Cutting through the States of Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo to the port cities of Paraty and Rio de Janeiro, the Royal Road thrived during the diamond and gold-digging years of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, linking many of the most important historic towns in the region. After many decades out of the spotlight, it is now resurfacing as a popular itinerary for those in search of culture, history, typical regional food and a large variety of outdoors activities.
Paraty grew in the 18th century as a strategically important port for exporting the gold mined in Minas Gerais. When shipments in nearby Rio began to attract the attention and ambition of pirates and privateers from rival European powers, the Portuguese began using Paraty as their safe port for getting their gold to Lisbon. Together with Ouro Preto, the town was part of the Royal Road (Caminho Real or Caminho do Ouro, Gold Road), a route used to export gold in colonial times. It was also an obligatory sleep-over stop for travelers between Rio and São Paulo until the late 1800s, when the inner road was opened.
Visiting the Gold Road allows you to know not only an important engineering work but also lush vegetation and the culture of the people of Paraty, its past, its present. Waterfalls, ateliers, distilleries, homemade food... We strongly suggest you visit the Gold Road and the Rain Forest.
Tourist Information Centre / Igreja da Penha (Church)
The beginning of the tour is at the Tourist Information Centre Gold Road. There you will find information, maps, photos, a handicraft shop, an exhibitions area, etc. The landscape of the Royal Road outstands in the landscape next to the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Penha.
Through the Revitalization of the Gold Road Project - In the Trail of History, a joint venture between the Paraty City Hall, the Sebrae RJ and the Paraty Tourism Guides Association, 4 kilometres of the old road were recovered.