Boats And Bicycles: A Day Visit to Paquetá Island
Were I rich, I would not hesitate to buy a little holiday place on Paquetá Island. As a matter of fact, I found the perfect place. But, alas, I do not have the luxury of flitting between the many properties I often acquire in my imagination, when travelling. The only luxury I had, was a day visit to this sleepy island, where boats and bicycles are the main forms of transportation.
Once a place to where the rich residents of Rio de Janeiro went to escape city life, Paquetá Island, located in Guanabara Bay, these days, is one of Rio’s lesser known and visited gems. Apart from one old VW Kombi, the only other vehicles we saw included municipal garbage trucks, fire engines, and an ambulance. And as a result, it is an island saturated with peace and quiet.
Colourful boats bobbed around listlessly in the oppressive January heat, whilst the streets and beaches were near deserted, during our weekday visit.
Although the beaches are invitingly beautiful, the water is not. The water in Guanabara Bay is dirty, and although there were people swimming, it is not something I was tempted to do, as I watched oil slicks glitter on the murky water. But seeing that I am not a water baby, and walking brings far more joy to my heart, it did not distract me from Paquetá’s charms and serenity, that drapes across it like a cloak of tranquility. The wide, dusty streets are well-kept, and a stroll around the island with a circumference of about 8 km is a real joy.
If walking isn’t really your thing, you can either rent a bicycle, bring your own, or make use of the many bicycle taxis that await the arrival of each ferry. But don’t rush, as there are many hidden gems to discover if you allow your pace to slow down to that of the island’s.
- Ferry – The ferry to Paquetá leaves from Praça XV. The modern, air-conditioned ferry takes only 50 minutes, while the old, non-air-conditioned one takes 70 minutes.
- Although there are not many restaurants, there is enough of a choice to have a good meal. We had a lovely one at Zeca’s Restaurant. Otherwise pack a picnic, and enjoy it under a tree on one of the beaches.
Visited: January 2017
No wonder you would live here. It’s gorgeous. Hope you win the lottery!!
Yes, me too, Sue! 😉 I have a thing for islands without cars, as I also love Lamu with its donkeys and dhows. Two very different places, but equally charming.
Sounds like a perfect outing.
It was, Peggy, and one I can certainly recommend.
Wow! You are certainly getting around… The permanent traveller… How envious I am! It’s looks beautiful…
Ah, it is a lovely place, Jenny. And yes, I make good use of all the opportunities that come my way while I can. Just haven’t made it to Peru yet! 😉
What a lovely place this must be, after your colourful photography. The sight of plamtrees with snowy mountains in the distance is very special.
It is a wonderful place, but looks can be very deceiving, as the ‘snow’ on those mountains is actually a thick bank of clouds. Equally beautiful, though, I think.
Sounds like a beautiful day!
It was one of my favourite days in Rio, Peggy.
Oh my . . . it looks divine!
Such a good place to find some peace and quiet, Gwen.
Sounds fabulous and can’t believe we didn’t get to visit the island while in Rio….next time. And Peru on our agenda too! Already planning to get back to South America……
There is so much more in Rio I would have liked to do, Bev. Perhaps another time and another season. Peru has always been high on my bucket list, but it only seems like some enticing mirage at this point. I would love to do what you guys are doing at the moment. Maybe one day. At least I now get to travel with you through your blog.
Wow, beautiful and so peaceful. Thanks for taking me a long, it was a nice break in a crazy day to stop, read and feel the quiet of the island.
I’m glad I could have taken you along, as it is indeed a good place for a breather from life’s challenges, Terry. It is in places like these that one realises how much noise pollution there is in our urban environments.
What a gorgeous place!
It certainly is, Clare. I was completely charmed.
Awesome pics….what a beautiful place!
You captured some really neat bikes here. It is fun to see them set up for different purposes. In El Salvador they had some with big racks on the front to hold bags of freshly baked bread. I like places where there are fewer cars and more bicycles. Cheers
“An island saturated with peace and quiet” – what a wonderful description. It looks lovely and has a beautiful ambience in your photos, but that’s a huge shame about the dirty water.
Indeed! The island would be perfect if the water was clean. It was one of those unexpected jewels we stumbled upon and the fact that it isn’t swamped with tourists made it even more enjoyable.