Brazil part 1- Paraty and Isla Grande

As some of you may have spotted from my Instagram feed on the right, this summer I was extremely lucky and managed to go to Brazil for the Summer Olympics. I haven’t written a blog post on it up until now because im struggling with where to start really. There is just too much to say about it all and I don’t think I will be able to express it the right way….but after ummming and ahhhing about it for a while I have decided to just go for it and we will see where I get to. Unfortunately I broke my phone on day 1 no joke, so photos especially of the first part of the trip are limited.

We (me and bezzie) went to Brazil for two months, flying into Sao Paulo (because it was way cheaper!) and working our way northwards to Rio de Janeiro. Looking at it on a map we moved about 2cms in total which is nothing compared to the size of Brazil but it still managed to take us 2 weeks and I am not sure I would have wanted to do it any faster. Basically the take away message here is BRAZIL IS MASSIVE! But this is a good thing as it just gives us an excuse to go back, hopefully sooner rather than later.

We flew over night landing into Sao Paulo at 8am, and headed straight to the bus station for a 6 hour journey to Paraty. Yes the travelling for 36 hours or whatever it ended up being was not ideal, but with such a short amount of time we had been advised to get out of SP as quickly as possible. And when we finally arrived in Paraty I did not regret it.

This is a little colonial style town with cobbled streets and colourful houses, it is gorgeous! After dumping out bags we headed straight to the beach for some much needed relaxing in the sunshine. The beach by the town isn’t actually the nicest so instead we walked northwards for about 10 minutes over a steep-ish hill down to Jabaquara beach which is much nicer- 100% worth it.

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On our second day me and Katie walked down to Paraty harbour and rented out a tiny little motor boat for a couple of hours to pootle around the nearby islands. I cannot recommend this enough! If you are in Paraty for any amount of time make sure you squeeze this in! it was perfect, all the boats come with matts on the roof for lying about and sunbathing and then captains drive you around to all the amazing beaches and you can jump off into the sea and snorkel from the boat it was lovely!

After Paraty we headed further north to Isla Grande which is an island just off the coast of brazil with no cars and beautiful beaches. Despite arriving in not the nicest of weather and being welcomed with a not so warm shower I have very fond memories of Isla Grande. Going to Brazil for the Olympics meant we were there in August which is one of the cooler months in Brazil. On waking up in Isla Grande our first morning there we were confronted with a rather cloudy morning, still warm but definitely lying on a beach weather. So instead we decided to hike around the island. (We did not go the way around, I think this would take days). Isla Grande actually has a number of different walking trails all starting from the main town, Abraao, which are easy to follow.

We walked eastwards stopping at a number of beaches and then crossing over the island to Lopes Mendes, roughly a 3 hour walk in total though it took us longer as we stopped in boat bars for food and to look at tiny monkeys along the way. I should also say that it is not a trip for the unfit, the walk was very very up and down leaving both me and Katie breathing heavily and soaked in sweat….though that could have been the humidity too.

On our second day on Isla Grande we took another boat trip, this time a small speed boat, out to the paradise islands which I have to say definitely lived up to their name! With bright white sand and clear blue seas and plenty of fish it was fantastic.

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Though again with the weather turning on us for our journey home we were happy to arrive back in Abraao for hot food.

In general, I’m afraid to say me and Katie didn’t think much of the food, and we tried a variety but nothing was ever very good in our opinion except for one exception. When we were in Paraty all the restaurants offered this Brazilian fish stew dish which is served with rice and fish stock I believe it is called Moqueca, and this is amazing!! It was absolutely perfect to help warm us right through again!

Overall Katie and I loved both Paraty and Isla Grande, looking back the only thing I would change is maybe to have had slightly better weather in both places, but if we had of I think we would have missed out hiking in Isla Grande which is one of my highlights, so maybe I wouldn’t change anything…

Check up on my next post on Rio and what we did when there! Have you guys been to Isla Grande or Paraty before? If so please let me know what you thought of it, I would love to hear.

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