15 Incredible Day Trips from São Paulo, Brazil (A local’s Guide)

If you are wondering what are the best day trips from Sao Paulo, Brazi you are in the right place!

My home town, Sao Paulo, is the largest city and one of the highlights of Brazil. It is among the world’s most populous cities, with a population of over 22 million people, São Paulo is also the largest city in the South Hemisphere.

If you are planning a trip to Brazil, you probably already know how big and busy São Paulo is – Therefore, if you have more time to explore Sao Paulo, or if you are visiting the city for business and have an extra day or so, I strongly recommend you to get out of the big city, and take at least one day trip from Sao Paulo.

Did you know that just as a short day trip from Sao Paulo you can get to pristine beaches, coffee farms, or even fascinating caves?

There are many options for a side trip from Sao Paulo, that most travelers do not even know about. But not you, because I am sharing with you some amazing day trips within just a short driving distance from Sao Paulo.

I have carefully selected these amazing 15-day trip destinations just outside Sao Paulo that you can do on a day trip, that will make you fall in love and will make you want to go back more times to explore more of the highlights of Brazil.

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Day Trips from Sao Paulo
Train station of Luz, in the city of São Paulo

Day Trips From Sao Paulo | Essential Tips

In this guide for the Top Day Trips from São Paulo, I have selected locations that are within driving distance from the city center, and here is a list of handy information to help you to make the most of your side trip from Sao Paulo:

  • BRAZIL TRIP PLANNING:  Start with this step-by-step guide with all you need to know before you go to Brazil.
  • GETTING IN BRAZIL: There are several airlines for you to choose from, depending on your departure location. The airport in Sao Paulo is Guarulhos (GRU).
  • CARRY MONEY WITH YOU: You will need it for the tolls as they do not accept credit cards.
  • HAVE TRAVEL INSURANCE: I always say that it is a must for any trip you are going on. I use and recommend World Nomads.
  • ACCOMMODATIONS: If you are staying in Sao Paulo, or decide to spend the night in any of the places you are visiting, make sure you book in advance from a reliable source. I use Booking.com for any country I visit, and it works great in Brazil.

Transportation for your Day Trips from Sao Paulo

I have listed below some options for transportation if you are planning to take day trips from São Paulo:

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Different than other countries, Brazil doesn’t offer great options for public transportation. I recommend you rent a car or use a Group Tour to go on any day trip from São Paulo. Even if you take a public bus to the destination, you will need to rely on Uber or axis while you are exploring any of the places I listed here. It will talk more time and will cost you more if you don’t plan to rent a car or use a group tour.es. 
PRIVATE TOUR: If you prefer not to drive in Brazil, the next best option is to go on group tours. I will be listing along with this guide some great recommendations to help you with the best options.
UBER OR LYFT: It works great in Brazil and you should consider as an option. Because of the exchange rate, if you are paying in Dollar you will find it very affordable.
RENTAL CAR: For the side trips from Sao Paulo listed here, the best way to explore them is to rent a car. It is cheap, easy, and safe if you use a reliable source like this. If you decide to drive in Brazil, make sure to have a GPS with you or use Google Maps. The signs are in Portuguese and you don’t want to miss that turn.

You can get a 15% off your rental car when you book through this site. I use and recommend RentalCar because it is the most reliable rental car source, and it allows you to compare the prices of different places.

Day Trips from Sao Paulo

15 Top Day Trips From Sao Paulo, Brazil

1. JUNDIAI: A short day trip from Sao Paulo to experience the rural charm of Brazil

  • Highlight: Local lifestyle | Good food | History
  • Distance from São Paulo: 60 km / 37.3 miles
  • How to get to Jundiai: SP-348 (Bandeirantes) to exit 47 and SP-330 (Anhanguera) use sidetrack
  • BEST TOUR: Coffee and Cheese farms at a Coffee Farm
Sao Paulo day trips

Let’s start this list of the best day trips from Sao Paulo with the closest town, where you will find plenty of things to do. Jundiai is my hometown and I love to introduce this amazing place to anyone visiting Sao Paulo. If you are looking for a destination very near São Paulo, Jundiai is just a short and easy drive that takes less than one hour.

