The Serra da Bocaina Park stands as a great paradise with landscape ranging from mountains to beaches, in two Brazilian States: Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Ecotourism in the Park is made out of the most diverse natural attractions that will make you have a unique experience of contact with nature.
The Park has, basically, two very different routes. The first is the Serra, also called "Parte Alta” (or high end), where you can find several waterfalls, peaks and observatories. Access is through São José do Barreiro, located 273 kilometers from the city of São Paulo. The second route is the Coastal, also called "Parte Baixa" (or lower end), featuring beaches surrounded by the green of the Atlantic forest. Access is through Paraty, in Rio de Janeiro, the starting point of this experience. The idea is to enjoy the attractions of the city and take a whole day to walk on "lower end" of the Bocaina Park.
Founded in 1667 and located 232 km from Rio de Janeiro, Paraty is an example of preservation and wealth of colonial architecture. It's one of those cities where history is impregnated in the walls, houses and on the ground. It is worth saving a portion of
your day just to walk quietly through the streets observing, one by one, the details of Paraty.
The historical center is one of the city’s main attractions. The city boasts a unique architectural ensemble consisting of the churches of Santa Rita, Nossa Senhora do Rosário, Nossa Senhora das Dores and the Matriz de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, besides the Forte Defensor Perpétuo, the Santa Casa de Misericórdia and other townhouses.
If you appreciate quality drinks, another cultural option is to visit the stills of artisanal cachaça and the Caboré pub. At night, enjoy tasting the local cuisine and quality live music.
But don’t think that the attractions at Paraty end there. You can set aside at least a full day to enjoy the beauties of some of the 50 beaches and 65 islands of Baía de Paraty. The best way for you to explore these beauties is by boat, so you better buy a schooner tour or rent your own boat at the Porto de Paraty. Departing from there, the stops are awesome and complete with delightful sea bathing.
On the third day, the tour leaves towards the Trinity region in the Serra da Bocaina. It is necessary to hire private companies to take you through the routes. The region is the only part of the park with marine attractions, where you will find a natural pool surrounded by native vegetation and two of the most beautiful beaches of Paraty: Praia do Cachadaço and Praia do Meio. Both with crystal blue green waters. Due to the lack of restaurants, bars and other establishments, the beaches have become a haven of rest and tranquility.
Departing from any one of these two beaches, you will arrive at a natural pool surrounded by rocks and shallow and transparent waters filled with colorful fish. You will probably spend a few minutes in surprise and capturing the beauties of this place.
From the beaches you can see a big rock, that has a very specific shape, it's called Cabeça do Índio (or Indian Head). It marks the border between the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Your experience can be expanded through trails in the woods, getting in touch with the rich diversity of the Serra da Bocaina Park. An example is the trail Cachoeira Pontal, with a route full of waterfalls and a special attraction: the Pedra que Engole (Stone that Swallows). That's right, it swallows you! It works like a water slide, where you enter and descend sliding through the stone. It’s a lot of fun!
In the evening, you will return to Paraty. At night, be sure to watch the Teatro de Bonecos.