Top 10 Things to Do in Paraty with Kids

I fell in love with Paraty the first time the wheels stopped in the central square. It had rained heavily and the storm had thrown on the beach big black pieces of tree trunks and seaweed, palm leaves, plastic, and the view was not one of the prettiest. In spite of all these, a new sense of “home” got into me.

I realized something after all this travelling. When a place “gets to you” is not because you visited it, it’s because it chose you.

This is the way I felt about Paraty, a magical place, full of mysteries, waiting to reveal its best. And two weeks later we were still postponing our leaving. The kids ask every morning if we leave because they didn’t want to leave too soon.

This is what we did together with the kids and sometimes with Oscar and Piccolina too. Becka used to leave early in the morning to scare the neighbor’s cats, attack their pets and come back in the evening, starved, with messy hair, but clearly happy.

1. A visit to the historical center in Paraty

This small town is often compared to Venice and it is situated only 258 km away from Rio de Janeiro, on Brazil’s ocean coast. The narrow, stone paved streets, the colonial style buildings turned into hotels, coffee shops or restaurants are the remains of a tumultuous past, full of history. There are free guided tours that usually start at 10:30 in the morning, but we chose to discover Paraty by ourselves, by foot. Although the kids are champions of walking, the irregular and slippery stones tired them sooner than we expected. You can stop at Des Mares book store for a good coffee and a cake and you can go through bird or jungle animals albums or read to them about town’s history. The kids’ imagination is limitless and you will get their attention for sure with stories about the times the town used to be a smuggling port for slaves or an important port for the export of the gold in Minas Gerais.

Tips: we advise you to wear comfortable shoes and for the mommies – no high heels!

2. Boat Tour

Boat trips are a must for families with kids fond of water and scuba diving. You can choose an organized tour with the Pirates’ Ship or any other colored boat waiting on the canal going to the square.

Tips: we negotiated for a private tour of 5 hours, we paid the equivalent of 50 Euros off-season and we did some swimming, scuba diving, and dives. This way we could take the pets with us who would have had to stay in the car otherwise, so everybody was happy. Take towels and long sleeves with you, the tours start at 10:30 -11:00 in the morning and it gets chilly on the way back.

3. Horsebackriding

You can take 2-hour trips in the forest or 1-hour in the arena. The horses’ owner promised us a real jungle adventure for 25 Euros / horse and showed us pictures with the horses in the water up to their thighs. The kids only wanted to pat the horses and the cats in his yard and skipped the riding saying that the poor animals were exploited.

4. Culinary delights

Gastronomy played an important role in the history and cultures of the town. The restaurants offer a very varied menu for even the most spoiled child. Visit Manu coffee shop for a delicious cake or Copenhagen coffee shop for a great hot chocolate.

5. Ice-cream tour

Ana says that any problem is solved with a good ice-cream. Her favorite ice cream shop in Paraty is Gelateria Miracolo where the tradition of Italian gelato turned our kids into loyal customers. Ana chose to celebrate her birthday there and to her joy, she received a free one as a gift. 

For the acai addicted, you can have a huge acai bowl at Boutique de Acai for a very good price.

6.Waterfalls tour

We visited Tarzan’s Well and Englishmen’s Well which have been recommended to us as a must for families with ambitious children. At Tarzan’s Well you will find a “specialist” in rock-sliding whom you can pay as much as you want. We recommend using his advice to minimize hurting chances. Englishmen’s Well offers a rope that helps you hump into water.

Warning: the waterfalls’ water is extremely cold. The first contact causes a thermic shock, it’s best to have a floating device to bring you back to shore. The water is deep, only for kids who swim very well.

7.Cinema, Culture House or Library 

Friday to Sunday you can watch movies for free at Cinema das Praca. The tickets are sold one hour prior to the starting of the movie. You can visit their Facebook or Instagram page for the complete schedule. The rooms are clean, small and coquette. You can’t have anything to eat inside, but you can have water.

Tips: Don’t be late for the show. Better to be there 10 minutes ahead.

Don’t miss the Culture House either. The kids have been impressed with the exhibits there, pretty stressful for us, though, because Ana can’t help touching the exhibited items. 

The library is a good place where the kids can read as much as they want literature, history books, etc. There is no previous enrollment required and it is advised that the parents accompanied their children. We left them by themselves (they know to follow the rules of keeping quiet and putting back the books) so we had a few hours to ourselves to walk the streets of the old town. 

