Things to do in Sao Paulo

Golf

Lusty drives with a three-iron won’t ping off skyscrapers because metropolitan São Paulo has space for several top-draw golf courses. Golfers don’t have to travel too far out of the centre to find well-manicured greens and fairways. The 18-hole São Paulo Golf Club lies just south of the city centre and was founded by British engineers in the early 1900s.

Tel: (11) 5521 9255.
Website: www.spgc.com.br

Sailing

If the city’s toxic rivers haven’t put you off water, put some wind in your sails at the refreshingly pure Guarapiranga Reservoir - a popular weekend destination for Paulistanos. Watersport schools, such as Pera Náutica, rent equipment and instruct in sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.

Tel: (11) 5524 3553.
Website: www.peranautica.com.br

Running

Joggers frequent Ibirapuera Park daily but if you want to get a little more competitive, the city hosts several well-attended long-distance races. Each May or June the São Paulo international marathon attracts world-class and fun runners alike. Then every New Year’s Eve, and held since 1915, the Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre street race witnesses 20,000 amateurs pounding the 15km (9.3 miles) city course.

Website: www.saosilvestre.com.br

Cycling

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 contact Sampa Bikers cycling association (Rua Diego Suarez 253, Praia Azul). Besides renting bicycles, it also organises city and park tour rides plus excursions outside São Paulo.

Tel: (11) 5517 7733.
Website: www.sampabikers.com.br

Racing driving

Satisfy a craving for speed and follow in the hallowed tyre treads of Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna as F1 circuit Interlagos 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.

Tel: (11) 5666 8822.
Website: www.autodromointerlagos.com

Hiking

Wild toucans and howler monkeys within metropolitan São Paulo may sound fanciful. Yet 10km (6 miles) north of downtown is one of world’s largest urban rainforests: Serra Cantareira State Park. These 7,916 hectares (19,560 acres) of tropical rainforest reserve have well-marked hiking trails through rosewood and pink cedar trees, plus stunning views back toward São Paulo’s concrete jungle. Exotic birdlife includes brassy-breasted tanagers. Outside school holidays, the park’s trails only open at weekends. Brazil International Adventure run guided hikes to the park in English.

Tel: (11) 7355 2054.
Website: www.brazadv.com

Watch soccer

The atmosphere inside the stadiums of São Paulo’s Brazilian Serie A teams is raucous and exhilarating particularly during evening kick-offs. Team like Palmeiras and São Paulo have great history but pick of the bunch for their 1940s stadium at Pacaembu is the mighty Corinthians (www.corinthians.com.br). Futebol Tour can arrange tickets to all games.

Edited by Tina Banerjee
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