Jundiai is in 11th place as the most developed city in Brazil, and you can start your visit by strolling around the old city center and taking some great pictures of the old historic buildings including the City Cathedral.

Then you can visit some parks such as the Botanic Garden and Parque da Cidade (City Park). Another option is taking a tour on the Grape Route to try some of the local wines and enjoy some of the local gastronomy. The nightlife in Jundiai offers great options for bars and restaurants.

Here you can also visit centennial coffee farms from the Golden Coffee era in Brazil, and have lunch at a traditional farm for incredible food and a large variety of dishes.

2. SÃO ROQUE: The best Sao Paulo day trip to sip some wine

  • Highlight: Wine tasting/ Local cuisine
  • Distance from São Paulo: 70 km / 43.5 miles
  • How to get: Castelo Branco Highway (SP-280) towards Sorocaba. At exit 54-B, enter São Roque on SP-53/280
  • BEST TOUR: Sao Roque Wineries Route

Sao Roque is one of the best day trips from Sao Paulo if you are a wine or a local food lover. You can explore the Estrada do Vinho (Wine Route), with more than 30 wineries in 10 km, where you can do wine tasting, try some of the amazing local cuisines, and enjoy the beautiful landscapes. It is a great side trip from Sao Paulo for couples or families.

You can start your day at the Adega Terra do Vinho, which is located at the very beginning of the route, do some wine tasting, and visit the local store for some souvenirs. Then you head to Vila don Patto, with traditions dating back more than 100 years, you can enjoy the local coffee and have lunch at the Italian or Portuguese restaurant.

The next stop is the Destilaria Stoliskoff, where you will find things other than wine, such as tequila, vodka, and the famous cachaça (Brazilian rum). Another great place for a stop during your visit is Vinicola Goes, one of the largest wine producers in Brazil.

3. MONTE VERDE: The best Sao Paulo day trip to see the mountains

  • Highlight: Mountain views/ trails / gastronomy
  • Distance from São Paulo: 164 km / 101 miles
  • How to get: Via Dutra BR-116, towards Guarulhos. At km 13 take the Fernão Dias Highway and follow another 121 km until Camanducaia. Enter the city, follow the signs for another 30 km until Monte Verde.
  • BEST TOUR: Monte Verde Jeep Tour

This is one of my favorite day trips from Sao Paulo. Monte Verde is located in the Serra da Mantiqueira, (Mantiqueira mountain range). The altitudes range from 1800 to 2090 meters where you can see on one side the state of São Paulo and on the other Minas Gerais.

It is one of the favorite destinations for tourists who like to relax, but at the same time are fans of outdoor activities and good food.

If you appreciate great gastronomy, Monte Verde is the right place to visit. There are several options in the city, the most traditional is contemporary cuisine, Italian, and local from Minas Gerais.

Oh, and you have to try the amazing fresh trout at Paulo das Trutas, it is to die for. Visit one of the incredible local breweries and learn about the production of handmade chocolates.

4. CAMPOS DO JORDÃO: Enjoy the Brazilian Switzerland mountain town and local beer

  • Highlight: Local brewery/stroll in the city and parks
  • Distance from São Paulo: 167 km/ 104 miles
  • How to get: Marginal of Tietê, take Ayrton Senna (SP-70) until the end, which ends at Rodovia Floriano Rodrigues Pinheiro
  • BEST TOUR: Full Day Trip to Campos Do Jordao from Sao Paulo
Day trip from Sao Paulo to Campos do Jordao

Campos do Jordão is one of Brazil’s highlights in the winter, and the preferred destination for the locals looking for a European feel destination, without leaving the country.

