Tripadvisor in Paraty: The Best Tour
Paraty Explorer tour in Tripadvisor’s Best of the Best Worldwide
The Mangrove, Beaches and Islands Kayak Tour, popular for over 10 years with Tripadvisor in Paraty, has made it into their top 1% of things to do worldwide!
The new “Best of The Best” awards, calculated based on the quality and quantity of traveler reviews and ratings on Tripadvisor collected from January 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021, rank local hotspots, and help travelers find destinations based on pandemic-era experiences.
We are delighted that our flagship tour has achieved this recognition and look forward to welcoming many more visitors to Paraty on the tour over the coming years.
What makes this Tour ‘Best of the Best’?
Although we have been offering this tour for over 10 years we are constantly adapting and improving it to make it more enjoyable. It also keeps it interesting for the guides! After all, a guide’s boredom is difficult to hide and can be infectious, spoiling an otherwise great day out.
When we started offering the tour in 2009 it was very much an adventure tour – the focus being on the paddling activity and hanging out on beaches in the sun. Over the years the focus has changed to reflect our and our clients’ increasing interest in the environment, nature and sustainability. As a result the kayak has become the means to an end; the mode of transport that gets us into the mangrove where we can observe close up this extraordinary eco-system.
So how did the tour make it into the Top 1% of Things to Do Worldwide?
What goes into a great tour?
We like to think that the tour’s success is due to the following reasons.
1 – Tripadvisor in Paraty: the Best Tour gives unique access to the Mangrove!
After a few years operating the kayak tour we realised that when clients arrived on the beach they were often asking, ‘this is the tour that goes to the Mangrove, right?’ The Mangrove, only accessible by kayak or canoe, had become the star of the tour!
Recognising this we started to study more about the Mangrove; with local people who continue to go in to harvest crabs, mussels and shrimps but also domestic academic sources (including the classic ‘Os manguezais e nós’ by Marta Vannucci) and internationally with the University of Queensland’s online Tropical Coastal Eco-systems course.
We are constantly looking for better ways to improve the tour for visitors and, with this in mind, this year we started planting mangrove in the summer months, a major step towards making this a truly sustainable tour.
2 – The Route: adaptable to suit everyone
Make no mistake at 12km the full route (pictured below) can be challenging and we often make it shorter to suit the participants’ fitness levels and enthusiasm. The weather and tides also play a part but generally the classic version of the tour heads out from Jabaquara Beach stopping at Malvao Island before heading to Rosa Beach. On the return we pass through the mangrove at the end of Itu Island.
However, whether you paddle 2km or 12km ultimately this tour is all about having a fun day out. It’s not a race, and it’s not a test of physical endurance. We adjust the route so that it is suitable for everyone. Over the years we have taken all ages from young children to a 90 year old grandfather; swimmers and non-swimmers; blind people, athletes, couch potatoes and even an Irishwoman with a broken arm!
3 – The Guides: Safety, Instruction and FUN!
It’s no coincidence that almost all the reviews for the tour on Tripadvisor mention the guides. We like to think that a guided tour with Paraty Explorer is more than just a tour. The knowledgeable, informative and fun guides make all the difference, giving Paraty Explorer tours their distinctive flavour.
In addition to their guiding skills, for the kayaking tours the guides have American Canoe Association (ACA) training in safety and rescue. We always give paddling instruction on the beach beforehand so that people get the most out of their time on the water. A little technique goes a long way!
4 – Top Quality Equipment
A major factor in the success of the tour is the top quality equipment we use. Imported paddles and lifejackets, safety and rescue gear plus fibre glass sea kayaks designed to go further with less effort. Working with double kayaks means we can mix and match the paddlers so that everyone is comforable with the pace of the tour.
5 – Beautiful Paraty
We will always look for kayak tours whenever we travel. It’s in our DNA. What’s remarkable about this kayaking route in Paraty is that in a relatively small geographic area we get unrivalled variety – mangrove, beaches and islands. The beautiful bay of Paraty with over 50 islands (Malvao Island pictured below) and more than a hundred beaches makes it a unique destination to explore, especially by kayak. Nowhere else we know comes close!
The good news is that Paraty Explorer applies these ingredients to all of its tours. In addition to this kayak tour Paraty has plenty to offer visitors not just at sea but also in the forest (Check out our tips for The Best Things To Do). Or if you’re in town for just a few days then have a look at the itinerary we recommend for 3 days in Paraty.