8.Guided jungle tours where you can observe the flora and fauna of the tropical forest or a vist to an eco farm

9.Galleries tour. The kids had an extraordinary experience when we visited master Aecio Sarti’s Gallery and they met the master himself! He drew each of them a charcoal sketch portrait as a souvenir. We were all so touched that Carla told us we should never laugh again at the ones who cry when they see their idols on stage. Ana said this moment was to her like that one when she eats a sweet thing she has been longing for a long time (she chose her own name, The Queen of Sweets, so you can have in idea!). Aris considers he was the most thrilled of us all and now he wants to be, besides a professional surfer and a chef, an artist.

10.If you plan to stay in Paraty for more than a few days, you can take your children to ceramic workshops that cost 50 Euros / 2 hours or to the sailing school. The sailing course is longer, it’s a total of 12 hours taken in 4 days and costs 200 Euros.


M-am indragostit de Paraty de prima oara cand ne-am odihnit rotile in piata lui centrala. Plouase rau si furtuna scuipase pe plaja butuci gaunosi si negri, alge, crengi, frunze de palmier, plastice iar privelistea nu era dintre cele mai bucolice. Cu toate acestea insa, un sentiment nou de “acasa” m-a cuprins pe nepusa masa! Mi-am dat seama de un lucru in urma calatoriilor prin lume. Cand “te prinde un loc” nu-i pentru ca tu l-ai descoperit ci pentru ca el te-a ales pe tine. Asa am simtit Paraty-ul un loc magic, plin de mistere ce de abia asteapta sa ofere tot ce are el mai de pret. Si iata ca au trecut deja doua saptamani si tot amanam plecarea. Copiii intreaba in fiecare dimineata daca mai stam ca ei nu-si doresc sa plece prea curand. Iata ce am facut noi in tot acest timp, impreuna cu copiii si de cele mai multe ori si impreuna cu Oscar si Piccolina. Draga de Becka ( pisica) in fiecare dimineata, dupa micul dejun o taie prin vecini de le sperie pisicile, le ataca patrupedele si se intoarce de abia seara tarziu hamesita de foame, cu bucati de blanita sfasiate dar vizibil fericita.

1. De vizitat centrul istoric din Paraty

Acest mic orasel  este asemanat cu Venetia si se afla la numai 258 de km de Rio de Janeiro, pe coasta Braziliei. Strazile inguste pietruite, cladirile construite in stil colonial transformate in cele mai chic posade, hoteluri, cafenele sau restaurante sunt vestigii ale unui trecut tumultos si plin de istorie. Exista tururi cu ghid, gratuite ce incep de obicei la 10.30 dimineata dar noi am ales sa luam Paraty-ul la picior si sa-l descoperim pe cont propriu. Desi toti cei trei copii sunt campioni la mers pe jos, pietrele neregulate si alunecoase i-au obosit mai repede decat credeam. Puteti sa faceti o binemeritata pauza la Libraria Das Mares pentru o cafea buna sau o prajitura si puteti rasfoi impreuna cu piticii albume cu poze despre pasari sau animale din jungla amazoniana sau sa le cititi pagini din istoria orasului. Imaginatia copiilor este nelimitata si cu siguranta le veti capta atentia cu povesti din vremea cand orasul era cunoscut ca port de contrabanda cu sclavi africani sau ca port important pentru exportul aurului din Minas Gerais.

Tips: Va sfatuim sa folositi incaltari joase si comode iar pentru mamici, exclus tocuri! 

2. Excursii cu barca

Excursiile cu barca sunt un “must” pentru familiile cu copii inebuniti dupa apa si scubadiving! Puteti alege sa mergeti intr-un tur organizat cu barca Piratilor sau cu oricare alta ambarcatiune colorata ce asteapta pe canalul ce duce catre piata principala.

Tips: Noi am negociat pentru un tur privat de 5 ore, am platit echivalentul a 50 eur/ extrasezon in care ne-am bucurat in voie de balaceala, scubadiving si sarituri. In felul acesta am putut sa ne luam si patrupedele care altfel ar fi trebuit sa stea in masina, asa ca toata lumea a fost fericita! Luati cu voi prosoape si haine cu maneca lunga, plecarile sunt in jur de ora 10.30 -11 dimineata iar la intoarcere se lasa frig!