With a population of 50,000, it still manages to maintain the charm of a small town.

Some great options to explore in Campos do Jordao is to take a tour of many local breweries, take a train ride, go hiking, eat a lot, and even enjoy a walk along the charming main street of the city. 

The best part of town is that you can find activities for all ages and tastes, and you can explore the region during the day and at night go out to dinner or, who knows, enjoy a party during the high season.

Campos do Jordao is one of the top day trips from Sao Paulo, but it is also amazing to spend the weekend here. If you decide to spend a few days in Campos do Jordao, there are many options for inns and cozy hotels located in the middle of the mountains.

5) SOCORRO: Best side trip from São Paulo for adventure seekers

  • Highlight: Eco-tourism / Adventure/ hiking
  • Distance from São Paulo: 138 km / 86 miles
  • How to get: Take the Fernão Dias Highway (BR-381), which connects São Paulo to Belo Horizonte. At km 22, enter Bragança Paulista and from there follow to Socorro by BR-146.
Best side trips from Sao Paulo

Socorro is located in the region of Serra da Mantiqueira (Mantiqueira Mountain range) The city is one of the best destinations near Sao Paulo for adventurers, with a lot of ecotourism options such as tree climbing, rafting along the Peixe River, and a long zip line, among many others.

The Angel’s Cave is also another great attraction, where you can enter the cave by a little pedal boat and enjoy the crystal clear waters. You also have the option to rappel inside the cave. This was my first time, and it was really amazing. 

Socorro also has great options for hiking and trails, such as the Pedra da Boa Vista, which is 1,300 meters high and attracts practitioners of trekking, rappeling, and flight with a paraglider. Another highlight in Socorro is the opportunity to taste the traditional country cuisine by tasting dishes that use ingredients produced on local farms.

6. BROTAS: The capital of river adventures in the State of Sao Paulo

  • Highlight: Rafting on the river/water sports
  • Distance from São Paulo: 250 km / 155 miles
  • How to get: Rodovia dos Bandeirantes (SP-348) and go to the junction with Washington Luiz (SP-310). Follow it until Itirapina’s cloverleaf and turn left at Rodovia Eng. Paulo Nilo Romano (SP-225)
  • BEST TOUR: Rafting Elite at Rio Jacare
Brotas is one of the Brazil highlights

This is a perfect day trip from Sao Paulo if you love adventure! Brotas is one of the highlights of Brazil for water sports! 

Brotas offers incredible white water rafting, going down waterfalls by rappel, and crossing valleys in zip lines that seem to have no end.

But Brotas does not live only on water, the city can be enjoyed either from the sky, on giant zip lines, or on ultralight flights. Or with adventures on the ground, on quads, horseback riding, or hiking (which can be combined with tree climbing).

Another great place to visit is the Centro de Estudos do Universo (Universe Center of Studies), to observe the stars in one of the giant telescopes. Or visit the Bairro do Patrimônio, with great options of waterfalls and natural pools, where you can relax and swim.

7. EMBU DAS ARTES: Best day trip from Sao Paulo for shopping

  • Highlight: Local art/ Antique shops and galleries
  • Distance from São Paulo: 30 km / 18.6 miles
  • How to get: Régis Bittencourt Highway (BR-116), with access from Marginal Pinheiros, by Raposo Tavares/Rodoanel
  • BEST TOUR: Historic Towns of Embu Das Arts, Galleries, Artisan Shops, Handicraft
Embu das Artes a side trip from Sao Paulo

Embu das Artes is a very easy day trip from São Paulo, making it a great option if you only have one day to get out of the crazy city, explore some of the local art, and walk around in a quitter area.

A little over 30 kilometers from São Paulo, Embu das Artes attracts many tourists because of its handicrafts and street art market, which brings together almost 800 exhibitors with paintings, handicraft pieces, furniture, leather, and fabric products, among many other items.

