Five Clubs in Rio de Janeiro for the Party Lovers

By Pedro Souza
30th January, 2017

Rio is notorious for its scenic beauty, warm beaches and friendly people. It is also famous for its parties, which go way beyond Carnival. If you are planning on going there and know how to enjoy a good party, you are sure to have a blast. To help you with that, we have made a compilation of some of the best clubs in Rio. Enjoy!

Fosfobox
Located near the Siqueira Campos metro station in Copacabana city, this club is known for its eclectic mix of musical styles. In the club’s dancefloor, one can expect to hear underground techno, rock, pop, samba and forró, as well as the occasional live show. While the dancefloor is located downstairs, one can enjoy a drink at the bar or smoke a cigarette and have a chat at the balcony in the upper area.

00
Inside the planetarium in the neighborhood of Gávea one can find 00, one of the best-designed clubs in Rio. The space contains a dancefloor, a restaurant with a sushi bar and an outdoor garden with sofas and puffs where one can sit and relax. The club plays a variety of styles of dance music, with mainstream music being played on Fridays and Saturdays. On Thursday and Sundays the club gets more adventurous in their choice of music, often displaying live performances. On Sundays, the parties are dedicated to the LGBT crowd, going from late afternoon to the small hours and playing softer music.

Nuth Lounge
One of the most popular clubs in Rio de Janeiro, Nuth attracts large crowds on weekends. The club is split into places for lounging, eating and dancing, boasting a dancefloor decorated with trippy props to enhance the experience. The music style at the club changes from night to night, but DJs usually play hip-hob, R&B and house music. When going there, be sure to dress well, as the door policy can be strict at times.

Casa da Matriz
If you are into alternative clubs, Casa da Matriz is the place for you. Located in the neighborhood of Botafogo, the house features an amazing variety of musical styles from soul, punk and funk to old-school hip-hop and much more. It even offers indie karaoke nights on Wednesdays, which have become one of the staples of the club. When going there, try to avoid dressing too preppy, as a hipster-style dressing is favored by the club’s crowd.

Studio RJ
For those club-goers that want to have a good taste of Brazilian music, Studio RJ is the right choice. The club has a great location in between Ipanema and Copacabana, with a beautiful view to the Arpoador beach. As for the music, it displays a variety of Brazilian music with styles ranging from rock and jazz to bossa nova, with frequent live shows and guest DJ’s. On Sundays, it also offers afternoon sessions, which are a great way to end a busy weekend.

The Dazzling Beauty of Chapada dos Veadeiros

chapada222By Pedro Souza
November 26th, 2016

Brazil is a country known for the beauty of its luxurious nature. Every state hides its own wonders, just waiting to be explored by the outdoors lovers. Based in the state of Goias, the Chapada is a plateau with an estimated 1.8 billion years of age. In 1961, the national park was inaugurated by the then president of Brazil, Juscelino Kubitschek. With an area of 655 square kilometers of very well preserved land, the park has become one of the most popular destination for nature lovers in Brazil. To get there, one needs to take the road, since there are no flights directly to the park. The most common way of getting there is by taking a bus from Brasília. If you are far from Brasília, you can get there by plane and then take a bus to the Chapada.

The park’s rock formations are among some of the oldest in the world, which help to form the cerrado biome. The cerrado is a form of savannah characterized by its vegetation formed by crooked trees, low forests and grassy plains. This environment is also home to a rich fauna, which attract many nature enthusiasts. One can find animals such as the maned wolf, the pampas deer, the jaguar and the capybara, which is the largest rodent in the world. The park is also a delight for birdwatchers, with species such as the savannah hawk, the great black hawk, the crowned eagle, the king vulture, the ringed kingfisher and many species of macaws and parakeets. There are also many lakes, river, waterfalls and canyons in the park, which compose a truly wonderful landscape.

There are basically two places in the park where visitors stay: Alto Paraíso and São Jorge. Alto Paraíso is a small city close to the entrance of the Park. It has more infrastructure and choices of places for eating and sleeping than São Jorge. São Jorge in contrast, is a small village with little infrastructure. While some may find it troublesome, others find it to be a better place to truly experience the Chapada. Those that are more adventurous can also gather their supplies and camp by themselves in nature, but the vast majority will prefer to stay in one of these two places, where you can find a comfortable place to sleep, restaurants to eat and tourism guides to hire.

