Colonial gem Paraty, an authentic insight in Brazil's colonial past
Island to island paddling
Swimming, snorkeling and picnic on dream beaches
Saco de Mamanguá, the only fjord on Brazil's coast line
Stay with traditional caiçara fishermen communities
Encounters with native Guaraní Mbya populations
Hiking through the Atlantic Coastal Rainforest
And much more...
The 8-Days Itinerary
Early departure to the small seaport town of Paraty, that during the 18th century played an important role when gold from the mines in Minas Gerais was shipped out from here to homeland Portugal. Today it counts according to UNESCO to one of the most harmonic existing examples of colonial architecture world-wide! Here you experience an exotic mixture of culture, nature, beach pleasure and activity holidays. The about 4 hours scenic drive along the coast features great views on islands and little hidden beaches of overwhelming natural beauty. A charming Pousada, located in the historic center of the village, awaits you for check-in and a refreshing jump into the swimming pool. In the afternoon we will tour the village, including port and historical downtown area with mansions and churches from the colonial epoch. The evening starts with a walk through the old and narrow cobble stone alleys, which were still built by slaves and are romantically lit by colonial candelabras. Dinner will be at one of the good down town restaurants, offering always seafood delicacies from the days catch. A stroll through Paraty’s boutiques of pretty handicraft and Brazilian styled leisure clothing is followed by a night cap and some great Brazilian life music will end the day.
This first day of our kayak tour start with an introduction into paddle techniques and safety. The route will takes us through the calm waters of the bay of Paraty to the islands of Malvão, Sapeca and Comprida, where we stop for a swim at beaches which seem to belong just to us alone – picnic. Another hour of paddling alongside the Araújo Island, we arrive at a fishermen community, here called caiçaras. We will be arriving there in time for lunch when we appreciate a local specialty of fish and seafood. The afternoon is due for relax, swimming, and making acquaintances with the locals. Dinner and overnight is at the community. To acclimatize on this first day the overall paddling time will not exceed 3 hours.
After breakfast boarding of the kayaks for a approximately 2 hour ride through the bay of Paraty, having chosen the beautiful beaches of Jumurim, Engenho and Vermelho for destination. There is polenty of time for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters around the islands. Lunch, at Praia Vermelho is served by fishermen. Outfitted with new energies, we proceed now to one of the most beautiful beaches of the region at Ponta Grossa. Estimated paddling time 1½-2 hr. Here, we have dinner and overnight in one of the fishermen’s huts.
This morning we paddle to Saco da Velha, another one of these dream beaches with nobody on it, but us. The turquoise and calm sea are irresistible and everybody will enjoy swimming and diving here, before we continue our journey to the only fjord in Brazil at Saco do Mamanguá. This tropical paradise and its local communities are being protected by our partners from Interação Ambiental, where we take quarters. The view from the deck of the guesthouse offers a splendid view over the 8 km long fjord, surrounded by lush Atlantic coastal rainforest. Information und “round table” discussion on the subject about Protection of the traditional life style of the local communities against real estate speculation, presented by Paulo Nogara, our partner at Interação Ambiental.
Early weak up call to enjoy the magnificent sunrise over the fjord. A roughly 20 minute ride takes us on our kayaks across the fjord to the Cruzeiro fishermen community, where we leave the kayaks behind on the beach. A 1½ hr hike through rainforest takes us up to the peak of the Pedra do Mamanguá (400 m). The panoramic view over the fjord and the mountain range it really breathtaking. On the way back we stop at the community for lunch: at a simple bar right on the beach, we will relish at the catch of the day right from the fisherman's boat, which could be giant shrimps, charcoal grilled, with a garlic sauce and ideally a cold beer to go with it. Usually there are folks from the 3 houses village with whom we engage in story telling. Interesting to know their opinion about how real estate speculation in the region would influence their way of living if there wouldn’t be our friends from Interação Ambiental. Later the day we return to our guesthouse on the other side of the fjord for dinner and overnight.
Paddling into the extreme corner of the fjord from where an adventurous route meanders through mangrove forest, while red-clawed mangrove crabs watch our approach carefully. They are suspicious and they know why. A hidden waterfall amidst the forests is appreciated for a refreshing shower, before we hit the kayaks again to meet up with a typical caiçara family for lunch. Besides fishing activities and oyster cultivation, the family produces pretty miniature fishing boats in lively colors from the caixeta tree Tabebuia cassinoides, a very light wood that compares to balsa wood. The handicraft is sold to the boutiques in Paraty. Here we will participate in a workshop that is held for us to show how the pieces are made. In the afternoon we make our way back once more to the guesthouse for dinner and overnight.
Energized with a decent paddlers breakfast we take on the open sea and paddle to the beach of the Paraty-mirim village. Paraty mirim is an old pirate hide out used for illegal slave trade. There are still remains of the church which was used for baptism immediately after arrival and the merchants house, where the slaves were sold to the nearby sugar cane mill, now in ruins, though. In the afternoon a visit to one of the notorious sugar cane mills that produce fine cachaça, the Brazilian national drink, is on the program! The production process is interesting also in the historical context as sugar cane always played an important role in Brazil's economy. The tasting of home made samples and purchase of provisions for the rest of your journey is recommendable. Back in Paraty the evening is at leisure.
