√ another adventure in Brazil complete. This time was to Paraty and Trindade located in the Rio de Janeiro state. This past weekend my study abroad group and I ventured north to both Paraty and Trindade for a weekend get away. We left from São Paulo early Friday morning and returned late Sunday night. We took a bus to our final destination which took about 6 hours give or take both there and back. Upon arriving in Paraty we took a tour of the historical center which I highly suggest to anyone who plans to visit. The city center along with the beautiful bay area make the city a really great attraction. The city center itself is quite quaint and filled with many unique historical buildings that aline cobblestone streets. In the centers streets you don’t find cars, street bikes, or even bicycles because the cobblestones are so uneven from being aged that it would make any form of transportation other than by foot a bit difficult. Personally, I think this is something that makes the center even more appealing because you only see people walking around or enjoying a horse and buggy ride. Additionally, all of the buildings in the center are white and have some colored trim around the doors and windows. The reason being is the city wants to keep the historical area the same as it once was. There are regulations that require the buildings to keep the historical look and colors intact. For me Paraty was a very calm and relaxing place to visit. There wasn’t much to offer in terms of night life however there was a lot in terms of art, restaurants, shops, and pousadas which is a place to stay. We stayed in a “pousada” called Villas de Paraty. A pousada is similar to a hotel or small resort but it is hard to explain because we don’t have an exact translation for it in english. However, the pousada we stayed in offered a very relaxing setting with separate villas for each guest, a pool, a restaurant, a workout center, a spa room, and even small monkeys climbing on the trees outside.
Saturday and Sunday were beach days but included some of the most incredible views I have seen thus far in Brazil. Saturday we bused 40 minutes from Paraty to Trindade which is a small village surrounded by beautiful beaches and the rainforest. Once in Trindade the best way for us to get to the beaches was by walking. We walked to two different beaches, one directly from where we parked the bus and another through the rainforest. The beach I will mention was Cachadaço beach. At the end of this beach there is a path that leads through the forest to a natural swimming pool surrounded by large rocks. It was an absolutely breath taking view and worth the walk. If you don’t wish to walk, there are some small boats that will take you to and from the beach to the pool but I would suggest walking to get the full effect of the natural beauty the area has to offer. Trindade offered some of the greatest views with forest and mountains in the background and large rock formations all over the beaches. It was a really unique site to see. Sunday, the last day of our stay we took a boat ride leaving from Paraty bay to several beaches where we anchored and ate lunch on the boat. The boat ride was a really great way to end the weekend and to enjoy the scenery, this time from the outside looking in. I’m really thankful I had the chance to visit both Paraty and Trindade. Both places aren’t the first place you think about when Brazil comes to a tourist mind however I would put it high on anyones list of places to see in Brazil.