Most tours involve visiting the canyons and waterfalls that abound there. The main river in the park is the Rio Preto, which runs through the Chapada forming beautiful waterfalls along the way. Among these, the most famous ones are the Carioca Falls and the Rio Preto Falls, which impresses visitors as it falls from 120m of height. Another place worth visiting is the Vale da Lua (Moon Valley), a surreal scenery composed of a rock formation full of craters, that give it its name. Among the formations, one will find grottos, waterfalls and natural pools where one can bathe. These are just a few of the park’s attractions, which contains a huge array of waterfalls such as the Poço Encantado (Enchanted Well), Macaquinhos (Little Monkeys), Anjos and Arcanjos (Angels and Archangels) and many more. There are also plenty of hiking trails that will take you through these waterfalls and through the canyons, among the rich fauna and flora that abounds in the park.

If you enjoy spending time in the outdoors and appreciate nature, this is easily one of the best places in Brazil to do so. Whether you want to relax with your family and friends or to have a true adventure in the Cerrado, the Chapada dos Veadeiros is the place for you. So what are you waiting for? Come see for yourself what this hype is all about. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Five Museums to Visit in the City of São Paulo

pinacotecadoestado222By Pedro Souza
October 2nd, 2016

Being the largest city in Brazil, São Paulo is a hotbed of cultural activity. People will find there a plethora of concerts, theaters, museums and much more. Below, we have compiled a list of 5 museums to visit in São Paulo for your enjoyment.

1. Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo

Founded in 1905 with an array of only 26 works of art, the Pinacoteca is considered the oldest art museum of São Paulo. Nowadays, the museum has more than 9,000 works of art, documenting Brazilian art production from the 19th century until today. It is divided in many spaces such as the “Estação Pinacoteca”, which hold shows of contemporary art and houses the Walter Wei library. Another interesting space is the resistance memorial, which is located on the ground floor and dedicated to preserving the memory of the repression suffered by the population during the times of the military dictatorship. The Pinacoteca also holds many exhibitions, which can be followed in the museum’s official website.

2. Museu de Arte Moderna (Modern Art Museum)

This museum is located in the heart of Ibirapuera, the largest city park in São Paulo. Within it, one can find art galleries, a library, an auditory and a shop. With a beautiful collection of more than 5.000 works of art from artists such as Di Cavalcanti and Picasso, the Museu de Arte Moderna is definitely worth a visit. If you plan to go there, take your time and enjoy the park as well, which has many other attractions.

3. Museu do Futebol (Soccer’s museum)

Of course there is a soccer museum on this list! Located in the Pacaembu stadium, this museum documents the history of soccer and pays a tribute to it. Inside the museum, one can learn about the history of soccer, its players, narrators and Judges, as well as practicing a “virtual kick”. Known for being highly technological and interactive, this one is a must-visit for soccer fans.

4. Museu da Imagem e do Som (Museum of Sound and Image)

Located in the neighborhood of Jardins, the “MIS” is one of the most acclaimed museums in São Paulo. It was founded in 1970 as a result of a project devised by Brazilian intellectuals that wanted to create an institution willing to explore new forms of media. Nowadays, it has become a reference for studies in audio-visual production, as well as a center for artistic diffusion. With a collection of more than 350,000 entries including films, video records, photographs and graphic design, this is definitely a place worth the visit.

5. Museu de Arte de São Paulo (Art Museum of São Paulo)

Known simply as MASP, this museum is one of the symbols of the city of São Paulo. Home to the works of artists such as Remembrant, Boticelli, Renoir and Manet, it holds one of the most important art collections in South America. Not only are the exhibitions excellent, but the architecture of the building design by the Italian Lina Bo Bardi is fascinating as well. For art enthusiasts, this museum is definitely a must.

