Biking -- A mountain bike is the perfect way to reach some of the waterfalls in the surrounding hills or some of the beaches just a 10km (6 1/2-mile) ride out of town. Paraty Tours, Av. Roberto da Silveira 11 (tel. 024/3371-1327), rents bikes by the hour for R$10 or by the day for R$40. Maps are provided.
Boating -- Just beyond the muddy Paraty waterfront, the coast is dotted with more than 60 islands, many lush and green, surrounded by turquoise water. It shouldn't be surprising then that schooner trips are extremely popular. The pier in the city center is the main departure point. Boats leave daily, weather permitting, and take you on a 5- to 6-hour tour, stopping several times for a swim or snorkel and a lunch break. Paraty Tours, Roberto da Silveira 11 (tel. 024/3371-2651; www.paratytours.com.br), and Saveiro Porto Seguro (tel. 024/3371-1254) are just two of several companies that have daily departures at 11am (as well as 10am and noon in high season); the cost is R$35 for adults, free for children under 5, R$15 for 5- to 10-year-olds. To explore the bay at a more leisurely pace, Paraty tours offers a kayak tour. The 6-hour paddle provides plenty of opportunity for checking out some of the islands and beaches. Cost is R$75 per person, including a guide and all the equipment (minimum of two people).
Diving -- The islands around Paraty have some decent diving and cater to a variety of levels. Most operators take you to the many islands around Angra dos Reis (up the coast from Paraty). Dive companies in town include Adrenalina, Marina Farol de Paraty (tel. 024/3371-2991; www.adrenalinamergulho.com.br), Una Tour e Dive, Rua da Lapa 213 (tel. 024/3371-6188; www.unatouredive.com.br), and Paraty Tours, Roberto da Silveira 11 (tel. 024/3371-2651; www.paratytours.com.br). All offer a full range of services, including cylinder refill and courses, and an introductory dive if you do not have a license. For a certified diver, a two-dive excursion costs approximately R$190. This rate includes all the equipment such as a regulator, BC (buoyancy control), wet suit, and mask/fins/snorkel.
Hiking -- In the surrounding hills one can still find stretches of the old wagon trail that was used to bring the gold from Ouro Preto down to the coast. Parts of the old cobblestone trail have been restored and are accessible to hikers. Paraty Tours, Roberto da Silveira 11 (tel. 024/3371-2651; www.paratytours.com.br), offers an easy trek along this historic route. The 3-hour tour leaves Thursday through Sunday at 11:30am and includes a guide (R$25 per person, children 4-10 half price). Paraty Tours also offers a number of guided day hikes to the isolated beaches at Trinidade and Praia do Sono (R$35-R$45 per person). Transportation is by jeep and includes several stops. If you want a more serious hike, consider a 2- or 3-day trip. Rio Hiking (tel. 021/9874-3698; www.riohiking.com.br) offers excellent hiking trips along the beaches and through the coastal rainforest on the peninsula just south of Paraty, called Paraty-Mirim. Transportation from Rio de Janeiro and rustic accommodations included (2-day trip R$450 per person, and 3-day trip R$650).