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Concluding the Royal Road in Paraty or Rio?


The Paulistas who discovered gold in Minas Gerais used an old Tamoios native path to descend from the plateau to the sea, reaching Paraty. This is the Caminho Velho (Old Path) of the Royal Road, which passes through part of São Paulo before entering Minas Gerais. However, by order of the Portuguese Crown, another route was opened to connect Ouro Preto directly to Rio, called the Caminho Novo (New Path). Today, those who travel the Royal Road can choose between these two routes or create a completely new one by mixing the two.


We always recommend starting with Belo Horizonte or Diamantina and leaving Rio and Paraty (read "beaches") for the end of the trip, taking a few days to relax by the sea. But which of these routes is more interesting?

In terms of scenery, descending to Paraty from Cunha, in São Paulo, is the most beautiful route. The park road that cuts through the Bocaina Hills National Park offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Forest-covered hills. On a clear day, you can see the ocean, and the descent ends right in Paraty.


On the other hand, the descent through Petropolis is not as picturesque and ends on the Washington Luiz Highway, a rather dull freeway. However, this route allows you to visit one of Brazil's most sensational museums, the Imperial Museum of Petropolis.

Now, you can always reach one and go on to the other! Those who descend to Paraty can then come to Rio via the Rio-Santos Highway, another worthwhile road to travel.
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