Two days in Paraty

Posted by Glaucos Ribeiro on September 16, 2019

I arrived in Paraty around 2 pm, and my guide was already waiting for me at the hotel. We moved on to the first activity of my schedule: Half Day Wild Food Walk (SIB).

Shortly after, we met Jorge, who is the true spirit of this tour. Jorge was raised in the midst of nature, and the great distance from his family property to any local trade made him learn everything about the delicacies the forest has to offer.

Jorge gave me a quick safety briefing and explained that during the tour I could only eat what he gave me, nothing else. After only a few steps along the trail, we already found jambu flower! Jambu cachaça is very common, but I had never seen – much less tried! – its flower. Interesting!

 As our hike continued, Jorge continued to surprise me; in the forest we found tangerines, lemons, juçara (the so called “açaí of the Atlantic forest”), some types of nuts, besides the plants and flowers that surprised not only with their taste, but also with their scientific properties that Jorge told me about. For the most daring, Jorge also offers edible insects, but this part I politely declined!

After a pleasant walk through the woods, we sat down to eat the crops we had harvested. Jorge had brought olive oil and salt and served us a beautiful wild food salad. What an experience!

The next day, at 8 am, I was ready for my second activity: Full Day Hike to Green Coast Beaches. The guide met me at the hotel, and we walked to the bus station, a short walk for those staying in the historic center. After 40 min. on a public bus we reached the starting point of the trail.

The 3 km walk on the first trail is very well signposted. Right away, it starts with a steep climb, but then it alternates between steep and flat. For seasoned hikers, this walk takes less than 1 h. As this is not my case, we did it in 1.5 h, with the guide’s help at the most difficult parts.

After 3 km, what a view! We had arrived at our first stop: Sono beach. A small caiçara village with many campsites, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. It’s a great stop to relax, bathe in the sea, and have a cool drink at one of the kiosks.

After another 4 km, you reach Ponta Negra beach. At Praia do Sono you can decide if you want to carry on by foot or if you’d rather take a boat to get there. I opted to go by boat and paid BRL 30.

After a few minutes of pleasant boat ride, we arrived at the tiny fishing village of Ponta Negra, where freshwater and saltwater are separated by a narrow stretch of sand – just incredible! We decided to have lunch there. Since the caiçara community of this region lives off fishing, we ate baked fish with mashed plantain. I recommend you do the same, it was absolutely delicious!

In Ponta Negra it is also possible to stay overnight at a number of simple chalets rented out by locals. I confess that I wished to stay in that paradise... But after bathing in the sea and in a waterfall, our time had come to return to Paraty. We returned by boat to the closed gate community of Laranjeiras, from where we took a van to the bus stop where we had started the trail. From there, we took a public bus back to Paraty, and the guide accompanied me to my hotel.

Unfortunately, I only had one more morning in Paraty, so I decided to make the most of it and do the Kayak Tour in the Paraty Bay. I didn't regret it!

The meeting point is a 20-minute walk from the historic center. It was easy to get there on my own. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a very friendly and patient instructor. First, we had a brief kayak lesson on the sand, and then we went out to the sea!

Paddling our way through the bay, we stopped at small islands and a mangrove forest. For me, personally, the mangroves were the highlight of the tour. The silence and the wildlife we found there were amazing. I had never paddled before, and I loved it!

After a wonderful last morning, I walked back to the hotel and said goodbye to Paraty – with the certainty that I’d be back soon.