A view of the São Paulo skyline from a park, with a pond and a water fountain in the foreground.

Sao Paulo Guide

Tailor-made Itineraries by Local Experts
A view of the São Paulo skyline from a park, with a pond and a water fountain in the foreground.

Sao Paulo Guide

Tailor-made Itineraries by Local Experts

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Overview

São Paulo is the biggest city in South America, the economic heart of Brazil, and amongst the largest metropolises in the world. With a population that has grown to over 20 million (metropolitan area), São Paulo is predominantly a city of immigrants: millions of Italians arrived here in the 19th century, followed by a massive Japanese immigration wave. Smaller groups of Lebanese and Germans, among others, followed. In the second half of the 20th century, mass immigration from rural Brazil, mainly from the northeast, changed the demographic landscape of São Paulo drastically as people sought to escape the drought and poverty of the arid sertão. This ethnic diversity and industrial development has produced Brazil’s largest, most cultured, and best educated middle class.

Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge in Sao Paulo A cable-stayed bridge, also known as Ponte Estaiada, connects both sides of River Pinheiros in São Paulo.

Travelers in São Paulo will experience a dynamic city, with skyscrapers that spread all over the enormous metropolitan area, restaurants to suit the most extravagant tastes, and a nightlife that lasts until the sun rises.

Geography and Climate

São Paulo is located on the Brazilian highland plateau around 800 meters above sea level though only 70 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean. Towards the north of the city, higher elevations are prevalent with the Serra da Cantareira where the Atlantic rainforest also begins. The two rivers that run through the city – Tietê and its tributary Pinheiros – are now grossly contaminated although a clean-up project is currently underway. Broadleaf evergreens are the native trees to the area, and these have been supplemented by various non-native species, most notably the eucalyptus.

sao paolo weather guide

São Paulo has a humid sub-tropical climate meaning that temperatures are rarely scorching. It can be drenched with rain in the summer months (Dec-Mar). Its location on a plateau means that temperatures are usually moderate; they can drop below 15°C, although this is unusual.

Geography & Map

São Paulo is located in the Southeast Region of Brazil on a plateau beyond the Serra do Mar, about 70 km (43 mi) from Brazil's coast at the Atlantic Ocean.
It is the capital of the captaincy (state) of São Paulo, the most populous state in the country.


Elevation
760 m (2,493.4 ft)


City Population
12.33 million

map of sao paolo, brazil

Transportation

Getting To São Paulo

São Paulo hosts the busiest international airport of the country; most intercontinental flights depart and arrive at Guarulhus, to the north of the city. There is also an inner-city airport, Congonhas, with direct flights to most Brazilian destinations and short transfers to hotels.

From the main bus station, Rodoviaria Tiete, buses leave to many other destinations in Brazil and also to neighboring countries. To Rio de Janeiro (approximately 6 hours; operated by 3 different companies), buses leave at least every hour. Bus companies are well organized and offer various classes; the luxury class is a good alternative for short (expensive) trips.

Getting Around São Paulo

Travel on the roads of São Paulo can more often than not be hectic. Rush hours are usually from 8am-10am and between 6pm-8pm when the traffic becomes dreadful. Even outside of these hours traffic can easily be stalled by a minor accident or disruption.

Fortunately for the traveler, the major districts are linked by a modern, safe, and reliable subway system (the metrô). The only minor detail is that there aren't extensive number lines although it should be said that the main business district, the historical center, and the bus station are all connected making this a good service for visitors to São Paulo. These underground trains along with trolleybuses (EMTU) should be used as far as possible before resorting to travel by road. For information and timetables, travelers can check the SPTrans website (http://www.sptrans.com.br), which is a good resource for exploring all public transport options within the city.

Also, much of the center is pedestrianized, making walking the best way to explore the inner city districts.


History

The historical roots of São Paulo lie in the state of Bahia where Jesuit priests settled in the mid-1500s in an attempt to found schools to convert natives. However, with most of their early attempts here unsuccessful, they tried to spread the reach of their mission outside of the region.

