Paraty was once an important trading centre for the Portuguese

I Wish I Was There Instead...Paraty, Brazil

IWantSun.co.uk chats with Sarah Gibbons about one of her favourite destinations for a holiday in the sun, to Paraty in Brazil. 

So where would you rather be?
Paraty in Rio de Janeiro (State), Brazil...

What’s all the fuss about?
It’s a picturesque old colonial town with quaint cobbled streets, colourful buildings and gorgeous secluded beaches.

I loved its history, evident wherever you walked in the town. Considered a National Historical Monument, it was founded in 1667 by the Portuguese who built the town around the Church of "Nossa Senhora dos Remedios", its patron saint. However, in the 18th century, the port of Paraty became an important trading centre for the gold and precious stones brought on horseback from Minas Gerais State ready to be shipped to Portugal. As you can imagine, this led to a lot of piracy!

I travelled here from Rio de Janeiro, and it really blew me away. Not only was it peaceful and picture-perfect pretty but its laidback lifestyle proved to be just what I needed after a busy few days partying in Rio!

Keep talking...
One of my highlights was taking a boat trip out to the surrounding islands (there are reportedly around 60. That’s a lot of beaches!). It really is a beach paradise and their remote locations only added to their exotic allure. The nearest decent sandy beaches take approximately an hour to reach by boat and include the Praia da Lula and the Praia Vermelha, both of which lie to the north-east of Paraty. We set off in the morning aboard a local schoner and spent the day beach hopping from one stunning beach to the next. After exploring the beaches and splashing around in the gentle waves, a refreshing cocktail back on the boat made for the perfect excursion.

If you could describe the place in three words, what would they be?
Exotic, historical, unique

If there’s only one thing I should do while I’m there, what would it be?
Watch the sunset with a caipirinha!

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