This amazing adventure trekking through the forests of the Ilha Grande of Brazil, then paddling the crystal clear waters of Paraty could well be taken directly from the pages of Peter Fleming or Willard Price. The scenery is breathtaking, the oceans mesmerising and will be an experience that will not be forgotten in a hurry.
Ilha Grande has an amazing history and has been, at different times a pirate’s lair, a leper colony and finally a prison for Brazil’s most unsavoury criminals. This juicy and sordid history has kept developers at bay leaving the pristine beaches and virgin forest found today. It´s considered the second wonder of Brazil after Rio de Janeiro and an Environmental Protection Area, responsible for the protection of endangered animals and plants and the vast Atlantic forest. Paraty is a beautiful colonial city, a World Heritage Site, it’s natural and architectural charm preserved to this day.
To walk through the Historic Center of Paraty is like going back in time to another era. The construction of its houses and churches reflect a period style and the mysterious symbols in the masonry which decorate its walls feed the imagination with tales of old. In the eighteenth century it was an important port through which gold and precious stones of Minas Gerais were shipped to Portugal. However the constant pirate’s assaults, who took refuge on nearby beaches, changed the gold route leading the city to a great economic isolation.