Enjoy a leisurely walking tour through Parati, a city revered for its beautifully preserved colonial architecture, which reflects a time when Portugal controlled the area.
Departing from the pier, you will begin walking along the narrow cobblestoned streets of Parati, an area inhabited since 1660, when the Portuguese started transporting gold from here to Rio de Janeiro. Because of Parati’s strategic importance along the gold route and its spectacular colonial architecture, UNESCO deemed the entire city a World Heritage Site.
As you walk along the enchanting avenues of the pedestrian-only historic center, it will soon become apparent that Parati’s colonial design was well planned. Houses could only be built in a certain way, the streets followed a simple grid pattern, and even the cobblestones were arranged in channels to drain water from storms and elevated tides from full moons. Today, most everything is still intact, presenting a wonderful look into the ingenuity of the past.
Among the finest landmarks are the Church of the Santa Rita de Cassia, which was built in 1722, and the House of Culture, a museum housed in a beautiful colonial mansion. You will also see plenty of other colonial homes, appealing boutiques and tasteful galleries featuring work from local artists. Often the craftsmen are in residence, and you can watch them creating their art. After approximately two hours of walking, you may either remain in town to further explore on your own, or return to the pier with your guide.
Please note: This is a 2-hour walking tour that covers approximately 1 mile in distance. There will be some cobblestone surfaces and inclines to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.