Brazil: Come Enjoy the Beaches and Parties of “Floripa”

Floripa By Pedro Souza
May 31, 2016

Florianopólis, popularly called Floripa, is the capital city of the southern state of Santa Catarina. The city is composed of the island of Santa Catarina, a continental part and the surrounding islands, with a population of roughly 450,000 people. A recent tourism boom shows that foreigners are finally becoming aware of the wonders of Floripa, which is easily one of the best travelling destinations in Brazil. The 50 kilometers long island that makes up most of the city has more than 40 stunning sand beaches, which attract people from all over the world.

From popular beaches where one can meet friendly people, eat seafood or drink a few beers to secluded beaches hidden amongst waving dunes, Floripa has beaches for all different tastes. There are also plenty of good spots for surfing in the city. One of the world’s most notorious surfing events, the Santa Catarina Pro, takes place in annually in Floripa. If you are interested in trying the sport, the Barra da Lagoa beach is a good spot for beginners. Another sport that is quite popular there is sandboarding. The city has many majestic sand dunes, and for as little as U$5, tourists can rent a board and enjoy themselves surfing down these dunes. This is a great way to have a fun evening and get fit as well. Carrying your board up a sand dune is a lot more tiring than it sounds.

There are also secluded beaches that can only be reached by hiking, and the outskirts of Floripa offer plenty of trails for outdoors lovers. If you have a vehicle, another option is driving to the São Joaquim National Park, which offers 50,000 acres of forest, rivers, waterfalls and wildlife. Just be sure to bring a guide or to be careful if you want to avoid getting lost in the park.

In the southwest of the city, there is a fishing village known as Ribeirão da Ilha. Known for its well-preserved and colorful colonial style houses, and the beautiful church of Nossa Senhora, it is one of the favorite tourist spots. The village is also notorious for the local handicraft and the delicious fresh oysters that are found there, which gives an opportunity to make a stop there for lunch. In the center of the Santa Catarina Island, one will find the Conceição Lagoon, one of the best spots in the city. This magnificent lagoon is known as one of the best windsurfing spots in the country, and the nightlife in the surrounding area attracts people from all over the city. There is also a rustic fishing village in the lagoon known as Costa da Lagoa, which is definitely worth a visit.

As if its dazzling beaches aren’t enough, Floripa is also known for its buzzing nightlife. The city is full of bars, pubs and clubs, where one can drink, dance and flirt at will. Whether you enjoy rock, samba, rap or house music, you will be sure to find out that Floripa more than lives up to its reputation as one of the best partying spots in Brazil. The city also has one of the best carnaval parties, despite Rio getting all the hype. Whether in the clubs, beaches or in the streets, you are sure to have a great time when the parties hit the city.

With all of this and much more, the city makes for a great destination. Whether you are looking for adventure, sports, nature, partying or simply for a place to relax, Floripa won’t disappoint you. If you ever have the opportunity, come pay a visit and find out for yourself what the hype is all about!

Fernando de Noronha, a Paradise Off the Coast of Brazil

Fernando de NoronhaBy Pedro Souza
May 1, 2016

When Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci arrived in Fernando de Noronha in 1503, he reportedly said, “paradise is here”. In fact, few other words suffice to describe the beauty of Noronha, an archipelago that stands 376 km away from the coast of Natal. The archipelago is a natural reserve, which is absolutely teeming with wildlife. The place is full of birds and reptiles, with lizards roaming in the rocks and among the grass. In the crystal clear waters, one can find a variety of fish, dolphins, stingrays, turtles and many other animals. There are also many sharks to be found, but unless meddled with, they do not pose a threat to tourists. So far, there have been no reported shark attacks in Fernando de Noronha.

The variety of wildlife in the seas and the clearness of the water have turned Fernando de Noronha into the hottest spot in Brazil for scuba diving, with people all over the world travelling there solely for this purpose. For those who are not interested in scuba diving, there are plenty of opportunities for snorkel diving. Either you can go with one of the many tours that are being offered or you can simply put your mask on and freely explore the wonders of the sea. There are also many boat tours on Noronha, where one can sail around the island appreciating it’s beautiful scenery, dazzling beaches and playful dolphins, which makes for a really relaxing evening.