Father José de Anchieta and his companion Father Nóbrega were among those who set out to find more suitable regions towards the south. They soon found the very spot: on a plateau between 2 rivers, the Tamanduatei and the Anhangabaú, just 35 miles from the Atlantic coast. Here, in 1554, they established the Colégio de São Paulo de Piratininga, a mission comprised of church and school with the purpose of converting the indigenous Tupi-Guarani group to Catholicism. This was the beginnings of what is now simply known as São Paulo (Saint Paul).

Interest in precious metals, stones, and potential Indian laborers in the region soon led to the increasing importance of São Paulo as a center of transport and communication in the area, with several important routes being forged from here into the interior of the continent. The town began to grow in size with increasing numbers of churches and schools being founded.

São Paulo received a further economic boost in the form of coffee. The land surrounding the city was ideal for growing the crop and with the introduction of African slaves, and later a railway, it soon flourished to become a major coffee producer for the world market.

Not long later, the city saw its first surge of mass European immigration when slavery was abolished in 1888. After this point a fresh wave of laborers were encouraged to work in the plantations and factories now ubiquitous within the city.

São Paulo was cemented as the financial heart of Brazil in the years following World War II when it became a hub for car manufacturing. Investments from Volkswagen, Ford, and General Motors – all of whom erected large auto manufacturing plants here – ensured the city’s place as Latin America’s car capital.

The modern financial district hosts the BOVESPA stock exchange which is the controlling financial center for industries throughout the country such as mining and agriculture. The huge market in São Paulo also attracts several multinational corporations and has led to a boom in the tertiary sector. These factors have led to the rapid modernization of the city with huge skyscrapers, cultural institutions, and entertainment centers burgeoning around the financial district and Paulista Avenue. São Paulo has also expanded geographically outwards with more people being attracted by wealth in the city.



Attractions and Activities

The Monastery of São Bento (Saint Benedict) is a mandatory stop for those interested in the city’s history, as it is known for its outstanding 17th century architecture. It was restored in the early 1900s in a more Germanic architectural style. It is now home to around 40 cloistered monks who follow the routine of work and prayer. For a truly sacred experience, visitors should attend one of the daily masses, particularly the traditional Sunday mass. There is a delightful little gift shop selling various treats such as bread, jam, cakes, and cookies. Visitors can also relax in the café São Bento and take time to admire the architecture of the building.

The Viaduto do Chá (Tea Bridge) is a wide and long viaduct was the first to be built in the city and inaugurated in 1892. It is named for the large crop of Indian tea that was cultivated in the Vale do Anhangabaú district of the city’s central zone in which the viaduct is located. In 1938 the old wooden foundations of the viaduct were destroyed in order to make way for a new, wider structure of concrete and metal. Today it is a key artery in the city center, linking what was previously considered to be downtown (Rua Directa) with the now more significant area of Rua Barão de Itapetininga. It is lined with street vendors selling various trinkets.

Beneath the Viaduct is the Parque Anhangabaú, a pretty and verdant park in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the center. The oldest parts of the city (Centro Velho) can be found located in proximity to Anhangabaú. Amongst the sites here is the Praça da Sé, which is a wide open plaza containing the magnificent Catedral Metropolitana. Although the current cathedral building dates to 1954, the site has hosted various churches dating back to the foundation of the city. The enormous gothic-style building can hold a congregation of 8,000 people and provides a most peaceful and thought provoking experience.

São Paolo Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis, a baroque style church in front of a blue sky

The São Paulo Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis, originally built in 1647 and renovated a century later, is one of the few physical remnants of the Portuguese empire that remains standing. This baroque style church is actually home to 2 separate religious institutions; one is run by the Catholic Church whereas the other is controlled strictly by laypeople. The churches play an important role in the community, organizing fundraising events to help to support the poor with food. It is open from 7am to 7pm, and although entry is free, donations are always welcome to help with church restoration and to support church projects.

