Forte Defensor Perpétuo

Fort in Paraty

For sweeping bay views, climb to this historic Portuguese fort. First built in 1703 and rebuilt in 1822, its original purpose was to defend the gold passing through Paraty's port from pirate raids. The fort's small museum has rotating exhibits on local history and culture; just heed the cryptic signs warning against descending the steep slopes ('high index of accidents with oysters'!). It's 20 minutes' walk north of town on Morro da Vila Velha (the hill past Praia do Pontal).