The street market takes place every weekend and holiday, from 9 am to 6 pm. Visit the historical city center, which offers restaurants, bars, workshops, rustic furniture stores, and art galleries. Check also the Francisco Rizzo Lake Park, if you like nature, the Jesuit Museum of Sacred Art, for a more historical tour, or the City of Bees, a great place to entertain children.

8. BOITUVA: A perfect day trip for extreme sports

  • Highlight: Parachuting / Air Balloon
  • Distance from São Paulo: 100 km / 62 miles
  • How to get: The access is through km 116 of Rodovia Castelo Branco (SP-280) in the clover Boituva-Iperó
  • BEST TOUR: Skydive in Boituva
Boituva is a great day trip from Sao Paulo is you love adventure

Boituva is a great option for a side trip from Sao Paulo, with less than two hours of driving, and it is a destination for those seeking extreme sports.

Boituva is known as the capital of parachuting in Brazil, and it has a center for the practice of the sport with complete infrastructure and highly qualified instructors, with a total of sixteen schools that offer the tour.

If you are looking for an activity to do with a family, you can go fishing at the Hotel Boitupesca. If you are a Cachaça (Brazilian rum) lover, you will want to visit the Fazenda do Pinhal, where the local famous Três Coronéis cachaça is produced.

9. GUARUJA: One of the best Sao Paulo beaches

  • Highlight: Beautiful beaches / surfing/ trails
  • Distance from São Paulo: 73 km / 45.3 miles
  • How to get: Leaving São Paulo, enter the Anchieta-Imigrantes system, go down the mountain range and take the exit to Piaçaguera-Guarujá Highway (Rodovia Cônego Domênico Rangoni), from a junction of the Anchieta Highway in the city of Cubatão.
  • BEST TOUR: Day Trip Tour from Sao Paulo to Guaruja

I highly recommend this side trip from São Paulo as Guaruja is really close and a beautiful place to explore.

Guaruja has great options for restaurants, bars, hotels, and shopping centers. It is considered one of the best Sao Paulo beach towns, with 23 stunning beaches for swimming, tanning, or surfing.

The best beaches are Pitangueiras, Asturias, Enseada and Pernambuco beaches.

But if the idea is to escape from the crowds, go to beaches like Camburi, Branca, and Iporanga. The access is controlled by the condominiums at km 17.5 of the road to Bertioga.

Guarujá also offers ecotourism activities, such as trekking, cycling, rappelling, and paragliding. For the ones who prefer to walk and see gorgeous views, there are trails of several levels that take you to enchanting observatories and beaches. You can also practice climbing, surfing, and hiking.

10. SANTOS: The closest ocean city to Sao Paulo with amazing history

  • Highlight: Beach/ Cultural tour
  • Distance from São Paulo: 79 km / 80 miles
  • How to get: From São Paulo, there are two options to go down the mountain by car: Rodovia Anchieta (SP-150) and Imigrantes (SP-160)
  • BEST TOUR: Day Trip Tour from Sao Paulo to Santos
Santos is one of the sao paulo beaches and a great side trip from Sao Paulo

I just love the city of Santos, and it is located very close to Guaruja, making it possible to visit both on the same day.

Santos is just a short drive from Sao Paulo, and it is a great getaway from the big city. Enjoy the ocean breeze, go for a swim, or try some fresh fruit juice while you tan and enjoy the views.

Santos is one of the oldest cities in Brazil with a beautiful historic city center. Santos also has the largest port in Latin America. One of the highlights is the largest beach garden in the world, even registered in the Book of Records, with 5,335 meters long, full of flowers and 1,700 trees.

If you go visit Santos, wander the streets of the historic center on foot or by tram.  Also get to know the Municipal Aquarium, the Porto Museum,  and the Official Coffee Exchange, which gathers in an imposing building, with panels and stained-glass windows by Benedito Calixto, a cafeteria, and a museum.

