Paraty is one of Brazil's best-preserved colonial towns. Situated towards the western end of the Costa Verde, it was founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century and acted as a principal port for the shipping of gold to Europe. It's now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, charming and impressive in equal measure, with whitewashed churches and towering palms looking out over the quiet waters of the Bay of Paraty.
Paraty's quaint cobbled streets feature some lovely architecture and other attractions. The public library is housed in the town's old prison, complete with metal bars. And the three main churches are impressive, too - the gold-embossed altar at Nossa Senhora do Rosário e São Benedito is a notable treasure. The area surrounding Paraty, meanwhile, is also worth exploring, with the distinctive green tones of the Costa Verde's thick band of rainforest and a wealth of fantastic beaches, both sheltered and open, perfect for surfers and swimmers alike.