Things to do in Sao Paulo

Test your swing on São Paulo's fairways

São Paulo has several top-draw golf courses and as metropolitan as the city is, be assured your wayward shot won’t ping off a skyscraper. Golfers don’t have to travel too far to find well-manicured greens and fairways; tee off at São Paulo Golf Club (+55 11 5525 9255; www.spgc.com.br) just south of the city centre.

Put some wind in your sails

If the city’s toxic rivers haven’t put you off water, put some wind in your sails at the refreshingly pure Guarapiranga Reservoir - it’s easy to see why it’s a popular weekend destination for Paulistanos. Watersport schools, such as Pera Náutica (+55 11 5524 3553; www.peranautica.com.br), rent equipment and run classes in sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.

Saddle up and see São Paulo

If cycling in São Paulo sounds like an accident in waiting, think again as the city is making positive strides to open cycle routes. Two-wheel adventurers should get onboard with Sampa Bikers cycling association (+55 11 5517 7733; www.sampabikers.com.br). Besides renting bicycles, it also organises city and park tour rides plus excursions outside São Paulo.

Put your foot down at Interlagos

Satisfy a craving for speed and follow in the hallowed tyre treads of Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna because F1 circuit Interlagos (+55 11 5666 8822; www.autodromointerlagos.com) is not out-of-bounds for mere mortals. At a cost, lessons and drives with professional tuition can be arranged in sports cars, power bikes, and karts, at the refurbished track.

Hike through the city's rainforest

Wild toucans and howler monkeys within metropolitan São Paulo may sound fanciful, but just 10km (6 miles) north is one of world’s largest urban rainforests: Serra Cantareira State Park. These 7,916 hectares (19,560 acres) of tropical reserve have well-marked hiking trails plus stunning views back toward São Paulo’s concrete jungle.