rather than to resist with thicker walls and greater pressure against the currents.
Paraty – Diving “Ilha dos Ratos”
Video and underwater photos – Credit @pablo.ravazzini / Adrenalina Mergulho