Paraty and Ilha Grande are now World Heritage Sites

Paraty and Ilha Grande are now World Heritage Sites

Paraty and Ilha Grande world heritage

We are happy to announce that Paraty and Ilha Grande have just been recognized as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

A Charming village, Paraty is located on the coast of the Rio de janeiro State. Nestled in the middle of a unique bounty of nature, between hundreds of islands, deserted white sand beaches, and a lush rain forest.. Very rich on culture and history, it was one of the main ports during the gold exploration era, in Brazil . Rediscovered by many artists and intellectuals in the 60’s, this destination became very popular and still preserves the colonial charm allied to an intense artistic and cultural expression.

Paraty is the first Brazilian location registered in the category of mixed cultural and natural site. It covers a territory of nearly 149 thousand hectares, in which the Historic Center surrounds itself with four areas of environmental conservation. There are the Serra da Bocaina National Park; the Ilha Grande State Park; the Praia do Sul State Biological Reserve; and the Cairuçu Environmental Protection Area. Its surrounding area, with more than 407 thousand hectares, has 187 islands, is largely covered with primary vegetation, where rich biodiversity impresses.

Paraty and Ilha Grande illustrate an exceptional interaction of human presence with the natural environment for a long period of time. In addition to the historic center and fortress that gave rise to the still well preserved Paraty urban area, a variety of archaeological sites, a portion of the former Gold Route, and descendants of slaves and indigenous communities have their ancestral relationship with the landscape and nature. For Unesco evaluators, the site “has the ability to demonstrate an exceptional example of land and sea use and human interaction with the environment.”

The place is the first mixed heritage of Latin America where a living culture is found. The area encompasses parts of the territory of six municipalities in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, with the largest portion being in Paraty and Angra dos Reis. The preserved region also includes Ubatuba, Cunha, São José do Barreiro and Areais (SP). With about 85% of the well-preserved native vegetation intact, the mixed site area forms the second largest remnant of the Atlantic Forest biome, with several rare and endemic species.