After two nights exploring and filming on the beautiful island of Ilha Grande, we headed to the town pier and boarded a schooner-style tourist boat for a five-hour sea journey to the historic colonial port Paraty. The boat trip avoided hours of tedious travel on traffic-clogged roads but also provided an extraordinary view of the unspoiled coasts of the region – and remarkable marine life, including a pod of dolphins that escorted us out of the harbor.
The vessel was supplied by Avant Tours, a tourism agency on Ilha Grande. We had recently interviewed Angelo Da Silva Alves from that company.
Our first stop, after about an hour, was Lagoa Azul, the Blue Lagoon, a spot famed for its marine life and water clarity. We got some great underwater footage using the GoPro cameras, capturing a giant school of fish swimming around the boat – along with a giant school of swimming students.
We were lucky enough to stop in a second lagoon on the way to Paraty: Lagoa Verde – yes, the Green Lagoon. A few other tourist vessels were there, carrying visitors from a variety of countries, including some Israeli travelers in the midst of a six-month adventure. Both of the lagoons were a perfect way for the entire group to relax and recharge for the rest of the week’s planned events.
Approaching Paraty, we passed about a half dozen supertankers, reflecting Brazil’s newfound offshore oil bounty. After the long trip, we arrived at our destination, where our luggage was taken down centuries-old cobbled lanes by horse-drawn carts to Pousada da Condessa. Later that night, everyone traveled through the historic center of Paraty, stopping at key landmarks such as the Igreja Matriz Nossa Senhora do Remédios, the largest church in the town. We ended the long, wonderful day with a St. Patrick’s Day themed dinner at Paraty33.
The night, like much in Brazil, was a hybrid of cultures — a quirky but fun mix of green balloons, Italian dishes and bossa nova songs performed by a talented Brazilian guitarist.
On Tuesday, we will roam the town following Pace business students updating the Paraty Green Map.