3. Calarie

Puteti face excursii prin padure de 2 ore sau 1 ora in arena. Proprietarul cailor ne-a promis o adevarata aventura prin jungla pentru 25 eur/cal si ne-a aratat poze cu caii in apa pana la brau. Copiii s-au limitat la a mangaia caii si pisicile din ograda si au renuntat la tur pe considerentul ca bietul animal este exploatat!

4. Delicii gastronomice

Gastronomia a jucat un rol important in istoria si cultura orasului. Restaurantele ofera un meniu variat pentru cei mai mofturosi copii. Faceti o vizita si la Cafeneaua Manu, pentru o prajitura savuroasa sau la Cafeneaua Kopenhagen pentru o ciocolata delicioasa.

5. Turul boutique-rilor de inghetata

Ana zice ca orice problema se rezolva cu o inghetata buna! In topul preferintelor se afla Gelateria Miracolo in care traditia inghetatei italiene i-a transformat in clienti fideli, Ana a ales sa-si serbeze ziua ei de nastere si spre marea ei bucurie a primit si o inghetata gratis!

Pentru indragostitii de Acai, Boutique de Acai este un loc traditional unde poti manca un acai gigantic la un pret foarte atractiv.

6. Turul cascadelor

Noi am experimentat Putul lui Tarzan si Putul Englezilor care ne-au fost recomandate ca fiind in top pentru familii cu copii nazdravani. La Putul lui Tarzan se afla un specialist in datul pe topogan pe care il platesti cu cat doresti. Recomandam pentru minimizarea posibilitatii de ranire. Putul Englezilor se afla o franghie care te ajuta sa sari in apa.

Atentie: Apa cascadelor este inimaginabil de rece. Impactul cu apa produce un mic soc termic, preferabil chestii gonflabile care sa te ajute sa inoti la mal. Apa este adanca, sariturile numai pentru copiii ce stiu sa inoate bine.

7. Cinema, Casa de Cultura sau Biblioteca

De vineri pana duminica, puteti viziona filme gratis la Cinema das Praca. Biletele se iau cu o ora inaintea inceperii spectacolului. Intrati pe pagina lor de FB sau Instagram pentru consultarea programului. Salile sunt curate, mici si cochete. Nu este permis consumul de alimente, poti consuma insa apa.

Tips: Nu intarziati! Recomandam sa fiti cu 10 minute inainte de spectacol.

Nu ratati nici Casa de Cultura. Copiii au fost impresionati de expozitiile de acolo, destul de stresant pentru ca Ana nu se poate abtina sa nu atinga exponatele!

Biblioteca este un loc bun unde copiii pot rasfoi in voie carti de literatura, istorie etc. Nu este nevoie de inscriere si este recomandat ca parintii sa-si insoteasca copiii! Noi i-am lasat singuri (urmeaza un ghid interior de conduita exemplara ce include vorbirea in soapta si asezarea cartilor in acelasi loc de unde l-au luat) asa ca noi, parintii ne-am bucurat de cateva ore de plimbat in doi pe stradutele centrului Istoric.

8. Excursii cu ghid prin jungla cu observarea faunei si florei padurii tropicale sau vizitarea fermelor eco.

9. Turul galeriilor

Copiii au avut o experienta extraordinara cand au vizitat Galeria maestrului Aecio Sarti si l-au intalnit pe artistul insusi in persoana! Maestrul le-a facut fiecaruia cate un portret in carbune ca amintire. Am fost cu totii atat de emotionati incat Carla ne-a sfatuit sa nu mai radem de cei care plang la spectacole cand isi intalnesc idolul, Ana a povestit ca a trait momentul ca atunci cand mananca un dulce ce si-l doreste de foarte mult timp ( se autointituleaza Regina Dulciurilor, asa ca imaginati-va!) Aris considera ca el a fost cel mai emotionat dintre toti si ca isi doreste ca pe langa surfer profesionist si bucatar chef sa devina si artist!

10. Daca aveti in plan sa stati mai multe zile in Paraty puteti sa inscrieti copiii la workshop-uri de ceramica, echivalentul a 50 eur pentru 2 ore sau sa-i inscrieti la scoala de veliere. Cursul de navigatie este mai lungut, insumand 12 ore, desfasurate pe parcursul a 4 zile. Cost, echivalentul a 200 Eur.

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