Wednesday, March 5, 2014

5 Weekend Trips from São Paulo

With the end of Brazil's main season to travel coming up, we're starting to think about some upcoming weekend trips that we can take now that the prices are back down to being reasonable. With Luiz's work schedule, all we have are weekends for traveling, so we have decided to make a list of places to share with you that are close enough to São Paulo that they can be traveled to and enjoyed in only a weekend.

xo Jessica

1. Ilhabela, SP
(Taken with iPhone 5S ©)

Said to have some of the most beautiful beaches on the coast of São Paulo state, Ilhabela is a beach lovers paradise. With most hotels and restaurants being oceanfront, you are always steps away from the crystal clear waters and sandy beaches. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, tour companies located on the island offer jeep tours through the dense rainforest that separates the tourist side of the island and the uninhabited/fisherman side of the island.

Time to get there: 3.5-4 hours
How to get there: You can either take a car up the coast or grab a bus costing around R$54 from the Tiete bus station in São Paulo to São Sebastião where you can get the ferry across to the island.


2. Paraty, RJ
(Taken with Panasonic Lumix ©)

A historical gem located a bus ride away from both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Paraty offers something for everyone. Between the historic buildings in the city center, the massive waterfalls a short bike ride away, and the beautiful beaches perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, Paraty is a must-visit place for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities.

Time to get there: 3.5-4 hours by car, 6-7 hours by bus
How to get there: You can either take a car through the interior of São Paulo following BR-116 and BR-459 or you can grab a bus at Tiete bus station for around R$52.


3. Campos do Jordão, SP

A European style retreat in the mountains of the state of São Paulo, Campos do Jordão is the city dwellers weekend winter escape. Most popular for its chalets and fondue, Campos do Jordão is your ideal romantic getaway away from the city. Don't worry, however, if romance isn't on your mind because there is plenty to do alone or with friends and family. Just outside of the city there are many hiking trails with amazing vista points and opportunities for exploring the surrounding natural beauty.

Time to get there: 2 hours by car, 3.5 hours by bus
How to get there: By car you can take the BR-116 or you can take a bus leaving from Tiete station for R$43.

*Blog post to come in the next week or two about Campos do Jordão*

4. Santos/Guaruja, SP

Our current residence, Santos, is a small port town located only an hour away from the city center of São Paulo. With the beaches, museums, and historic center, Santos is a quick and fun place to getaway from the hectic lifestyle that comes with living in a big city like São Paulo. Also right across from Santos, is Guaruja which has beautiful, limited access beaches such as Praia do Iporanga that has its own beach waterfall and feels like you've driven hours to get to this hidden paradise.

Time to get there: 1 hour by car, 1-1.5 hours by bus
How to get there: Buses leave every 15 minutes for R$22 from Jabaquara bus station which is located at the end of the blue line on the metro. By car, you can take the Rodovia dos Imigrantes directly from São Paulo to the center of Santos.


5. Monte Verde, MG

Much like Campos do Jordão, Monte Verde is the closer and less touristy European style town for those seeking adventure. With wonderful bed and breakfasts and a wide variety of ecotourism, Monte Verde is perfect for those outdoor lovers that feel trapped in the steel jungle of São Paulo.

Time to get there: 2.5 hours by car
How to get there: Unfortunately as of now there are not any chartered buses leave from the major bus stations in São Paulo going to Monte Verde so the best way, and one of the only ways, to get there is by car.

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