Sao Paulo State
Information and Tourism
It is easy to see Sao Paulo as just a city and not a state and, certainly, it is true that the great metropolis itself is one of its prime attractions. However, that would be ignoring the fact that beyond the state capital there is a whole lot of other things to see and do, from sandy beaches and mountain peaks to historic towns and cities.
Of course, there is no denying that Sao Paulo - or Sampa, as it is commonly known - is a city of quite extraordinary dimensions. Its 40 million or so residents are comprehensively entertained by a full calendar of festivals and concerts, as well as a prolific choice of good restaurants, lively bars and nightclubs. Sao Paulo also boasts its own stock exchange - a sure sign of its role as a financial hub in Brazil, as well as several very tall buildings and a can-do attitude to life. Avoid some of the heaviest traffic in Brazil by taking to the pavement instead. Stroll along the Paulista Avenue, observe the city's concrete jungle from the heights of the Banespa Building's observation deck, browse the stalls of the Mercado Municipal, or see what the city's rich and famous get up to in the Jardins area.
Escape the city streets of Sao Paulo and there is a whole other wonderful world to be explored, including mile upon mile of wild coastline. Along the North Coast are several attractive resort towns that still remain largely off the foreign tourists' radar. Ubatuba boasts the secluded beaches of Ilha Anchieta and the white sandy beach of Itamambuca, although both soon fill up with Sao Paulo weekenders come summertime.
North of Sao Paulo, the landscape of the Serra da Mantiqueira is remarkably European in character. There are waterfalls and caves to be admired, along with stunning rivers and mountain scenery. In Campos do Jordao, you would be forgiven for thinking you weren't in some trendy Swiss ski resort. Further east, the Serra do Mar offers a verdant highland landscape, which includes such picture-postcard colonial towns as Bananal.
Sao Paulo State Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Brazil
- Main administrative centre: Sao Paolo
- Biggest city: Sao Paolo
- Population: approximately 41.5 million
- Language: Portuguese
- Area: 95,830 square miles / 248,200 square kilometres
- Highest town: Campos do Jordao / li>
State Map of Sao Paulo