If you are into surfing, Noronha is known as one of the best places in Brazil so surf. Known by some as the “Brazilian Hawaii”, the archipelago has beaches such as Bode, Quixaba, Boldró and Cacimba do Padre. With waves that reach up to 12 feet of height, Cacimba do Padre is home to many surfing championships, and it is considered by many to be the best surfing spot in Brazil.

Noronha is also home to Projeto Tamar, which is a project concerned with the preservation of sea turtles. It’s headquarters has a store and a museum, where one can see replicas of different species and learn about them. At night, there are talks one can attend to as well. You can also watch the baby turtles being market and set free on the beach depending on the time of the year, which is a truly awe-inspiring experience.

The main island is pretty rustic and welcoming. There are few hotels, and most people stay in inns. There are plenty of restaurants that offer great seafood and bars where one can drink by the beach. Locals are friendly and welcoming, which adds to the atmosphere of the place. When it comes to transportation, one can hire a buggy, a bike or simply walk. Noronha is not that large of an archipelago, so it is pretty easy to get around.

Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to Fernando de Noronha. The first one is that visitors are limited for environmental reasons, which makes it more difficult to access the island. The other one, which is its main downside, is that things are extremely expensive there. Due to the high prices, Noronha is not an affordable destination for many people. That being said, it is definitely worthy of every penny spent in the trip. If you are a fan of paradisiacal beaches, stunning sceneries, scuba diving or surfing, then this is definitely a place for you to visit!

12 Tips For Enjoying Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer February 6, 2016

So you have finally decided to go the legendary Carnival party in Rio and see what the hype is all about. I guarantee you will soon get caught up in the spirit of Carnival and fall in love with Brazil. But before you go, there are a few things you should be aware of. With this is mind, we have compiled some tips so you can enjoy the party to the fullest.

1. Learn some basic words and expressions in Portuguese. As most Brazilians don’t speak English, this will help you a lot with your communication. Also, Brazilians really appreciate when foreigners attempt to speak Portuguese, no matter how badly they do it.

2. Buy your flight in advance. There will be many tourists coming from all over the world to Rio, which causes flights to fill and prices to increase.

3. Book your hostel/hotel in advance as well, as it becomes harder and harder to find accommodation as the Carnival approaches.

4. If you want to watch Carnival, go to the Sambadrome. If you want to be in the thick of the action, take the party to the streets and keep an eye out for the “blocos”, which are foot parades where people dance through the streets to the beat played by a samba band on top of a truck.

5. If you go to the Sambadrome to watch the parade, the best views are from the ground level seats, the terrace seats, and the “camarote” if you are willing to pay a higher price.

6. Watch out for your safety. Don’t wear expensive jewelry and keep an eye out for pickpockets. It is also a good idea to wear a money belt or to keep some emergency money in your underwear or bra. If you are bringing a camera, keep it out of sight. Be aware of where you are going as well, as some areas are extremely unsafe for tourists. Also, avoid getting blackout drunk, as that will make you an easy target.

7. If you are a man looking to hook up with local girls, be respectful in your approach. There is a difference between being direct and being forceful, and you should not cross that line.

8. Banks close during Carnival, and cash machines often run dry. To avoid running out of money, keep a stash in the place where you are staying.

9. If you are hungry, “por kilo” restaurants are a good choice. In these restaurants, you fill up your plate from a buffet and pay according to the weight of your food. These places are cheap and the food is usually tasty.

10. If you are partying in the streets, keep your mobile phone and other electronics inside a plastic bag. Trucks will often spray water into partygoers to offer some relief from the heat.

11. Don’t forget to exchange your money. Although some shops and vendors accept dollars and euros for their products, they will charge you much more than if you use reais.

12. Prepare yourself for high temperatures and lots of sun. Bring sunscreen and don’t forget to drink water, especially if you are plan to drink alcohol.

You can contact Pedro via pedro@gringoes.com.

