My trip to Brazil is almost a distant memory now, but there is still one part of the trip that I haven’t told you much about. In between Christmas and New Years my family and I spent three days in Paraty — a small town turned tourist hot spot — a couple of hours from Rio. (See my previous post about an amazing Paraty bag shop where I found the perfect camera bag.)
Paraty became a busy port city when gold was discovered in Brazil in the late 1600s. But a new road built in the 1720s circumvented the need for Paraty’s port, and the town became isolated as it was only reachable by water due to the extreme geography surrounding it. The town fell into a sleepy decline until 1960, when a coastal road from Rio was finally connected to Paraty. (Read more on LonelyPlanet.com.)
Paraty’s interesting history led to an interesting result: The town’s colonial architecture and cobblestone streets have survived almost completely intact into the 21st century, turning Paraty into a popular tourist town. Paraty was recognized as a National Historic Site in 1966.
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