By Alison McGowan
June 15, 2009

Bambu Bamboo is a 5 minute drive or a 20 minute walk from the historical centre of Parati, but it is well worth the distance, for those who want tranquility by the river in addition to colonial Brazil. With 12 suites, including 6 lofts with mezzanine floors and 2 bathrooms, the pousada is lovingly run by Ben and Neto, who pride themselves on personal service and do everything to make sure guests feel pampered. The suites themselves are supercomfortable with boxspring beds, wonderful sheets, bathrobes, fridge, room safe and beach towels – plus, unusually for Brazil, tea and coffee making facilities. Add that to the pool, spa, sauna and the massages to die for and we were definitely back in seventh heaven.

About the Location
Parati is a world heritage site, a beautiful cobbled colonial town, with a traffic-free historical centre. Outside festival season at least, it appears to have stopped in time. The original inhabitants were Guaiana Indians, but the present town was founded in 1667.First famous for its sugar mills and its cachaca (sugar cane liquor) production, Parati really came of age during the gold cycle of the 17th and 18th centuries, when the Caminho do Ouro (Gold Trail) was built. This opened up the interior of the country and more importantly gave the state of Minas Gerais access to the sea. It was through the port of Parati that much of the gold and precious stones from Minas passed on their way to Portugal.

If Parati is as well preserved as it is, much is due to its economic isolation in the 19th century, courtesy of the rather efficient pirates hiding out on the neighbouring beach of Trindade, who effectively forced merchants to find different ports. However another reason was the difficulty of access before the 1970s when the coastal road, Rio/Santos BR101, was built. In the last 25 years local tourism has grown substantially and the number of pousadas runs into hundreds, located both inside and outside the historical centre. Many of the original colonial buildings have been refurbished and now house craft shops, restaurants and bars, with live music in the evenings.

Not to be Missed
– walking tour round the historical centre
– boat/schooner trips round the bay
– day trip to Trindade/ jeep trip to the waterfalls
– Pizzaria Rosa dos Ventos next door and Cafe do Canal

Starpoints
* tranquil location outside the historical centre but still walking distance
* super comfortable suites and lounge
* breakfast area by the river
* spa with sauna and massage available

Try a different place…
… if you want to be right in the historical centre

Alison is a British writer, musician, and marketing consultant, based in Rio de Janeiro. She can be contacted on alison@hiddenpousadasbrazil.com. Visit her site at http://www.hiddenpousadasbrazil.com/.

Previous articles by Alison:

Random Ramblings on the Weather in Brazil
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Beijamar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel 7 Colinas, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada dos Quatro Cantos, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Estrela do Mar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Vivenda, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Terra, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Mirante de Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada do Caju, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Amendoeira, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Estalagem Caiuia, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Lagoa do Cassange, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Ponta do Muta, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Santa Clara, Boipeba, Bahia

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