Another must-visit, while you are in Santos, is the Pelé Museum, a four-story building that tells the history of the Brazilian and of course, the story of the world soccer legend.

11. HOLAMBRA: The Little Piece Of the Netherlands in Brazil

  • Highlight: Flowers farms/ Flower festivals
  • Distance from São Paulo: 130 km / 81 miles
  • How to get: Anhanguera Highway up to Km 86. On Highway SP-340, which connects Campinas to Mogi MIrim, there will be signs indicating Holambra.
  • BEST TOUR: Flowers and Windmill
Holambra is a great places to visit in Brazil and it makes a great side trip from Sao Paulo

Known as the City of Flowers for being among the largest producers in Brazil, Holambra is a super charming destination, a great side trip from Sao Paulo.

The city has strong characteristics of regions of Europe and is a great destination for couples and families. Holambra was officially founded in 1991, with very strong European influences, mainly Dutch and German. The charming city has only 12,000 inhabitants, and with one of the highest Human Development Index in Brazil.

One of the most visited tourist points of the city is the United Peoples Mill, to celebrate the 60 years of Dutch immigration to Brazil. There, it is possible to observe the construction closely, visit its 5 floors, and learn how the place was built, with the highest mill in Brazil.

12. ELDORADO: Explore amazing caves just as a side trip from Sao Paulo

  • Highlight: Caves exploration
  • Distance from São Paulo: 300 km/ 186 miles
  • How to get: Régis Bittencourt Highway (BR-116), exit 475, in Jacupiranga city, where there is a sign indicating “Devil’s Cave”
A great day trip from Sao Paulo

Eldorado city developed because of the search for gold in the colonial period and is currently the fourth largest city in the state of São Paulo. Recognized as a tourist resort, Eldorado has natural beauties that were discovered little by little, such as the Caverna do Diabo (Devil’s Cave), one of the highlights in Brazil.

To visit the Devil’s Cave it is mandatory to have a Local Environmental Monitor. Every 12 visitors need 1 monitor which can be hired directly from the local association of monitors.

The Alto Ribeira State Park is considered one of the most important Conservation Units in the world. It shelters the largest portion of preserved Atlantic Forest in Brazil and more than 300 caves. It is considered today a World Heritage Site, recognized by UNESCO.

You can also visit the waterfall of Meu Deus (My God), which is at the peak of a trail, an amazing place to visit especially during a hot day.

13. ATIBAIA: The best Sao Paulo day trip to enjoy outdoors adventure

  • Highlight: Paraglider / Hiking
  • Distance from São Paulo: 65 km / 40 miles
  • How to get: From Sao Paulo, take the Rodovia Fernão Dias and follow the signs to Atibaia
  • BEST TOUR: 4WD One day adventure tour visiting Atibaia
Atibaia is a great vacation Brazil

Atibaia is a short drive from Sao Paulo and a perfect option if you are looking to enjoy nature and the outdoors, such as many options for trails and hiking.

Atibaia has many options for adventure sports, especially during the weekend. The famous Morro da Pedra Grande (Pedra Grande hill) attracts thousands of travelers who want to fly by paraglider, and besides a lot of adrenaline, also have the opportunity to observe the city and the Itapetininga Mountain Range from above.

The rocky formation is 1,418m high, with an area of 200 thousand m². It is possible to reach the top by car, despite the steep, slippery, and very challenging road.

If you prefer, you can go on one of the trails, with about 2h30 to reach the top – it is 2km of the walk and 800m of climb In the city center of Atibaia, there is Lake Major where you can find a large variety of options for restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

14. CABREUVA: Great Sao Paulo day trip for peace and meditation

  • Highlight: Meditation Center/ Buddhist Temple
  • Distance from São Paulo: 86 km /53 miles
  • How to get: SP-348 to exit 59, SP-300 (Dom Gabriel Paulino Bueno) take exit 84 and SPA-085/300 (Ver. José de Moraes)
A great Sao Paulo day trip

Cabreuva is a charming town and a piece of nature and calm without having to go very far from Sao Paulo, with great options for nature trails.

