Paraty + Ilha Grande = Paradise

Ilha Grande

It was towards the end of my South American adventure.  What can I say?  Beaches are paradise.  It was the medicine I needed.  After our travels to Iguazu Falls, one of the hot travel spots in South America, we headed to the Paraty and Ilha Grande.

The streets of Paraty

Paraty is a preserved Portuguese colony and is located along the coastline of Brazil.  The historic quarter of Paraty felt like a story-book town.  There were cobblestone streets, white churches, sailboats along the waters, and colorful array of homes.  We had only a few days so we spent one morning walking around the Old Town, the historic center.  I felt like I was placed back in time.  I imagined horse carriages and women dressed in large, fluffy dresses walking along the cobblestone streets.

Streets of Paraty

While in Paraty, we had a chance to make a side-trip to a quilombo, a Brazilian settlement founded by escaped slaves.  It was nice to hear the stories first-hand from people who lived in this village.  We visited the homes, school, church, and gardens.  In addition, we enjoyed some traditional Brazilian dishes which consisted of rice, beans and an assortment of meats.

The jungles of Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande (translation:  Big Island) is located off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state and offers miles of hiking trails with views of coastal towns, beaches, and forests. When we arrived on the island, I felt like we were part of an episode of Gilligan’s Island.

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.

View of Ilha Grande

It was a grand island where only two or three vehicles were allowed on the island.  So one can truly relax and not worry about the hustle and bustle of the street traffic.  Lush greenery surrounded us as we made our way to our pousada (guesthouse) on the island. We had three days on the island which afforded us time to truly enjoy the scenery.  From a boat trip around the island which included eating a full barbecue lunch and swimming in the nearby beaches to the hike across numerous beaches and coastal towns, we had a paradisaical experience.

We left the island paradise, but were excited about our upcoming urban paradise.

Next stop:  Rio de Janeiro


About Jan

In 2004 and 2010, I set aside time to travel the world in 3 parts. In 2004, I traveled to Thailand, Europe, and Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. In 2010, I traveled to 3 continents: Asia, South America, and Africa. I am not sure if I have a fascination with the number 3, but I seem to be constantly traveling by numbers.
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