Paragliding With Basir Up in the AIR

By Laura Ferreira January 11, 2016 On the western end of the beach city of Santos, there is a hill that rises sharply, one hundred and eighty one meters above the sea. A paved but neglected road winds up the hill, through a small favela, ending abruptly at what is arguably the most gratifying vista for miles around. There – surrounded by views of white sand beaches and high rises – is a small restaurant, a flight center, and a grass field used for takeoff by paragliding and hang gliding pilots. That is where I met with Prem Basir and Maria A. Petit, the international paragliding experts behind Basir Up in the AIR. We had all left So Paulo early that morning and made the hour and a half drive to Santos with hope that it would be a good day for flying. When we convened at the top of Morro do Itarar, the sky was clear with gentle tufts of clouds, and a soft wind was beginning to pick up. I had never paraglided before, but the day seemed too perfect not to amount to something. Prem Basir and Maria explained to me that we would need to wait for the wind to pick up to ensure a longer flight, but that it did, indeed, look like a good day for flying. They suggested that we have a coconut water and chat at the restaurant next to the field while we waited for the perfect wind. While we took in the view and had our drinks, Basir told me his history with Paragliding. He began paragliding years ago with a tandem flight and lessons at a site called Fuyang in China. His first experience was very positive. Basirs piqued interest led him to continue training on the Wasserkuppe – the birthplace for various types of flying (located in Germany). He then spent four years working for Papillon – the largest paragliding school in the world, and moved on to instruct and conduct guided paragliding trips across Europe and Latin America. Basir explained that he is a DHV certified paragliding instructor and tandem pilot. All this information worked to calm my first-time nerves. Maria – who met Basir in Brazil, and spent time paragliding with him in Europe as well as Brazil – helped Basir to explain the physics of paragliding to me. They talked me through the weather conditions that create an enjoyable and lengthy flight, and the basics of preparation, flight, and landing. By the time the windsock was full, coming from the right direction, I felt confident and excited for the flight. We walked to the flight club and registered, and Maria walked me through the process of checking equipment and practicing for our takeoff while Basir got set up. In just a few minutes, I was hooked to Basir, Basir was hooked to our parachute, and we were ready to run. The takeoff was an adrenaline rush, but so momentary that it didnt define the experience. It was being in the air that left a lasting impression. We soared on thermal air pockets, high and low, back and forth. It was serene and beautiful – something you can only have an inkling of in a small plane. Birds glided past on the same wind that we used – giving me the impression that we were part of their private club. Moreover, there were many other paragliders around us, snapping selfies and waving to each other as they passed – engaging in a culture that is friendly and thrilling – cultivated through brief shared moments, high over the beaches and hills of Santos. Basir encouraged me to loosen my white-knuckle grasp on my harness and enjoy the flight, and after a few minutes, I was taking photos of the city and sea, and marveling at the feeling of quietly floating through the air. After we had seen the sights, and I felt I hadnt missed a thing, we headed down towards the beach. Basir pointed out the landing field and asked me to identify the windsock and the direction of the wind. For the final act, we passed over the ocean, and turned to fly along the line of buildings on the beach. Basir explained landing one more time, and we came down towards the field. In a split second, we touched the ground – smoothly and relatively gracefully. I highly recommend the experience of paragliding. Particularly to those who, like me, want to enthusiastically explore, but arent interested in adrenaline overload. It is an unexpected experience that will push you just far enough out of your comfort zone that you gain new knowledge and incredible perspective without feeling over the proverbial edge. And, if youre in or headed to Brazil, Basir Up in the AIR is exactly who you should look up to get you started. A video of Laura landing at Basir Up in the Air’s Facebook page. Basir Up in the Air’s website: www.basirair.com

