This rugged trail in the hills of Minas Gerais, once served as a train route for mining supplies, African slaves and exporting gold. But after numerous pirate attacks on ships loaded with the precious medal headed for port in Rio de Janeiro, the trail fell out of use. Today, despite the fact most gold has already been mined, the Gold Path has become a popular destination for travelers looking to explore scenic mountains, thick forests and a bit of Paraty history. Enjoy a ride on the natural rockslide into cooling crystal waters after a hike through the hills, then head to scenic Toboga Falls before stopping at the nearby distillery where strong sips of locally made cachaca—a sugarcane rum—round out the day.
Parts of the 1200 kilometer paved road to the Gold Path are open to the public but accessible only on guided tours. Groups leave on this three-hour trip twice daily and can cost anywhere from US$35 to US$50 per person.