Source: Rodrigo Soldon
Along the southern coast of Sao Paulo lies Sao Vicente, a small scenic city rich in culture and natural beauty. It is considered one of the oldest cities in Brazil and has an ancient Portuguese history. Though the heritage has gradually succumbed to time, but the beautiful beaches and lively lifestyle make it a great destination for a short trip.
1. Explore Porchat Island
Source: Diego Torres Silvestre
The most scenic and a tourist favorite in Sao Vicente is the Porchat Island. It offers breathtaking views from different angles of the three cities in Sao Paulo – Sao Vicente, Santos and Praia Grande. A short hike to the Oscar Niemeyer Lookout point is worth the journey. You can ride a bike or car, and take a local guide to explore the beauties of the island.
2. Evening Stroll on Ponte Pensil Suspension Bridge
One of the most historical bridges in Brazil, Ponte Pensil suspension bridge is a landmark of Sao Vicente. An evening stroll can last from 15 mins to hours depending on your interests. Photographers can click to their hearts content. You can just walk along, enjoy the nature, the jet-ski below and watch the world go by. Afterwards, take look at the adjacent park, sit on a bench and watch sunset.
3. Family picnic at Itarare Beach
The best beach in Sao Vicente has a lot to offer. Clean with plenty of protection, it is a safe place for families with kids. The best time to visit the beach is during summer when you can have a picnic or enjoy the sun and sand. Plenty of kiosks and food trucks line line along the road. The beach is conveniently located with a quiet location but near urban markets.
4. Historic indulgence at Biquinha de Anchieta
It is a historic site that has stood strong through the sands of time. A statue of Jesuit José de Anchieta and a fountain is the attraction here. Though the place lacks maintenance, yet the thriving market near the location make it a good visit. You can get a taste of the fading history in the city of Sao Vicente.
5. A museum adventure – Museu Joias das Natureza
No trip is ever complete without a visit to a museum. Museu Joias is a nature museum with numerous rock samples, minerals, and fossils from different periods of history. Though the location is a bit out of town (about an hour from central Sao Vicente), but the rich collection makes it a top spot. Also, fishes and even a Sea lion are featured in the attractions.
6. Ecological Park – Parque Ecologico Voturua
Several species of birds and animals, coupled with natural beauty make this park top choices for families and kids. Even adults will enjoy the place, a good place to spend time and connect with nature. A wide variety of animals like monkeys, lions, hippos , and birds like parrots, macaws and much more are present in the park.
7. Hike to Itaquitanduva Beach
This hike is not for the faint of heart. The beach is naturally preserved, without any commercial interference and the trail of the hike is challenging, if not dangerous. To reach the beach, you have to have a trail through a state park and it is strongly advised to take a guide. As it is a native beach, many uneventful stories have been rumored about the hike. However, a scenic secluded beach preserved in the lap of nature is something not to be missed.
8. Parasailing and Paragliding
Adventure junkies don’t be disappointed. With a handful of beaches in the city, parasailing and paragliding are two sought after adventure sports in Sao Vicente. Available at quite affordable prices, the sight for activities is Sao Vicente-Santos – Morro do Itarare . Enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity and soak in the adrenaline rush.
9. Dinner at Terraco Chopp
Enjoying panoramic views of the bay of Saint Vincent, this lovely restaurant on Porchat Island is a must stop for lunch or dinner. Standing strong for more than 40 years, the traditional restaurant offers Brazilian, seafood, and international cuisine, with drinks, live music and more. Different parties and events are often organized and during weekends it’s a rush to get a seat. Price is slightly on the higher side, but the mesmerizing location coupled with good food makes up for the price.
10. Shopping at Brisamar
One of the go-to shopping malls in Sao Vicente is Brisamar. Whether you are willing to watch a movie, or go for lunch, or simply shop around, Brisamar is your go to place. The mall has 130 shops covering almost everything, from clothing , jewelry, souvenirs to family restaurants. There is also a gaming zone for kids. Prices are similar to contemporary standard malls, and the product quality is reliable.
The bustling city of Sao Vicente is enriched with exotic culture, glimpses of history and is gifted with natural decadence. Festivals, music and dance parties and carnival happen all around the year. The city is family friendly and is an ideal gateway for a weekend trip from Sao Paulo.
Have a good trip and travel!