Planning Your Time
Those who crave a couple of days of sunning themselves on a beach should head up to the resort towns and rain-forest fringed sands of the North Shore about 210 km (130 miles) from São Paulo (two to three hours by car; longer by bus). Alternatively squeeze in an afternoon on the sands by joining the paulistanos heading to the port city of Santos less than an hour away. If you prefer spending time in the mountains and have two or three days to spare, aim for Campos do Jordão, Águas de São Pedro, or Serra Negra. For a quicker day-trip, Embu das Artes or Santana de Parnaíba make great choices, especially for those interested in arts, crafts, and architecture, and they can even be reached by taxi.