We just left Paraty behind but we are still amazed with its colors. Everything is colorful here: houses, restaurants, shops, boats and even churches and monuments! In fact, Paraty is considered one of Brazil's prettiest colonial towns and one of Rio de Janeiro state's most popular touristic destinations.
The town was founded in the 17th century as a gold port and most of its historical buildings date from this period. Of course we also noticed several Portuguese influences here!
We visited the three main churches in the old town, including Santa Rita (built in 1722 by the freed colored men), Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (built by the slaves) and Nossa Senhora do Rosário e São Benedito (built for the white people). Inside the Santa Rita church we also visited the small Museum of Sacred Art. But the thing we liked most in the old town was to walk around, eating/drinking outside and admiring the colors and historical buildings.
We stayed at Pousada Paisagem and overall it was a nice and comfortable stay (except for the internet connection!). We also enjoyed excellent food in Paraty for lunch at Dona Ondina Restaurant (seafood) and for dinner at Pizzaria da Cidade.
Next day we visited Paraty Mirim. It is 17 km away from Paraty but 7 km are in dirt road (which took us more time than expected!). It is not very touristic since you need to be patient with the road... Paraty Mirim is a really small place with a vast beach and some ruined colonial buildings on the sand.
Next stop: Ilhabela!