We first saw the Cultural Centre in the historic pedestrian centre of Paraty our first night in town. Right next to it is a music school that had a group of adults singing which caught our attention and then we noticed the colourful pictures inside. Unfortunately they were just about to close so we went back the day after.

Brazil is a fascinating and stunning country in every sense. The food, the music, the culture, its people are all really interesting and I couldn’t get enough of it all. I wanted to learn more about the history of the region and in particular of its indigenous people. I was promised that this was what the cultural centre was all about so we planned to spend a good chunk of time here.

The front doors of the centre look onto a series of giant pictures of indigenous people from the area but unfortunately there’s no real information about who they are and how they live. Inside is a room with a range of art work and hand made goods but again no notes on what they are or why they are important. At the back there is a courtyard lined with colourful paintings which we assume are made by locals but again there’s no information. Disappointed with the lack of information but wanting to stick around and take all the paintings and art work  in, we sat ourselves down in the café situated right in the middle of the centre, in a quiet and dark corner.

We are alone here. The young woman at the counter is reading a book and seems happy to have two people to serve. I get the impression we are the first today. Hot Chocolate of course. It was raining all day today, really raining, so between this dark and quiet café, the colourful paintings right outside and the rain pattering on the roof it was all quite romantic. I enjoyed my hot chocolate. I wouldn’t say it was anything fantastic, but it warmed me up and after another walk through the displays we were on our way.

Verdict: The cultural centre is free to enter and takes only a few minutes to walk through. Extend that with a drink at the café and then walk through the store that sells products made by locals and indigenous communities around the town. Casa da Cultura, Paraty