LGBTQ Travel Brazil: Top Free Activities in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro

LGBTQ Travel Brazil: Top Free Activities in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro
Centro Hist贸rico, Paraty

Paraty in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a must-see if you are looking for both a historical/ cultural travel experience as well as a dose of tropical beaches and outdoor activities. Like most of Brazil, Paraty is very LGBTQ-friendly, and we saw a number of gay and lesbian couples holding hands in the downtown area when we were walking around.

Paraty is quite touristy both for Brazilians and foreigners, so it is not the cheapest destination in Brazil. That said, you can certainly plan an affordable vacation to Paraty, and there are a number of free activities available in the downtown historical center (Centro Hist贸rico).

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Head over to my Ultimate 2024 Packing Guide for Paraty, Rio de Janeiro next for must have items when visiting Paraty

The Centro Hist贸rico area of Paraty is a several block square of original Portuguese colonial buildings with cobblestone streets that are mainly pedestrian-only. There are boutique hotels, restaurants and shops in this area, and you'll find street vendors selling ice cream and various crafts.

What Are the Best Free Activities in Paraty?

  1. Exploring Centro Hist贸rico: The architecture is one of the most iconic aspects of Paraty and a large driving factor in tourism. The buildings are restored original Portuguese style architecture from when the area was being colonized and mined for gold. You can (and should) spend several hours walking the cobblestone streets and admiring the colorful accents on the white buildings.
  2. Spending Time in Bookshops: Paraty has historically been a gathering place for authors in Brazil, and this has impacted the city in a number of ways. For a small downtown, Paraty has a number of bookstores. We visited a woman-owned bookstore that heavily featured Brazilian authors and some local art, as well as a larger bookstore that had both local and foreign authors and a large selection of coffee table photography books about Brazil.
  3. Visiting Artisan Craft Stores: Paraty has little craft stores on all the streets in Centro Hist贸rico, which sell everything from typical tourist souvenirs like magnets and postcards to handmade woven placemats and sculptures. Because of the variety of choices it is easy to spend an hour or two just looking in the shops.
  4. Paraty's Free Cultural Museum: The Casa da Cultura de Paraty (cultural house) is located downtown and is a museum dedicated to local art, history and culture. Admission is free and in addition to exhibitions they occasionally have shows; when we were in Paraty in February there was a Carnaval parade in the streets that ended in a brief show at the museum.
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For more LGBTQ friendly activities in this region, check out my post Experience LGBTQ-Friendly Island Hopping by Boat in Ubatuba, Brazil