Side Trips from São Paulo: Places to Explore


  • Águas de São Pedro

    Although Águas de São Pedro is one of the smallest cities in Brazil, at a mere 3.9 square km (1.5 square miles), its sulfurous waters made it famous countrywide in the 1940s and '50s. The healing hot springs... Read more

  • Campos do Jordão

    In the Serra da Mantiqueira at an altitude of 5,525 feet, Campos do Jordão and its fresh mountain air are paulistanos' favorite winter attractions. In July temperatures drop as low as 32°F (0°C), though... Read more

  • Embu

    Founded in 1554, Embu, or Embu das Artes, is a tiny Portuguese colonial town of whitewashed houses, old churches, wood-carvers' studios, and antiques shops. It has a downtown handicrafts fair every weekend... Read more

  • Ilhabela

    Ilhabela is favored by those who like the beach and water sports; indeed, many sailing competitions are held here as well as scuba diving. This is the biggest sea island in the country, with 22 calm beaches... Read more

  • Santana de Parnaíba

    With more than 200 preserved houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, Santana de Parnaíba is considered the "Ouro Preto from São Paulo"—a town rich with history and colonial architecture. Santana was founded... Read more

  • São Sebastião

    São Sebastião stretches along 100 km (62 miles) of the North Shore. Its bays, islands, and beaches attract everyone from the youngsters who flock to Maresias and Camburi to the families who favor Barra... Read more

  • Serra Negra

    At 4,265 feet above sea level in the Serra da Mantiqueira, Serra Negra's musical and cultural events that take place every month attract hordes of paulistanos and cruising motorbike fans looking for a... Read more

  • Ubatuba

    Many of the more than 70 beaches around Ubatuba are more than beautiful enough to merit the long drive from São Paulo. Young people, surfers, and couples with and without children hang out in the 90-km... Read more