The road between Cunha and Paraty has a distance of only 46 km (28 miles), but it has a great difference in altitude and passes through untouched areas of the Serra do Mar.
In the part of the state of São Paulo, the stretch is of mountain range with high altitude areas, on the side of Rio de Janeiro, you enter the preserved part of the National Park Serra da Bocaina. On the road from Paraty to Cunha there are beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, an old power plant, the historic Caminho de Ouro (gold path), a alambique (destillery), a peak of 1840 meters (6000 ft) high with an incredible view and more.
Muncipal Garden of Paraty
After crossing the bridge on the Paraty – Cunha road, after 200 meters there is the entrance to the Horto Muncipal (Muncipal Garden) on the left. If you are interested in plants, it is worth a visit.
Cachoeira Poço dos Ingleses + Cachoeira e Antiga Usina Pedra Branca
The waterfall Poço dos Ingleses, with crystal clear water, is the first attraction on the way to the waterfall Pedra Branca. The Usina Pedra Branca was the first hydroelectric plant in the region and served the banana flour factory of Prince D. João de Orleans and Bragança; today it is a ruin, but can be visited.
Cachoeira do Tobogã – Alambique Engenho D’Ouro – Caminho do Ouro
Estrada Paraty-Cunha, km 8
The main attraction of this waterfall is a large smooth stone over which the water flows, forming a large toboggan, where you can slide until you fall into a natural pool. Sitting you can slide with a good safety, but young people from Paraty usually go down standing, surfing dangerously on the rock.
The Alembic Engenho D’Ouro is in front of the Tobogã Waterfall, has a small museum and many varieties of cachaça for sale. Cachaça production in the region started early. There are records that in 1820 there were 12 sugar mills and about 150 destilleries in Paraty. Therefore, the name of the city was once synonymous with cachaça.
The road Caminho do Ouro was built by slaves between the 17th and 19th centuries, from the trails of the Guaianazes Indians, the Estrada Real (Caminho do Ouro in Paraty) is well preserved and is surrounded by the exuberance of the Atlantic Forest of the Serra da Bocaina National Park.
A mandatory crossing point in the 17th and 18th centuries, the path connected Minas Gerais to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Visiting is only allowed with authorized guides, as it passes through private properties today. The entrance to the Caminho do Ouro in Paraty is in the Penha neighborhood, in front of the Penha Church and close to the entrance to the Tobogã Waterfall.
Pedra da Macela
Pedra da Macela is a mountain located in Serra do Mar, exactly on the border between the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Located in a stretch of Serra do Mar known as Serra da Bocaina, the Pedra da Macela has an altitude of 1840 meters (6000 ft), being considered the highest point in the region. The entrance to Pedra da Macela is 25 km from Paraty.