Sao Paulo Travel Guide
You can hire a bilingual guide through a travel agency or a hotel concierge (about R$15 an hour with a four-hour minimum), or you can design your own itineraries. The São Paulo tourist board's Cidade São Paulo website offers various themed walking itineraries and English-language audio guides, and it outlines tours facilitated by subway through the TurisMetrô program. SPTuris conducts three half-day bus tours on Sundays, one covering the parks, one centered on the museums, and one focused on the historical downtown area. The prices beat those of most hotels. Officially, the board's guides don't speak English, but it's sometimes possible to arrange for an English speaker, so ask.
For general sightseeing tours, try Check Point, whose daily tours cost R$560 for four people. Easygoing has fly-and-dine tours that include a helicopter trip and dinner. You can book one in English if you reserve by phone. Gol Tour Viagens e Turismo arranges custom tours, as well as car tours for small groups. A half-day city tour costs about R$130 a person (group rate); a night tour—including a samba show, dinner, and drinks—costs around R$300; and day trips to the beach or the colonial city of Embu cost R$200–R$300. Sampa Bikers conducts city tours and excursions outside town. A day tour starts at R$30. Terra Nobre conducts four-hour car tours (R$528), including driver and English-speaking guide, for one or two people.
Check Point (Rua Jacques Du Cerceau 84, 03624–120. 011/2791–1316 business hours; 011/99187–1393 after hours. www.checkpointtours.com.br.)
Easygoing (Rua Cristiano Viana 1182, Pinheiros, São Paulo, 05411–002. 011/3801–9540. www.easygoing.com.br.)
Gol Tour Viagens e Turismo (Av. São Luís, 187 Térreo, Lj. 08, Centro, São Paulo. 011/3256–2388. www.goltour.com.br. Metrô: República.)
Sampa Bikers (Rua Baluarte 672, Vila Olímpia, São Paulo, 04549–012. 011/5517–7733. www.sampabikers.com.br.)
Terra Nobre (Rua Tagipuru, 235, conj. 44, Perdizes, São Paulo, 01156–900. 011/3662–1505. www.terranobre.com.br.)