One of the highlights of the city is the Kadampa Meditation Center Brazil. This temple is a great option and a place to visit if you want to get to know more about the Buddhist culture, or even have a moment of silence in the middle of nature.

There are several free activities open to the public – lectures and one-day courses are on the list. Even if you’re not a Buddhist it’s a great place to visit and also get to know a little bit more about Buddhism.

I also recommend visiting the Fazenda Chocolate (Chocolate Farm) where you can visit a beautiful colonial-style farm, pet some of the animal farms, visit the local store with some amazing products from fresh homemade deserts and cachaça (Brazilian rum), and also enjoy a fresh coffee and have lunch in the local restaurant.

15. COTIA: Visit the Zu Lai Temple just a short day trip from Sao Paulo

  • Highlight: Buddhist Temple
  • Distance from São Paulo: 30 Km / 18.6 miles
  • How to get: Rodovia Raposo Tavares (SP-270), then take the exit toward Estrada Fernando Nobre around km 28.
  • BEST TOUR: 6 hours Buddhist temple tour
One of the best options for side trips from Sao Paulo

Cotia is a great day trip from São Paulo to enjoy a quiet visit to the Zu Lai Temple.  The Zu Lai Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in South America and will make you feel like you are in a film set with all its oriental architecture, Buddhist sculptures, and images, besides all the beauty of the monastery itself.

During your visit, you can enjoy a delicious meal at the vegetarian restaurant and visit the Buddhist Art Museum, a little souvenir shop.

Just below the monastery you can walk to the Japanese garden and take some time to enjoy the nature and tranquility of the place, the garden is all wooded, full of flowers, and a lake that completes the magical scenery.

The entrance is free and the place is a religious temple so you should pay attention to your clothing so as not to go dressed inappropriately. Besides the temple doesn’t allow any tripods or drones, and you are not allowed to take any pictures inside the temple.

Travel Insurance for your trip

I never leave my home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. Things can go wrong, and you don’t want to get stuck paying tons of money if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance. 

World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers. Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!

Day Trips from Sao Paulo Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best day trips from Sao Paulo!

São Paulo is among the 10 largest cities in the world and the largest city in Brazil – If you are visiting São Paulo for a lecture or for business, take advantage of the proximity to some amazing destinations and take one of the day trips from São Paulo.

Here I have listed 15 great destinations for a short day trip from São Paulo, that you choose from based on your preferences: From sipping wine at a local winery, going on an adventure sky diving, or white refitting at a river. Or if you prefer to just quiet your mind, visit one of the Buddhist temples just as a short day trip from São Paulo.

I recommend renting your own car or hiring one of the private tours to explore some amazing destinations just outside São Paulo and get to experience more of this amazing country, Brazil!

If you have any questions or suggestions, just leave me a comment below and I would love to get in touch with you.

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Day Trips from Sao Paulo

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6 thoughts on “15 Incredible Day Trips from São Paulo, Brazil (A local’s Guide)”

  1. Por estar inserida neste Estado maravilhoso, posso dizer com propriedade que tudo vale muito a pena, inclusive irá descobrir mais uma infinidade de coisas para fazer. Welcome to Brasil ??. Venha explorar…

  2. Obrigada Patricia – Sim, o Estado de Sao Paulo é tão diverso e vale muito a pena escapar da loucura da capital e se aventurar pelos arredores.

  3. Incrível saber a quantidade de coisas que tem para fazer tão pertinho de São Paulo, as always your blog is amazing and helpful ❤️

  4. Eu moro na cidade vizinha a São Paulo e achei as dicas ótimas e atualizadas. As sugestões de passeios são ótimas. Parabéns pelo artigo!

  5. Thank you my dear, it is true….tem lugares e uma variedade incrivel pertinho de Sao Paulo.

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