Sao Paulo (State) Attractions
São Paulo (State)Situation and CharacteristicsThe state of São Paulo, on the south coast of Brazil, is separated from Minas Gerais, to the north, by the Rio Grande, from Mato Grosso do Sul, on the west, by the Rio Paraná and from Paraná, on the south, by the Rio Paranapanema; with Rio de Janeiro, to the east, it has a common boundary of some 100km/60mi. A major source of revenue is agriculture (cotton, sugar-cane, tobacco, fruit, vegetables and grain); and in areas where the soil has been exhausted by intensive arable farming stock-rearing takes over. São Paulo also has some 50% of all Brazilian industrial firms, the most important port for the shipment of its products being Santos.
SorocabaSituation and CharacteristicsSorocaba, lying west of São Paulo in the valley of the Rio Tietà (92km/57mi on the Rodovia Castelo Branco), is one of the leading industrial centers in São Paulo state. It originated as a settlement on the banks of the Rio Sorocaba, founded in 1611, which grew up round a chapel dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Ponte da Sorocaba. The real development of the town began in the 18th century, when it became the main assembly point for the herds of cattle from southern Brazil which were then driven to the goldfields of Minas Gerais.Bus stationAvenida Comandante Pereira Inácio 100
Fazenda IpanemaThe first ironworks in Brazil was established in 1813 on the Fazenda Ipanema, an estate belonging to Dom Pedro I 25km/15.5mi north-west of Sorocaba on the road to Iperó.
Folk eventsThere are concerts by seresteiros (serenade singers) and performances of local dances (the catira, the fandango, the dança de São Gonçalo, the Indian cururu, etc.) in the Municipal Theatre on the Alto da Boa Vista.
The Sorocaba Museum occupies a house (1780), once the property of the Marquesa de Santos, in Rua Theodoro Kaiser (Vila Hortànsia district).
São BentoOn Largo de São Bento, in the city center, are the 17th century church and monastery of São Bento.
In the Vila Hortànsia district area is the city's Zoo.
Address: Rua Teodoro Kaisel, 883, Brazil
CaraguatatubaSituation and CharacteristicsCaraguatatuba (founded 1653), 176km/109mi east of São Paulo, is the most densely populated town on the north coast of São Paulo state. Its main source of income is tourism.Bus stationAvenida Brasília 50
EventsCanoe races and hang-gliding competitions are regularly held in Caraguatatuba, and there is a swimming race between Caraguatatuba and Ilhabela, on the island of São Sebastião, every July. Of the town's religious festival the most notable is the Festa de São Pedro, which is celebrated with a procession of boats on June 29th (SS Peter and Paul).
Beaches in townIn the center of the town are the beaches of Prainha (craft market at weekends), with the imposing crags of Freira and Jacaré, and Praia Martim de Sá.
Ilha do Tamanduá
Ilha do TamanduáThe tropical Ilha do Tamanduá ("Island of the Anteaters"), at the north end of Caraguatatuba Bay, has beautiful beaches. It can be reached in a 1.5-hour boat trip.
Beaches to northOn the road to Ubatuba are the beaches of Capricórnio, Massaguaçu, Cocanha (16km/10mi), Mococa (17km/10.5mi) and Tabatinga (18km/11mi). There are canoe races at Cocanha. Mococa has monazite sand.
Beaches to southTo the south of the town, on the road to São Sebastião, are the beaches of Palmeiras (8km/5mi), Lagoa, Porto Novo and Frecheiras (11km/7mi).
São Bento do SapucaíSituation and CharacteristicsSão Bento do Sapucaí, an altitude resort in the Serra da Mantiqueira, lies 155km/95mi north-west of São Paulo.Bus stationRua 9 de Julho
Cachoeira dos Amores
Cachoeira dos Amores6km/4mi from the town on the road to Paiol Grande is the Cachoeira dos Amores ("Lovers' Falls").
Pedra do Baú
Pedra do Baú4km/2.5mi beyond Cachoeira dos Amores is a prominent hill, the Pedra do Baú (1950m/6400ft). It is part of a range of hills (Pedra do Baú, Pedra do Bauzinho and Pedra de Ana Chata) extending between São Bento do Sapucaí and Campos do Jordão - an expanse of almost completely unspoiled natural beauty. From both of these towns there are hiking trails to the summits of the hills. A flight of 600 steps leads up to the top of the Pedrado Baú, a favorite launching pad for hang-gliders which offers picturesque views of the surrounding Serra da Mantiqueira.
QuilomboThe Quilombo district, 3km/2mi from the town center, is noted for its craft workers. Here sculptors, painters and carpet-makers offer their work for sale.
São BentoThe most interesting of the town's churches is São Bento, built by slaves in the 18th century.