Monday, June 22, 2009

{South American Adventure}

I’m currently relishing in the glory of planning a huge 3-week vacation to South America. Sure, it’s 5 months away, but December is “holiday” season (read: Summer!!!), so if we want to book affordable flights and hotels, we’ve got to jump on the planning now.

We’re spending a week in Buenos Aires, 6 days in Brazil (1 in Rio de Janeiro), and 3 days exploring the breathtaking Iguazu Falls. While we need no help planning the Buenos Aires leg of the trip (we have friends from Argentina), we have been doing tons of research figuring out the best romantic oases to visit while in Brazil. After hours of online article-reading and Brazilian beach hunting, I think we’ve decided on Parati (or Paraty as the locals spell it).

Here’s what I know so far, as well as a couple of pictures:

Located along one of the most breathtaking stretches of coastline on earth, Parati sits about 140 miles Southwest of Rio de Janeiro. It’s a historic old town that houses some of the world's most exquisite examples of classical colonial Portuguese architecture. It was once a prosperous port for shipping gold, but eventually fell into desolation until it was rediscovered by Brazilian tourism in the 1970s. During its years of isolation the city was left pretty much untouched, escaping the progress of the world around it. Today, the town, its people and architecture look as they have for centuries.

With dozens of private islands, waterfalls and secluded beaches to explore it's one of the most romantic places you can imagine. To add a little spice to the mix, Parati is also known to have a lively city-center and night life. Mesmeric rhythms of live samba spill out of the local bars and dance clubs. Basically, Parati has it all and more.

We'll take a boat tour around the many islands of Parati...We'll stroll the uneven cobblestone streets and admire the colonial architecture.

We'll swim in one of the many waterfalls...

And we'll watch many, many sunsets....

(image credits from top to bottom: Trek Earth, Treklens, Hungry Browser, Travel Pod)