Although it’s better known as a historical retreat than a beach getaway, Paraty is in fact a serious hotspot for beach lovers. The town is surrounded by around 200 beaches some of them mere spits of sand, others stretching for miles, and most of them are gloriously quiet. Paraty has its own pleasant beach - a short walk from the historic center which makes for a afternoon’s sunbathing, and there are a handful of informal cafe-bars on the sand. For the most paradisiacal spots, though, you’ll need to head out of town - whether by road or best by water. Buses and organised tours run from Paraty to the nearby towns of São Gonçalo and Trindade, both of which are famous for their pristine, isolated beaches. Fishing boats and private speedboats also run beach- hopping trips, many of which call at the many small islands that surround Paraty. Mamangua, with its inland beaches, is a prime spot for sunbathing amid wild nature, with more than 30 strands to choose from. Although many of the islands surrounding Paraty are rocky and better suited to diving than to sunbathing, others have soft sands lapped by clear, calm waters.
A popular spot with tour operators in Paraty, Praia Vermelha is one of the closest beaches to Paraty town, around an hour’s boat ride to the beach has soft sand, waters are warm and calm, and there’s a good barraca for food and drinks Bambu. This is a protected breeding area for sea turtles, and it’s not uncommon to spot them swimming close to the beach. Best in the morning before the crowds arrive by schooner.
Praia da Lula
The jungle reaches right down to the fine sands at this small beach, which is busy with boat-trippers during weekends and holidays, but pleasantly quiet during the week.
The white sand beach is popular with families, the turquoise waters are calm but, owing to the large number of boats that dock here, not always the cleanest in the area. Bring supplies, as there are no facilities here.
Praia da Ponta Negra
Boats run from Laranjeiras (en-route to Trindade from Paraty) to this little beach surrounded by craggy rocks and fed by a trickling freshwater river. Trails nearby lead to waterfalls and natural pools. Quiet during the week, this spot can get busy at weekends and during holidays. This is open sea and the water can get rough. Ponta Negra is an isolated caicara fishing community.
This popular beach village, a 45 minute drive from Paraty, has some lovely beaches (ringed with beach bars) which can be extremely busy during the holidays. Many further out are accessible only by boat or by taking long trails, but walkers are well rewarded for their efforts. Among the best of Trindade’s beaches are Praia do Sono accessible only by boat (or a lovely walk from Laranjeiras en route to Ponta Negra). The beautiful, jungle-fringed beach has views of the mountains and beaches. A scramble from here lie Antigo and Antiguinhos beaches, where rugged jungle gives the sand a ‘desert island’ feel. Bring supplies - particularly plenty of water - and be prepared to embrace splendid isolation.
Saco do Mamangua
In the middle of the gloriously unspoilt Mamangua nature reserve, there are beautiful beach rarely visited by more than a few people at a time. Surrounded by pristine Atlantic rainforest, it’s appears a tropical Fjord (actually a flooded river valley), and a visit here is a truly unique experience. Boats stop nearby, and there are is also an energetic trail tup and over the mountain from Paraty Mirim, which also has a lovely uncrowded beach (bus from Paraty or best by faster boat) and in front there is little gem of Cotia. For those in faster boats, following the coast line the Bay becomes less protected and around the often rough Ponta da Joatinga is the isolated Praia Brava de