The tall BANESPA building surrounded by palm trees

Moving away from the historical center of the city, the central business districts are always worth a peek; apart from anything else, the view from the 34th floor of the BANESPA building gives an amazing view of the city which spreads underneath your gaze like a vast carpet of roads and white buildings (São Paulo covers an area roughly 3 times the size of Paris). There is a museum also located at the top of what was – at 160 meters – the highest building in the city for decades. Nearby, visitors can also see the globally-influential BOVESPA Stock Exchange in action whilst perhaps even checking up on their portfolios.


Museums

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) is a wonderfully modern and famous collection of fine art on Paulista Avenue (No. 1578) held in a gallery with striking geometrical architecture. It has a fascinating collection of over 8,000 works by predominantly European artists of great fame (Rembrandt, Monet, Renoir, Picasso, and Van Gogh to name but a few!) alongside a significant handful of Brazilian pieces as well. The sheer quality and variety of the extraordinary works on display mean that many consider this to be the most important collection of western art in Latin America and the Southern Hemisphere. www.masp.art.br

A couple holding hands while walking down an alley filled with street art in Sao Paolo

For a more traditional look at Brazilian art, travelers should check out the Pinacoteca do Estado museum. This is a tasteful and broad retrospective of art in the country over the last 2 centuries with more than 6,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, photographs, and tapestries adorning the walls. Jose Almeida Junior, Cândido Portinari, Oscar Pereira Da Silva, Emilio di Cavalcanti, Lasar Segall, and Anna Maria Maiolini are just a few of the famous artists who have work on display here. The architecture of the building is also splendid: a 19th century mansion with smart perpendicular edges built from rich brown bricks.

One of the 3 important museums at Parque Do Ibirapuera (Portao 3, Avenida Pedro Alvares Cabral), the Museu de Arte Moderna is a great space for some of the more modern artwork produced in Brazil; the 2,000-painting collection dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. Their mission is to "collect, study, encourage and diffuse contemporary and modern Brazilian Art, making it accessible to the greatest number of people possible;" well worth a visit for travelers at Ibirapuera.

Bienal Internacional de Arte de São Paulo is another of the museums at Ibirapuera Park designed by acclaimed architect Oscar Niemeyer. This is a wide open and modern space at the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion that is crafted from concrete, steel, and glass into a swish, smooth, and energetic interior of flowing curves. Italian-Brazilian Ciccillo Matarazzo was the founder of the show that started in 1951 and has taken place biannually ever since. The São Paulo Art Biennial is renowned for hosting cutting edge shows of famous International and Brazilian art. The rotating curators of the show are instrumental in ensuring that the art scene in São Paulo remains fresh and internationally recognized.

A visit to the Museu da Imigracãno Japonesa (Museum of Japanese Immigration) in Bairro Liberdade is a great way to explore the strong influence that Japanese people have had on the city and country throughout recent history.


Shopping

The Mercado Municipal is the main food market in the city and a must-see (and -taste) for those interested in sampling some fresh and gourmet regional produce. It was opened in 1932 and is adorned with stained glass windows and steel girders in all directions. Colorful and fresh produce burst from over 300 stands that are manned by Paulistas some of whom have been involved with the market for decades. The best way to experience the market is to try a little of everything: go and sample the fruits fresh from the Amazon, feast on a giant sandwich of mortadela and cheese, and chill out with a refreshing glass of beer from the tap. The Hocca Bar and Bar do Mané, among others, make the perfect setting where the buzzing atmosphere can be absorbed.

Shopping Iguatemi in Jardins is a favorite shopping mall amongst locals of the city. It is a comfortable, cozy, and secure mall maintaining elegance and sophistication. Many famous brands can be found here and there are ample restaurants in a packed food court.

A fairly leisurely stroll can also be had down the leafy Rua Oscar Freire in Jardims. This is one of the great commercial centers of Latin America with shops ranging from internationally renowned Louis Vuitton and Armani to Brazilian fashion giants such as Alexandre Herchcovitch and Forum.


Food and Drink

Brazilians say that eating is the reason for which Paulistas live and work, in probable reference to the delicious cuisine in the city which rivals any capital in the world. The immigrant influences have fuelled a fusion culture, with Japanese, Arabic (particularly Lebanese), and Italian cuisine all adding to traditional and regional Brazilian fare.

