Parati's history of gold, piracy, slaves and sugar is as turbulent as that of Brazil. Founded in 1600, within 200 years the town was the second most important port in Brazil. The town was rediscovered in 1954 and 12 years later it was declared a national historic monument and now supports a thriving Tourism industry. The abandoned 19th-century houses have been imaginatively transformed into shops, bars, restaurants, museums and cultural centers, and in the summer the cobbled stone streets are packed with local and foreigners alike. The port is lined with schooners and small converted fishing boats offering day trips around the bay.