Paraty (or Parati) is an old Portuguese colonial town on the Costa Verde (Green Coast) of Brazil. Paraty is one of the many beach towns between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro - I'd say it's one the top notch places to stop if you're traveling on the coastline. Just arriving to the coast over the mountains can make your jaw drop!
I really fell in love with Paraty... The old town is a sight in itself with the rough cobbled streets and beautiful old buildings. It's easy to spend a day just walking around and exploring, shopping and sitting in cafés and enjoy the laid back atmosphere.
The town gets busy during the evening when the tourists flock the old town that is beautifully lit. It happened to be quite rainy while I was there but pretty nevertheless.
There are lots of places to stay on the other side of the river Perequê-Açu, on the beach Praia do Pontal. You will need to walk a bit from the old town to get there but the riverside is quite beautiful, as is the waterfront and the pier in the city side.
Boat trips are probably among the most popular things to do in the area - and you get a better view of the islands and bays close to Paraty and can even stop on some totally empty beaches. There are boats of all sizes and a trip will cost R$50 and upwards, depending on the type of cruise. There are also lots of other activities: diving, 4WD-safaris, trips to waterfalls... no trouble spending a couple action-packed days there!
The old town can be easily covered on foot. There are taxis available but note that most taxis take a fixed fee so check how much it is before you get in. Paraty is well connected by road to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo - there are plenty of buses going daily back and forth and the ride takes about 4 hours (R$50-60).There's good connections also to Angra do Reis and many stop in Paraty on their way to Ilha Grande.