Atibaia Tourist Attractions
Situation and CharacteristicsThe altitudes and thermal resort of Atibaia, 69km/43mi north of São Paulo and 88km/55mi south-east of Campinas, can be reached by way of the Fernão Dias (BR 381, São Paulo-Belo Horizonte) and Pedro I (SP 065, Campinas-Jacareí) motorways. It lies on the route followed by the bandeirantes who traveled from São Paulo into Minas Gerais in the 17th and 18th centuries to dig for gold and precious stones. In 1665 one of the bandeirantes, settled here and in effect founded the town by building a chapel and establishing a cattle farm.
Railway MuseumNear the entrance to the town, in Avenida Jerónimo de Camargo, is the Museu Ferroviário Dinâmico, established in 1988. This is an original 19th century railway with a restored section of track 2.5km/1.6mi long, a bridge, locomotives and rolling stock. Two old steam engines run services for visitors on the line. The museum also has a rebuilt British-style station, with large photographs and relics of the old railway line.
Atibaia Museu João Batista Conti
Museu João Batista ContiOn Praca Bento Paes, housed in the old court house, the Cadeia e Forum Municipal (1836), is the Museu João Batista Conti, installed here in 1954. In addition to arms and armor, furniture, historical objects, coins and works of religious art the museum contains important documents on the colonial and imperial periods in Brazil.
Our Lady of the Rosary of the Blacks Church
N.S. do Rosário dos PretosThhe church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos(Our Lady of the Rosary of the Blacks), was built in the second half of the 18th century by slave labor and for many years was mainly frequented by slaves and freed slaves.
São João Batista
São João BatistaOn Praça Claudino Alves, in the town center, is the church of São João Batista, built in 1858 on the site of the chapel erected by the founder of the town. It contains a number of Baroque paintings and a picture by Benedito Calixto.
Palace of Júlia Ferraz
Palace of Júlia FerrazIn the town center, in Rua José Lúcas, is the Palace of Júlia Ferraz (protected national monument), now a showroom for the sale of craft products (pottery, wooden articles, embroidery, home-made sweets).
There are a number of attractions worth visiting within a short distance of Atibaia.
Parque Edmundo Zanoni
Parque Edmundo ZanoniThe Parque Edmundo Zanoni, 2km/1.3mi from the town center in the Bairro de Loanda, is another very popular park. Here in September is celebrated in traditional form the Festa das Flores e Morangos (Flower and Strawberry Festival). The park has areas of woodland and grass, a lake on which pedalos can be hired and a natural history museum.
Pedra Grande20km/12.5mi from Atibaia, in the Serra do Itapetinga nature reserve, is the Pico da Pedra Grande (1450m/4755ft), the highest peak in the commune. From the summit of the hill there are fantastic views over the six neighboring communes, and in recent years it has become popular with hang-gliding enthusiasts. It can be reached on the Pedro I Motorway (km61/mi40).
Parque das Aguas
Parque das AguasThe Parque das Aguas, 1km/.7mi from the town center on Avenida Olavo Amorim Silveira, is a leisure paradise, with patches of woodland, springs, a lake and a bathing establishment which offers saunas and swimming pools for those who want to "take the cure" or merely enjoy a swim.
Itapetinga Radio-Astronomical Observatory
Observatory8km/5mi from Atibaia on the Pedro I Motorway (km45/mi28) is the Itapetinga Radio-Astronomical Observatory, the most modern in South America, run by the Instituto de Pesquisas Espaciais (Brazilian Institute of Space Research). It can be seen on conducted tours.