Nearly all international flights stop in São Paulo, so it's easy to get from São Paulo to everywhere else in Brazil. There are flights every half hour covering the short (around one hour) trip between São Paulo and Rio (starting from around R$65 one-way). There are also multiple departures per day to other major cities such as Brasília and Belo Horizonte.
São Paulo's international airport, Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo/Guarulhos (GRU) or "Cumbica," is in the suburb of Guarulhos, 30 km (19 miles) and a 45-minute drive (longer during rush hour or on rainy days) northeast of Centro. Much closer to the Zona Sul region is Aeroporto Congonhas (CGH), 14 km (9 miles) south of Centro (a 15- to 45-minute drive, depending on traffic), which serves regional airlines, including the Rio–São Paulo shuttle.
Aeroporto Internacional de Congonhas (Avenida Washington Luís s/n, Campo Belo, São Paulo, 04626–911. 011/5090–9000. www.infraero.gov.br.)
Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo/Guarulhos (Rod. Hélio Smidt s/n, Guarulhos, São Paulo, 07190–100. 011/2445–2945. www.infraero.gov.br.)
Airport Transfers: Buses and Taxis
State government–operated EMTU buses (blue vehicles, with air-conditioning) shuttle between Guarulhos and Congonhas airports every 30 to 40 minutes from 5:30 am to midnight and every 60 to 90 minutes from midnight to 5:30 am (R$35). Look for the EMTU stand near the private bus and cab stalls outside the arrivals terminal. You may also be able to arrange a free transfer with your airline as part of your ticket.
The blue, air-conditioned EMTU buses travel between Guarulhos and the Tietê bus terminal (which is also on the main subway line) from 5 am to midnight, every 30 to 60 minutes; the downtown Praça da República (5:40 am to midnight, every 60 to 90 minutes); and the Hotel Maksoud Plaza (5:50 am to 11:10 pm, every 60 to 70 minutes), stopping at most major hotels around Avenida Paulista. Lines also connect Guarulhos to the Barra Funda terminal and the Shopping Eldorado. The cost is R$35. The blue-and-white, air-conditioned Guarucoop radio taxis are by far the most common taxis at the international airport and can take you from Guarulhos to Centro for around R$120. It can cost up to R$155 to the southern parts of the Zona Sul region. Congonhas is much closer to downtown and the Zona Sul, so it usually costs no more than R$50. The price is set before the trip based on your drop-off address or suburb and can take from 45 minutes to two hours in peak traffic. The line for the cabs forms just outside the arrivals terminal and moves quickly.
EMTU (0800/770–2287. www.airportbusservice.com.br.)
Guarucoop (011/2440–7070. www.guarucoop.com.br.)
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