Attractions Nearby Sao Paulo, Day Trips and Excursions

(Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Image of the beachfront at GuarujaThere are many quality Brazilian attractions surrounding the city of Sao Paulo, with the enticing Paulista Coast being just an hour's drive away and is therefore ideal for day trips, especially the superb beaches of Guaruja. Particularly close to Sao Paulo are the handicraft attractions of Embu das Artes, the vineyards of Louveira and the port of Santos, while excursions a little further afield include Campos do Jordao, Sao Sebastiao and Ubatuba.

However, if you are holidaying in Sao Paulo and really want to experience Brazil in all its glory, then a trip to Rio de Janeiro is simply a must. On offer in Rio de Janeiro are some of the country best sandy beaches, such as Copacabana and Ipanema, and plenty of eye-catching attractions, including the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana) and the 38-metre / 125-foot Christ the Redeemer statue, which stands at the very top of the Corcovado Mountain and really is hard to miss.

Photo of Guaruja's beach and summer sunbathers


The municipality of Guaruja can be reached in just over an hour and is roughly 99 km / 62 miles to the south of Sao Paulo, where it is famed for its busy beaches along the scenic Paulista Coast. Always very popular in Guaruja are the beaches of both Asturias and Pitangueiras, while the Casado and Enseada beaches are also recommended. Surfers tend to head to Tomno Beach, where the waves are strong and the coastline in beautiful. Also of note are a number of other attractions, such as the 16th-century Barra Grande Fortress and the Acqua Mundo Theme Park, which has become South America's largest aquarium attraction. Each Brazilian summer (December to February), many locals from Sao Paulo head to the beaches of Guaruja, clearly showing its stature and appeal.

Scenic image of the Bertioga shoreline


The town of Bertioga lies within the state of Sao Paulo and is approximately 117 km / 73 miles to the south-east of the city proper, being easily reached in just over one and a half hours by road, via Moji das Cruzes. Attractions in Bertioga are based around the surrounding coastline and extensive beachfront, which stretches for in excess of 40 km / 25 miles in total. The seafood restaurants of Bertioga come highly recommended and gastronomy parties are common place. Nearby in Moranga, look out for the famous Shrimp Festival, which takes place each August.

Campos do Jordao view from high above the city

Campos do Jordao

Campos do Jordao is a very popular and is located around 185 km / 115 miles to the north-east of Sao Paulo, meaning that an early start is required if you are planning a day trip here. Known for its elevated setting on the Mantiqueira mountains, Campos do Jordao is especially European in style and has become something of a tourist hotspot throughout the year. Many recreational activities and outdoor attractions are on offer within Campos do Jordao, such as hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking, while for the best views you will need to Mirante do Morro do Elefante hillside, which is reputedly shaped rather like an elephant - or alternatively, enjoy a cable car ride. Those arriving in the winter months will likely find the festival of classical music in full swing.

Embu das Artes

Embu das Artes is extremely close to the city of Sao Paulo and is the place to head if you are in search of quality, authentic Brazilian paintings and handicrafts. Sited 39 km / 24 miles to the south-west, Embu das Artes literally translates as 'Land of the Arts' and is brimming with local artisans. Each weekend, the Open Arts Fair is held within the city centre and is filled with almost 1,000 different stalls, selling everything from antiques and furniture, to wood carvings, ornamental souvenirs, hand-woven rugs and lots of tasty snacks.

Aerial photo of Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is Brazil's second-biggest city and Sao Paulo and is more than five hours away, standing 442 km / 275 miles to the north-east. However, this really is a spectacular city, with a set of attractions to match and an enviable calendar of celebrations, and well worth paying a visit if you are looking for the ultimate Brazilian experience. In particular, the Rio de Janeiro carnival (carnaval) is always a good reason to holiday in this energetic city and takes place each February over a two-week period and draws crowds of literally thousands.


An alluring city best known for its vineyards, wineries and locally produced wine, Louveira is some 77 km / 48 miles to the north-west of Sao Paulo and by car is around an hour away. Each year in May, Louveria hosts the spectacle that is the 'Grape Party', known locally as the 'Festa da Uva ' and always drawing large crowds. The Festa da Uva dates back more than 40 years and features an array of entertainment and events.

Picture of statue in central Santos


The estuary city of Santos offers much in the way of seaside attractions. Those arriving from Sao Paulo will find that Santos stands 84 km / 52 miles to the south-east, where it is home to South America's premier port. Many interesting attractions and restaurants line the docks, which is always a pleasant spot for a stroll. Tourists often enjoy visiting the Dock Museum, the Coffee Stock Exchange, the Aquarium and Monte Serrat Hill, where the views of surrounding cities (including Guaruja) are quite simply breathtaking. Make sure that you check out the Beach Front Garden, which at 5,335 metres / 17,500 feet in length, is the longest of its kind on the planet.

Picture of central Sao Sebastiao plaza

Sao Sebastiao

Sao Sebastiao is an appealing coastal city, with a good choice of beachfront accommodation and plenty to see. Located just under 200 km / 124 miles to the south-east of Sao Paulo, Sao Sebastiao have become a leading excursion destination and has much more to offer than simply its beaches, boasting a historical centre (Centro Histórico) brimming with colonial mansions and character. The Convento de Nossa Senhora do Amparo is the oldest attraction in Sao Sebastiao and stands alongside the seafront. Beach-goers will find that the Praia de Boracéia (Boracéia Beach) is amongst the best on offer, along with the Camburi and the Maresias.

Ubatuba coastal view


The stunning beaches of Ubatuba have long served as a major draw card for this city and lie roughly 230 km / 143 miles each of Sao Paulo. Many attractions present themselves around Ubatuba's beaches, which number more than 70, with surfing conditions often being excellent. Tourists also come to Ubatuba for its scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities, as well as mountain biking and hiking trails. The very best beaches in Ubatuba include those of Enseada, Itamambuca, Maranduba, Saco da Ribeira and Vermelha, amongst others.