The schedule today stipulates a most interesting visit to the Araponga village of the Guaraní mbya tribe. The linguistic branches of the Guaraní tribes have their roots in the regions between Paraguay and Brazil, also refer to the great Robert de Niro movie “The Mission”. Three groups have settled in the area around Paraty, being Araponga probably the better organized outlet. Southern Cross Tours & Expeditions supports, in cooperation with the NGO Nhandeva, a project to stimulate the production of fine handcrafted basketry. After a two hours hike we arrive at their village, located in the mountains amidst the Atlantic rainforest. We will meet and have discussions with the chief, here called cacique, and other members of the tribe. Cultural, traditional and social aspects of their day-to-day life, includes contradictory issues concerning the insertion of the tribe into modern Brazilian society. A jungle trail leads from the village to a beautiful waterfall, inviting for a refreshing bath. The more adventurous travelers may want to relish on the food prepared by the Indians. For those with a weak stomach, sandwiches taken from the hotel would solve the problem. Return to Paraty. Check-out and transfer to Rio de Janeiro.
Summary of Daily Attractions and Activities
approx. 4 hour car transfer Rio-Paraty on panoramic coastline; Sightseeing in Paraty; Overnight in charming Pousada
approx. 3 hours paddling, crossing the bay of Paraty, for safety reason escorted by motorized canoe; beach stay, swimming, visit of a traditional Caiçara community
approx. 3-3½ hours paddling; opportunity for beach leisure, including swimming and snorkeling; overnight in a fisherman's hut (hammock)
approx. 3 hourspaddling; beach leisure and beach picnic; speech and round table discussions on social and environmental issues in the region. Overnight at the guesthouse of “Interação Ambiental”
approx. 2 hours across the fjord paddling; 2 hours trekking to Pico de Mamanguá mountain; catch of the day seafood lunch on the beach
approx. 2 hours paddling across the fjord, mangroves, waterfall; visit of Caiçara family, handicraft workshop
approx. 3 hours paddling to the beach of Paraty mirim; beach leisure, sightseeing; regular bus transfer to Paraty, accommodation in pousada; visit of cachaça distillery; evening at leisure
approx. 3 hours hiking through Atlantic Coastal Rainforest; visit to Araponga village; check-out pousada Paraty and transfer to Rio de Janeiro or extensions
Institute of Interação Ambiental
We are specialized in arranging and coordinating environmental surveys for regular schools and sports, health and adventure programs at the Mamanguá bay and Paraty city as well. We invite you to go for a ride, in which you get to know our proposal and demonstrate our experience and background.
"We put into practice the pattern of the sustaintable tourism including the local people during the activities, creating gains and increasing the local culture."
The Mamanguá refuge is a property which contains three houses of the local style (caiçara style) adjusted for the contemplation of the beautiful view, with wide windows and wooden decks, all located just a few steps from the sea. Sleep and wake up in absolute contact with the nature, observe the canoes and the boats passing by, talk to the kind local people, swim, row, dive, take a walk and sail are some of the options of leisure to whom houses this refuge.
In the Mamangua Bay there is no power (electrical energy), what increases the feeling of being totally integrated with the effusive nature. Although houses are rustic, they offer lots of comfort due to its equipment: gas fridge, water heaters (showers) and gas lamps. The houses can be rented separately or the whole property.
Paulo and the guide Gonçalo have both been amazing in choosing the best kayaking routes, beach stops, wildlife explorations, places to stay and places to eat. Not once have we felt we got the short end of the stick. We feel the kayaking experience was exactly what we had hoped for.
Thank you for the confirmation of the dinner. We look forward to that! As requested, we have asked at the front desk for the horse riding.
Best regards and thanks again,
Prices & Details
Prices and Travel Details
8 days / 7 nights
mimimum 3, maximum 5 participants
all year round, except September
Transfer Rio de Janeiro-Paraty-Rio de Janeiro
One and two seater ocean kayak and equipment, live vest, waterproof bags, snorkel and diving mask
Motorized canoe as per itinerary
3 overnight/breakfast in Pousada, double room occupancy
4 overnights in guesthouses and local accommodations on the islands
8 lunches and snacks, 8 breakfasts, 3 dinners
Aside from your normal travel gear do not forget to bring along:
sunblock factor 30
hut or cap, light and adequate clothing, towel, rain cover, sweater
sandals or sneakers, water flask, flashlight
As a pre-condition to participate on this activity program the client must sign a waiver, stating that his is in good health and capable to swim in the ocean. Furthermore the participant accepts a change of itinerary if recommended by climatic conditions.
For our Brazil Highlights Tour we have chosen four of our favourite parts of the country with the highlights: The tropical metropolis Rio de Janeiro, colonial Paraty, the Amazon rainforest, and beach Paradise and scuba-diving hotspot Arraial do Cabo.
Matches:Brazil's BeachesColonial HistoryCulture & Nature TravelIndigenous CultureParatySoutheastern Brazil