Cachaca is the local speciality, a sugar cane spirit drunk pure or mixed with lime, sugar and ice to make the most traditional Brazilian cocktail - caipirinha. There are many brands of cachaca and Armazem da Cachaca offers hundreds of them. They sell not only cachaca from the area but also from other parts of the country; some of the best are from Minas Gerais. The leading brands from Paraty are Paratiana, Coqueiro, Corisco, Mare Alta...
Cachaca can be pure or flavoured with sugar cane, cinnamon, coconut... Some bottles are real pieces of art and very suitable as a present. I've got a small bottle of Paratiana with cinnamon from Silvana and really liked it!
Before buying it you can taste some, but don't forget it is really strong and so not advisable to experiment it too much :)
What to buy: hundreds of brands of cachasa and sweet local delicacies made from fruit
What to pay: from several euros on
During the colonial time Paraty attracted painters, poets and intellectuals. The pleasant surroundings of cobblestone streets, charming architecture and calm life still inspire all types of works of art and continue to attract artists from all over the world.
In Paraty you can find the most diverse styles of art from paintings, ceramics, mosaics, jewellery, but don't forget that the most traditional art works are those produced by the native Indians.
There are many small art and craft shops and galleries selling all kinds of nice and original hand made products so don't let to spend a couple of hours visiting these places. The streets of Centro Historico are filled with them. You can find good bargains and buy nice pieces of art for a good price.
What to buy: paintings, ceramics, mosaics, jewellery
Many kinds of handcrafts are sold here,from beautiful handmade carpets,pottery,sculptures,wood works,etc.
In the historical center,there are many souvenirs shops.
40 days after Easter,there's a big festival,with tipical dances from Portugal.
Paraty survived,mostly,because of the boats.Even today,boats are central in the life of the city!
In Mamangua,an area only reached by boat,the fishermen,with the help of the Brazilian Environment Protection Agency,selected woods and handcrafted replics of the traditional fishing canoes,boats and scooners that still in use in the bay.
You can find this kind of beautiful crafts in the souvenier shops at the Historical Center.
In Paraty also a wonderful collection of antiques,in some shops at the Historical Center.
You can spend pleasant and unforgetable hours admiring the craftsmanship that transcends the centuries!
Look at this shop for example!
This is the shop of a small industry of high quality T-shirts. It is the perfect place to buy a good quality T-shirt with a variety of designs printed on them. For you or for your friends. They are very cheap, sold at 10R, for the white ones and 12R for the colored ones. Negociate if you buy more than one!
It's nextdoor to Coxixo hotel
tel (24) 2243-1423
Escritório da Cachaça is a very well equipped alcohol store that mostly sells Cachaça which is the localy produced sugar cane rum that is mostly known for being used in caipirinhas.
You can get some very good quality in there and it is certainly worth a visit even if you are not the biggest alcohol drinker.
What to buy: Cachaça.
Everything in this shop seems special as they have a modern, very impressive style. Though a little pricey, it deserves a visit as all the items are very artistic and make up a perfect gift. You can find small articles like rings, ear rings, bracelets, necklaces, key rings..... And bigger ones like beautifully decorated glasses, pictures frames, stools, decorative items, bags, pots, even tables! They have a lot of pictures on the Internet. Have a look! They are very impressive and imaginative. You can buy on Internet, too.
Glasses are sold for 50-70R, picture frames for 100-200R, stools for 300- 600R depending on the size.
[ The central shop is in Rio de Janeiro (Rua Visconde de Piraja, 550 Loja 113 tel (0055 21) 22747162.)]
Click for more pictures...
This shop sells things to be used at home, like furniture, pillows, light spots and so on. They are very beautiful. Even though I dislike hippie stuff, I have to agree that the shop is kinda hippie - I would say, fashion-contemporary-desing-hippie. They have good taste, and their objects have good quality, which are not - i.m.o. - characteristics of the common hippie art. The manager of the shop is very sympathetic and helpful.
What to buy: Light spots, wooden boxes to put tea bags, and the beautiful pillows they have.
What to pay: Depends on the object. Reasonable prices, nothing exagerated; some objects can even been baught as souvenirs.
We bought a lot of original works of art in Parati. They were cheap, colorful and interesting. The old town is full of many artist boutiques.
What to buy: Art
What to pay: Small artifacts from $5 to large pieces of art up to $500. We bought original paintings for around $30 each.
This shop has hand made paper art. A mother-daughter team work together on the pieces. The mother takes fibers from the rainforests and dyes the fibers to make colorful sheets of paper. The daughter creates and arranges shapes on the canvas. We bought a large piece for $200.
There are plenty of t-shirt shops all over Parati...but Baboo shop is the best one. On our last night, we bought about a dozen shirts from this store after having walked into all other tshirt stores in the town. Baboo Shop had the best quality cotton and the best designs.
Well, first of all, Marcio is a kind of Da Vinci from Paraty. He was the decorator of my wedding party, and he's considered one of the best artists in Paraty - by the way, he has one of the best talks in the city! His paintings try to escape from the pattern of a Brazilian-beach-city-art; he's not an artist interested only on painting tropical landscapes and plants - even though they're present in his works -, but a complete artist with a contemporaneous view of the world as a whole. He's cosmopolite and regional at the same time. His paintings tend to be qualified as naif, even though it would be simplistic to perform such a narrow judgement.
What to buy: Art objects, mainly paintings
What to pay: His works worth what he asks for.
As you first start walking down the streets of Parati, you will definitely come across many, many souvenir stores selling what are to me... very tacky souvenirs with T-shirts declaring Parati (yucks), displays made from coconut-shells and sea-shells (double yucks). Endless...
There are very nice locally-produced handicrafts like hammocks and couch throws as well. These are worth it to take a look.
But press on, and you will soon come upon delightful little artists' galleries. Some of them make crafts like mirror-frames, lamp-shades... really artistic ones, I thoroughly love them!!! I tell myself that if ever I need to go furniture-shopping for my apartment... I will come to Parati!
Others showcase exquisite paintings, you have to browse to find the paintings that speak to you. Or speak to the artists!
I met Aecio Sarti, an amazing artist with a superb personality. I was very fascinated by his works and my conversations with him truly touched and humbled. Check out his website: http://3wb.com.br/atelierparaty/aeciosarti/aecioindex.htm
The area around Paraty produces some of the finest Cachaca (also called pinga), in Brasil. Cachaca is the national adult beverage of Brazil and is the main ingredient for caparinhas, it is made from sugar cane. A fine cachaca is wonderfully smooth when taken neat. There are many brands and flavors, and this shop seems to have them all, and you can taste some of the ones on special...but be careful, too much tasting can lead to a long unplanned nap. Every August, Paraty hold the "Pinga Party" one of Paraty's most popular events.
What to buy: The local cachaca's from the Paraty region are the shops specialites, but they also carry pinga from the north which is very good. The labels can be anything from works of art, to empty plastic 2 liter soda bottles with Magic Marker labels. I like the flavored ones, I picked up a nice coconut flavored cachaca for R$19.00 a bottle (US$7.00). Enjoy.
What to pay: Anywhere from US$3.00 to US$50.00.