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Paquetá Island
An invitation to tranquility only a few minutes from downtown Rio

A few minutes from the busy metropolis, right in the heart of Guanabara Bay, Paquetá is a gift to cariocas. A tropical island that attracts national and international tourists, it is a perfect natural setting for romance, strolls and fun. Paquetá is indeed a special place to visit beginning with the pleasant journey on a ferry, catamaran or hydroplane across the Bay, with the sea breeze for company. On landing, the visitor will find no traffic of motorized vehicles on the island where bicycles and horse-drawn carriages move on the gravel of streets lined with colorful flamboyant. The streets take up only 10,9 km² of the total area, so the island is noise and pollution free.

Ever-present nature characterizes the place. Paquetá has the 20 only Brazilian baobabs – an African tree that residents call “Maria Gorda” (Fat Mary). Another typical tree is flamboyant, some of the specimens being 100 years old. The name of the island is a Tupi (Brazilian Indian language) word meaning “many shells”, due to the vast quantities that can be found on the beaches of calm and inviting waters. Excursions to Pedra da Moreninha (Moreninha Rock) and Parque Darke de Mattos (Darke de Mattos Park) should not be missed. The park was totally revitalized recently, the re-urbanization works having been carried out by Rio City Hall. In the late afternoon, there is nothing better than watching the sunset. On Morro da Cruz (Hill of the Cross) there is a belvedere that is also a must as it gives a partially panoramic view of the island.

Since 1883 Paquetá has been part of Rio de Janeiro municipality. From the graveled streets one is able to observe buildings of various architectural styles, including the Mansion where D. João VI stayed, and the house that belonged to José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, the patriarch of independence.

http://www.rio.rj.gov.br/riotur/en/atracao/?CodAtr=1963

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Additional Photos by Marcelo Almeida (Marcelo_Almeida) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 240 W: 2 N: 206] (1044)
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