Paraty is located on the Ilha Grande bay, surrounded by many parks and nature was founded by Portuguese colonizers in 1667, in a region populated by the Guaianás Indians. Behind it, there are tropical forests, mountains, and waterfalls.
The Guaianás people who lived where the city now stands called the entire area “Paraty”. In the Tupi language “Paraty” means “river of fish”. Even today the Brazilian Mullet (Mugil Brasiliensis) still come back to spawn in the rivers that spill into the Bay of Paraty. When the region was colonized by the Portuguese, they adopted the Guaianás name for their new town. Paraty is known for the stone-paved streets throughout the Historic Center District. No cars or trucks are allowed in this part of town, only foot traffic or bicycles. Motor vehicles are only allowed in the Historic District on Wednesdays for deliveries. Horses and carts are a very common sight in Paraty and are frequently used all around the city. Paraty has been able to maintain many of its historic buildings. Much of the architecture of the city has not changed for 250 years or more.