One of our very favorite cities is Paraty, about 4 hours to the south and west of Rio. While it fills up on weekends and for Brazilian holidays, we were pretty sure that we could go mid-week, post school holidays and just take our chances on finding a pleasant hotel. So off we went on a Tuesday morning in March. As it turned out we had fabulous weather, wonderful lodging and some truly fabulous dining experiences.
We went a little higher end than we normally do and spent the first few nights at the Pousada do Sandi (www.pousadadosandi.com.br ). I highly recommend this pousada and particularly when their rates are more affordable in the off season. The pousada is located in the historic center and is wonderfully appointed and decorated. The added attractions include a marvelous massage chair that put Richard right to sleep.
Breakfast is a lovely and very complete buffet as is typical of most Brazilian pousadas. The outdoor garden area made the experience that much more enjoyable.
We spent our days wandering the town and enjoying its wonderful architecture, lovely shops and delightful wharf area. We did cross the bridge over the Rio Pereque-Acu to the Bairro Pontal for dinner at Thai Paraty (no web site – located at Alameda Princesa Isabel, 37-c, (24) 3371-2772). We highly recommend this lovely restaurant that is out of the way but has the best Thai food we have had in Brazil. The green curry is outstanding!
We never did take one of the boating / snorkeling tours but I am told that they are well worth it for a lazy day in good weather.
My previous blog on Paraty has lots of photos on the colonial architecture so I won’t repeat all of that. Well, maybe just a little.....
Sadly we were not able to stay at Pousada Sandi through the weekend since we did not have reservations. Not to worry. We had been curious about the lodging options on Praia Jabaquara about a mile to the north of Paraty’s historic center. The praia is little known among our Rio friends who have visited Paraty and is very much worth a visit. It is a humble beach with various kiosks serving meals and beer and seems to attract the locals and more budget minded.
We sampled a few of the Jabaquara pousadas starting with Pousada Acqua Marinha. This hotel has the advantage of being cheap (about R$135), having a very good breakfast room and buffet, and having an absolutely delightful and interesting owner. On the other hand, the bed was only a minor step up from sleeping on a board. The mattress was foam with absolutely no give. A good option for post back surgery but otherwise kind of uncomfortable.
So we cruised down the beach a bit and happened upon the Pousada Estação do Sol (http://www.wix.com/estacaodosolparaty/site). At R$165 it was a substantial step up in creature comforts and also very well located on Praia Jabaquara. We highly recommend this pousada and would absolutely stay there again.
During our stay on Jabaquara we found our kiosk, had some beers and spent a few hours relaxing and collecting seashells.
We had fabulous weather during our entire stay and were blessed with a harvest moon that we watched rise over the bay.
Life is good......