Brazilian Franciscans Celebrate 25 Years Missionary Work in Angola

By John Fitzpatrick November 3, 2015 (Header Image: Celebrating 25 years of missionary activity in Angola) An exhibition has just been held in So Paulo to mark 25 years of missionary work in Angola by members of the Brazilian Order of Franciscans. The event was held in the historic So Francisco church and attracted hundreds of visitors, including worshippers and tourists. The Brazilian Franciscans began their mission to Angola following a call made in 1982 by the global leader of the Franciscan Order, John Vaughn, an American, for them to go to Africa as missionaries. The Brazilian order chose Portuguese-speaking Angola and the first missionaries – brothers Pedro Caron, Jos Zanchet and Plinio Gande da Silva – arrived in September 1990 right in the middle of the civil war that followed the end of Portuguese colonial rule in 1975. (Image: A home is being built in Luanda for trainee nuns.) Despite the hardships, the Brazilian missionaries established a presence in four different provinces – Luanda, Malange, Quibala and Viana – where they preached the Gospel and looked after the spiritual and physical health and education of the local people. Some of their buildings were damaged during the fighting. They were joined a few months later by Frei Odorico Decker who is a familiar figure to anyone who knows the So Francisco church. Frei Odorico spent 10 years in Angola during which he travelled the country from north to south on foot or bicycle accompanied by his faithful harmonica which won him many friends. “I went everywhere dressed in my cassock and playing my harmonica and visited families and old people who could not leave their homes. I brought comfort and the Eucharist and prayed with them. The war was going on and life was very hard for these people who welcomed me. Often I was the only outsider who had visited some of these places,” he recalled. (Image: Frei Odorico spent 10 years in Angola during the civil war.) Frei Odorico was a keen photographer and many of his pictures were on show at the exhibition. He also wrote a book about his African experience. The Brazilian venture into Angola was not a one-way process. The Franciscan lifestyle attracted many Angolans who decided to study to become brothers and nuns. There are currently around 100 Angolan students in various stages ranging from beginners to ordained brothers. An exchange program was set up for Angolans to come to Brazil to finish their seminary education in Santa Catarina and Rio de Janeiro. One of these is 28-year-old Ermelindo Francisco who has been in Brazil for eight years and was won over by the work of the Franciscans. “The Angolan people identified with the Franciscans because they were made up of simple people. The Franciscan ethic was very important. There is no difference between being a Franciscan and an Angolan because they are both a simple, happy and humble people,” he said. The Franciscans are currently building a new home for aspirant nuns in Luanda. The project is being funded by donations from individuals and parishes. If you would like to make a donation, contact pvf@franciscanos.org.br. John Fitzpatrick 2015

Around Brazil: Sao Thome das Letras

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer September 26, 2015 An alternative paradise in the state of Minas: Come taste the magic of Sao Thome das Letras. Located near Trs Coraes, in the state of Minas Gerais, So Thom das Letras is truly a wonder to behold. The best way of getting there is through the Ferno Dias highway, which connects So Paulo and Belo Horizonte. From the highway, one should exit at the city of Trs Coraes and then take the MG-868 road to So Thom.The city lies at the peak of a mountain 1.444 meter above sea levels, surrounded by rolling hills that are full of rivers, waterfalls and caves ready to be explored. The name of the city comes from a local legend, which tells the tale of a runaway slave that entered a cave and found a statue of Saint Thomas. So Thom is famous for harboring many alternative lifestyles. The city is full of artists and hippies, which form a vibrant and welcoming community. Some also say that So Thom is one of the 7 points of energy of the planet, which attracts many mystics, spiritualists and lovers of the esoteric. This esotericism is quite present in the city. Walking around, one sees places for yoga, meditation, crystal healing and even shamanic rituals. UFO sightings are also very common there, attracting UFO enthusiasts as well. For those that enjoy partying, the night is very lively there. The city is full of bars playing rock, reggae and other styles of music, and most of them offer free entrance. For those that know how to play, there are even bars that allow you to play with your band or join in with the other musicians. The cachaa from So Thom is also extremely good and cheap, and enthusiasts can find quite a variety of cachaas available. Late-night partiers can also join in the tradition of watching the sunset from the pyramid, a small watchtower located at the very top of the city that offers a dazzling view from the hills around the city. So Thom is also a great destination for the outdoors lovers. The city is surrounded by mountains that can be freely explored. Those that are adventurous are even free to explore them outside the walking trails, as the lack of thick vegetation makes it easy to do so without getting lost. These mountains are also full of waterfalls such as Shangri-l, Vale das Borboletas, Eubiose and Antares. There are also many grottos that can be explored. Some examples are Gruta do Sobradinho (Sobradinhos Grotto), Gruta So Thom (So Thoms Grotto) and Gruta do Carimbado (Carimbados Grotto). Those that plan to visit So Thom can stay in inns or in the camping sites around the city. For those that want to focus on the outdoors and have no problem camping, it is recommended to do so. Most campsites have bathrooms and restaurants, and prices are quite cheap, usually at roughly R$ 20 a day. The city is within walking distance from most campsites, so camping isnt much of an obstacle for those who also want to visit it. Drinking and eating in So Thom is quite cheap as well, making it a great choice for those who want to travel at a low budget. But whether you want to visit So Thom for its nature, culture or music, it is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.

