While I was living in Rio, one of my best and oldest friends from home, Mareill, came to visit me to help me celebrate my 27th birthday.
As if visiting me wasn’t enough, as a birthday gift, she generously treated me to a three-day hiking trip around Paraty, a small coastal colonial town in the state of Rio de Janeiro. I know, I have some pretty awesome friends.
To get to Paraty, we woke up before the crack of dawn (around 3AM) and got on a bus from Rio, which was about five hours away. From there, we hopped on a boat and headed to a nearby beach, where we began our hike.
Paraty runs along the coastline (Costa Verde) of the state of Rio and is surrounded by untouched beaches and lush green mountains and forests.
During the boat ride, we passed by little islands like this one…
And about an hour later, we finally reached the beach where we started our hike…
I know. And that’s not even photoshopped.
Before starting the hike, we explored the beaches a bit, finding that, while they were not entirely secluded (there were actually people living on and near the beaches), they felt completely cut off from civilization. It was definitely a nice escape.
After the first day of hiking, we set up camp at a campsite, where a local of the area prepared and served us a homemade dinner. We were both so exhausted that we passed out shortly afterwards, at around 7PM.
The next day, we hiked by some jaw-dropping landscape…
And that evening, after a long day of hiking, we finally arrived at our next destination: an adorable, bustling little village (well, comparatively anyway).
For dinner, we went to a local villager’s home, where we were cooked yet another meal. Something I could definitely get used to!
And we spent the night in a tiny house that had just a bathroom and a bedroom.
The next day, we woke up early again for a third (and final) day of hiking, which led to even more beautiful, pristine beaches.
And towards the end of our hike, we finally reached the best view of all…
We hiked down to the bottom of the trail and arrived at yet another little beach village (perhaps the biggest one yet).
After a little much-needed R & R, we were off once more to start the last leg of the hike.
Once we finally finished the hike, we caught a bus back to Paraty, where we explored a bit more before heading back to Rio.
Even if you don’t make it to the beaches, Paraty itself is definitely worth a visit. The historic center of the town is made up of narrow, cobblestone streets and whitewashed, red-roofed buildings adorned by colorful doors and windows. Cars are prohibited, so people get around by horse and carriage or bicycle. It looks a little something like this…
Now, how can you not fall in love with that place?
After the sun set, we caught the bus back to Rio. It was hard to leave Paraty, but it’s a little hard to complain when your home looks like this…