Cachoeira Do Toboga: Our Favorite Outdoor Activity in Paraty
Sliding down the Cachoeira do Toboga and visiting Tarzan Falls is one of the best things to do while exploring Paraty in Brazil. Read our travel guide on this awesome adventurous outdoor activity everyone can do even on a low budget.
Cachoeira do Toboga is a huge rock you can slide down and a top attraction about 8 kilometers inland from Paraty, Brazil which you can visit on a half-day trip from the town.
It's a popular spot for independent travelers, backpackers, adventure seekers, and guided tours.
The waterfall itself is not very spectacular, but the main purpose of your visit is not admiring the natural beauty but to have fun and enjoy the thrill!
A bit further upstream is another waterfall called Tarzan Pit alias Poco de Tarzan, a rope bridge and a small cafe.
It's popular among Brazilians who want to escape the stress and crowds of the big cities, and are looking for a peaceful experience, especially on the weekends. Paraty has an intriguing history going back to the 16th century when the first Portuguese settlers arrived and completely changed its course forever.
We created two in-depth guides to Paraty, where you will find more useful information and tips - Best Things to Do in Paraty, Brazil You Can't Miss and 35 Fun Activities and Things To Do In Paraty, Brazil.
What To Expect
Cachoeira do Toboga is basically a huge rock with a smaller river spilling all over it. Once you get there you will find almost a 20 meters long natural toboggan, which you can slide all the way down. The activity looks like super fun when standing down below the waterfall and watching others while sliding down, but it is slightly scary when sitting on the top of it and getting ready for the first ride.
This activity is perfectly safe if you follow a few basic and simple rules. Always start the activity on the left true side of the river, if you're not sure, watch others how they do it first.
This means that from the shore you have to cross the river, which is only tricky when it's raining and the current is strong. The rocky river bottom is covered with a thin layer of some algae and tends to be slippery.
On top of that, one of the locals was sort of supervising the sliding activity when we were there. He was helping others to cross the river, which was flooded as it was raining the last 24 hours, he told people where to start and even pushed them to get some speed.
Unlike others, he was also the only one who could slide down the whole waterfall standing on his feet, and in the last section was able to bounce off the rock and dived into the pool narrowly missing the big rock terrifyingly poking out of the water.
To sum it all up, always go down in sitting position, watch others first and if you don't feel like doing this activity, stay on the shore, relax and enjoy your day.
This activity is budget-friendly as you do not need to pay any entrance fee, but we gave a small tip to a local guy as he was making sure everyone is safe, plus it was cool how he was able to slide down the waterfall while standing on his feet.
What To Pack
The temperatures might get surprisingly low in wintertime, so make sure you bring an extra warm layer.
How To Get To Cachoeira Do Toboga
Bus | The most economical way how to visit the falls is by bus. From the main terminal in Paraty take a bus to Penha which goes approximately every hour. Confirm with the driver by saying "cascata" or "toboga" that he goes to the falls. The ride takes about 20 minutes and costs 5 RS. On the way back, wait for the bus at the bus stop just across the road. While we were waiting for the bus back to the town, a van arrived and took us back for 3.50 RS.
Car | If you've rented a car for your trip around Brazil, the waterfalls is just a short ride from the town. There are a few parking lots where you can safely leave the car.
Taxi | You can hail a cab in the town or ask at the hotel and they will call you a taxi. This is the most expensive way to get to the waterfalls.
Bike | You can rent a bike in the town and ride on the main road to the parking lot near the waterfall. However the road is steadily climbing and some parts are actually pretty steep, so go only if you are in good shape, and have nothing better to do for the day.
Jeep Tour | If you want to socialize or don't want to arrange transport by yourself, you can take a one-day tour. You will visit Cachoeira do Toboga and some other falls, including popular Tarzan Falls. Mind you, that you will also visit some local distilleries and your time at the falls will be limited.
WHERE TO STAY IN PARATY
Paraty as a popular tourist destination has plenty of accommodation options for every traveler on every budget.
Keep in mind, that you should not forget to reserve your room well in advance, especially during Brazilian summer and on weekends.
Budget | Breda Hostel LTDA - Great position, free wifi, and breakfast are the most valuable features of this cheap, yet well-reviewed hostel which offers dormitory rooms with garden view.
Mid-range | Pousada Praia do Jabaquara - This hotel is close to a beach yet within walking distance to the city center.
Luxury | Pousada Literaria de Parati - Best (and also incredibly romantic) place where we had the opportunity to stay! Nestled in a quiet mansion right in the city center, this pousada is one of the most beautiful places we've ever seen. Beautifully decorated spacious rooms, pool, cozy library, and delicious food are the main reasons to stay here.
Alternatively, search for your accommodation via Hostelworld.
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