Parati Tourist Attractions
Situation and CharacteristicsParati, situated opposite Angra dos Reis at the western end of the Baía da Ilha Grande, is 240km/150mi west of Rio de Janeiro (on BR 101) and 300km/185mi east of São Paulo.
It can be reached from São Paulo by taking the Rodovia dos Trabalhadores and Via Dutra to São José dos Campos and then SP 99 in the direction of Caraguatatuba, which runs into BR 101 80km/50mi before Parati.HistoryThe little port of Parati, founded in the 17th century, enjoyed a period of prosperity in the first half of the 18th century thanks to the gold of Minas Gerais, which was shipped from here to Rio de Janeiro. SP 171, from Guaratinguetá via Cunha to Parati, follows a section of the old gold trail on which the bandeirantes made their way through the inhospitable Serra do Mar. It is estimated that more than 1000 tons of gold was transported on this route to the port on the Rio Perequà-Aáu, to be shipped from there to Portugal. In its heyday the town had some 1700 houses and 150 sugar-mills; and nine forts on the mainland and the offshore islands protected the gold- and sugar-exporting port from attack. After the opening of the Camino de Garcia Pais, a direct road from the mining region to Rio de Janeiro, however, Parati rapidly fell into oblivion, and perhaps as a result of this was able to preserve many of its old colonial buildings. It is now a tourist center of international fame and has been the setting of many films.
Parati has more than 60 beaches, strung in an arc round the central Praia do Pontal. To the north are Corumbé (7km/4.3mi), Grande (10km/6mi), Graúna (15km/9.3mi), Barra Grande (19km/11.8mi), São Roque (22km/13.6mi), Taquari (26km/16mi) and Tarituba (25km/15.5mi), near the nuclear power station of Angra dos Reis (see entry); to the south are Parati-Mirim (27km/17mi), Laranjeiras (40km/25mi), Sono and Ponta Negra (which is accessible only by boat from Praia de Laranjeiras. The beaches of Baré, Conceição, Lula, Mamanguá, Rosa, Vermelha, Cajaíba and Deserta can also be reached only by boat. The promontories of Ponta do Leste and Ponta da Trinidade mark the boundary between the Parati beaches and the Rio de Janeiro coastal region.
In the center of the town the roughly cobbled streets of the colonial period are lined by handsome buildings with windows of cut glass and wooden screens. In Rua do Rosário (or Rua Dr Samuel Costa), near Rua do Comércio, is the Câmara Municipal (Town Hall). In Praça Macedo Soares is the Chafariz de Mármore (Marble Fountain) of 1850.
Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
Rua Nova da Praia and Rua da Matriz bound the spacious Praça da Matriz, on which is the unfinished church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (1789-1873). The church contains a collection of pictures, including works by Anita Malfati. The Festa de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, in which the whole population of Parati takes part, is celebrated here on September 8th.
Forte Defensor Perpétuo
1km/.7mi from the town center in Vila Velha is the Forte Defensor Perpétuo ("Perpetual Defender"), built in 1703 and rebuilt in 1822, with a cannon dating from the time of its foundation and a powder magazine.
Museum of Folk Art and Traditions
The Forte Defensor Perpétuo now houses the Museu de Arte e Tradiáões Populares (Museum of Folk Art and Traditions).
Santa Rita (Museu de Arte Sacra)
Nossa Senhora das Dores
From the mouth of the Rio Perequà-Aáu Rua Fresca runs along the coast to the harbor quays. It is paralleled by Rua da Praia (Rua Dr Pereira), with the church of Nossa Senhora das Dores (1800), and Rua Nova da Praia.
Museum of Naval History
In Rua da Cadeia, a cross street off Rua da Praia, which also runs past Praça da Matriz, is the Museu Histórico-Naval, which displays miniature models of old ships and archaeological finds.
Nossa Senhora do Rosário
The church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário (1725) stands on Largo do Rosário, near Rua do Rosário, a cross street off Rua da Praia, and Rua do Comércio.
In addition to the Festa do Divino (May/June) and other religious festivals there are musical festivals in Parati throughout the year, offering not only classical music but also jazz and Brazilian folk music. In August there are an exhibition of folk art, a street theatre festival and the Festival da Pinga e Produtos de Parati, when pinga, the local sugar-cane brandy, and other typical products of the region are offered for sale in rich variety.
There are a couple of attractions in the Parati surrounding area.
IslandsOff the coast at Parati are over 40 islands, many of them with completely unspoiled beaches. This island world can be explored on hired saveiros or other types of boat.
AraújoCedroAmong the most attractive of the islands are Araújo (near Corumbé) and Cedro, to the north of the town and, to the south, the Ilha do Algodão ("Cotton Island"), near the Parati-Mirim and Mamanguá beaches.
Engenho da Murycana
Engenho da Murycana6km/4mi from Parati on the Cunha road is the Engenho da Murycana (Fazenda Bananal), a farm of the colonial period. The house displays 18th century furniture and utensils. On the estate are a lake, a children's playground, a mini-zoo and a restaurant.
Cachoeira de Bananal
Cachoeira de Bananal10km/6mi from Parati on the Cunha road are the Bananal Falls and the Igreja da Penha, built on a crag.