Brazil: 10 Hiking Trails for Nature Lovers in the State of So Paulo – Part 1

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
June 17, 2015

The state of So Paulo has a lot more to offer than being the largest city in South America. Its countryside is teeming with opportunities for outdoor lovers to explore and enjoy the beauty of the Atlantic Forest, which extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil all the way to Argentina and Paraguay. We have compiled for your enjoyment some of the best hiking trails in the state.

Trilha do Poo

The city of Caraguatatuba, 125 kilometers to the east of So Paulo, is a coastal city full of trails waiting to be explored. Among them is the Trilha do Poo, a great choice for those that love adventure but also want to bring their families to join in the fun. The trail is 3.5 kilometers, and while it isn’t a walk in the park, it is still a family-friendly trail. Waterfalls and rivers are among the main attractions of the walk, which has a 2 meter deep pool where visitors can bathe themselves. Tennis shoes or boots are necessary, as it involves crossing many streams. There is also a variety of fauna and flora contributing to the beauty of the trail, with many native plants and animals such as tamanduas, agoutis and toucans living in the region. The trail is located in the Serra do Mar State Park, which is open to visitors from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Visitors are divided into two guided groups of 35 people, one leaving at 9:00 am and the other at 1:00 pm. To set up a visit either drop by the state park’s administration, located at R. Horto Florestal 1200, Rio do Ouro, or call (12) 3882-3166.

Trilha da Pedra Grande

Located in the State Park of Cantareira, this is one of the most popular trails among the inhabitants of So Paulo. Due to its length of 9.6 km and its inclination it can be quite tiring, although it isn’t particularly challenging and can be tackled by practically anyone. The trail offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Atlantic Forest, where you can find a variety of plants and animals. Some common native mammals that are popular among visitors are the quatis and howler monkeys, which can be found along the trail.

The trail also has a few other attractions, such as an area that has a lake with carp, a children’s playground, and practical considerations such as a place to eat and a bathroom. There is also a small museum called Casa da Pedra, where one can see exhibitions. But the main highlight of the trail is the Pedra Grande, a rocky plateau at its top from where tourists are treated to a gorgeous view of the city of So Paulo. From the Pedra Grande, you can also see the Jaragua’s peak and even the Serra do Mar when the skies are clear.

The beginning of the trail is located in the outskirts of So Paulo, at the Rua do Horto, 1799. The trail is open everyday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, but it is only possible to walk it without guides on weekends and holidays. Visitors can schedule a guided walk via the following number: (11) 2203-3266. If you wish to experience the best view of the city of So Paulo, you should not miss this opportunity. Trilha do Mirante da Anta Located in Ribeiro Preto, 270 kilometers away from the city of So Paulo, the Trilha do Mirante da Anta is a great option for the weekends. The snaking trail is 4.2 km long, passing through rocky terrain and dense forests. It is considered a trail of medium difficulty, accessible to most people but not recommended for small children. The vegetation of the trail is a remarkable sight, especially when the flowers blossom during the spring.

It is also a great place for birdwatching, with species such as toucans, woodpeckers and jacutingas being quite common. The highlight of the trail is a panoramic view of the Intervales State Park, at an altitude of 962 meters.

Guides are optional, but a visit has to be scheduled either by calling the state park administration (15) 3542-12456, or by sending an e-mail to the following address:reservaintervales@fflorestal.sp.gov.br. The entrance of the trail is at the Pica Pau inn, which can be accessed through the municipal road, kilometer 25. You can contact Pedro via pedro@gringoes.com.