The Old Town
After catching a boat from Ilha Grande to Angra des Reis, we traveled 2 hours south by local bus to the picturesque town of Paraty. We learnt that the old town was inhabited by Portuguese settlers in the 16th century after the discovery of gold, becoming an intrinsic port between Minas Gerais and Rio de Janerio. The wealth that had once poured into the town was apparent through the stylish, well-built houses and churches typical of the Colonial era. We spent the best part of the day ambling through the colourful cobbled streets soaking up the beautifully adorned houses, horse drawn carts and coffee shops around the historic town centre.
Happy Hammock Hostel
Having heard from a few people that Happy Hammock was a very special hostel, we were pretty excited on the 15 minute boat ride from Paraty. We were taken to a palm-lined pier leading to a gorgeous house set into the hills. Being an eco-hostel and due to it's remote location there was only 2 hours of electricity a day and no wifi (which for us was a blessing). Each night our hosts Patrick and Julia prepared delicious meals for us and the other guests, giving a relaxed and homely vibe to the place. We loved spending lazy evenings on the balcony chatting and drinking with the like-minded guests, swinging in hammocks, paddleboarding and swimming in the crystal clear bay.
Anniversary Meal at Banana da Terra
The penultimate evening fell our 5 year anniversary, so we decided to stay in Paraty and treat ourselves to a dinner date night. We wandered over the large cobbles of the old town where restaurants had lined the streets with tables and had a drink listening to a fantastic guitar trio playing traditional South America music.
We then headed to Banana da Terra, a Brazilian-French fusion restaurant tastefully designed and with an even tastier menu. We'd enjoyed trying the Brazilian food during our trip but it was refreshing to taste traditional dishes with the lighter touch of French gastronomy. From a beautifully soft seafood starter, well-cooked steak and sea bass for mains to a fruity dessert in a league of its own we left extremely happy customers!
Cachoeira Toboga Waterfall
As we were in Paraty the next morning we decided to a catch local bus to the Cachoeira Toboga, a natural waterslide with smooth algae covered rock. It was brilliant fun! The water was lovely and refreshing and the slippery rocks and fast-flowing water provided hours of fun. Equally as entertaining was watching the young local boys take run ups and surf down on their feet. Unsurprisingly, we came nowhere close to anything that impressive!