A bowl of feijoada stew, one of Brazil's most iconic dishes, with some small bowls of toppings

Sao Paulo Restaurants

Antiquarius, Alameda Lorena 1884 – $35-$60 – Tel: +55 (11) 3064 8686

Antiquarias is often rated as the best restaurant in town with elegant artistic and antiquarian decor making a refined setting for sumptuous Portuguese cuisine. Some dishes served here, such as the cataplana (rich seafood and pork stew), are difficult to find outside of Portugal, yet here the care and expertise that goes into the preparation would rival the best restaurants in the parent country. There are even traditional dishes, such as bacalhau (cod), that were relished in Portugal long before Brazil became a part of its empire. This is a well-known haunt for business lunches though the mix of customers is more varied in the evening.

Brasil a Gosto, Rua Prof. Azevedo de Amaral 70 – Tel: +55 (11) 3086 3565

This wonderful restaurant is inspired by the various flavors and recipes that Brazil has to offer – “the exuberance of its meat and fish, the sweetness of its desserts, the acidity of its passion fruit and star fruit, the softness of manioc and bananas, and the zest of its peppers and ginger” can all be found in generous supply here. The colorful and natural wooden tones make a most relaxing atmosphere to enjoy this exploration of Brazil and the vibrant color and history of its cuisine.
http://www.brasilagosto.com.br

Figueira Rubaiyat, Rua Haddock Lobo 1738 – $20-$40 – Tel: +55 (11) 3087 1399

This fabulous old restaurant is built around the branches of a fig tree giving a magical touch to any meal here. No less magical is the succulent flavor of the meat served, particularly the beef which is considered the specialty and is raised in the owner’s own personal ranch. The subtle balance of colors and flavors is excellently achieved to create a masterpiece for every meal, finished off by good service in a unique atmosphere.
http://www.rubaiyat.com.br

Mestiço, Rua Fernando de Albuquerque 277 – $10-$20 – Tel: +55 (11) 3256 3165

The 2 chefs in this restaurant blend their culinary traditions from Bahia and Thailand to bring visitors something truly special. The menu offers a range of foods with different influences giving the dishes a variety of different flavors—rich and flavorsome Bahian black beans alongside combinations of Thai spices. All of this is packed into a natural wooden interior with exotic and tropical décor such as tribal masks. Great value for money and excellent service—no wonder it is always filled with people.
http://www.mestico.com.br

Due Cuochi Cucina – $15-$20 Rua Manuel Guedes, 93 – Tel: +55 (11) 3078 8092 3 Piso, Avenida Magalhães de Castro 12.000 – Tel: +55 (11) 3758 2731

Paulistanos are always most enthusiastic about the quality of Italian food to be found at the bistro Due Cuochi Cucina, and they’re not wrong! This is world-class Italian food and those who are skeptical just have to take one bite of the creamy risotto and crunchy vegetables, a sip of fine Italian wine, or a spoonful of soft tiramisu to be utterly convinced of its authenticity. The ingredients are inspired and the prices are very reasonable compared to other Italian options. Reservations should be made as this restaurant is very popular, especially on weekends.
http://www.duecuochi.com.br

La Tambouille, Avenida 9 de Julho 5925, Jardim Europa – Tel: +55 (11) 3079-6277 / 3079-6276

Chef Giancarlo Bolla blends Italian and French cuisine to excellent effect to produce some of the most delicious and high-class food in town. Seafood selections are on the regularly changing menu options amongst which are some simply stupendous mussels with linguini – not to be missed. Along with seafood there are very good meat options such as fillet of lamb in wine sauce with potato au gratin. The wine list, as the food, is also exquisite, with Argentinean Malbec a top pick.

Nagayama, Rua Bandeira Paulista, 369 – Tel: +55 (11) 3079 7553

Perhaps the best Japanese food in town, Nagayama never fails to give guests a taste of the Japanese culture that flows through the city. Sushi and sashimi are the excellent specialties here and they can be enjoyed in a casual and friendly atmosphere. There are a number of experimental dishes also on offer with the chefs mixing Japanese ideas with other influences from around the city.
http://www.nagayama.com.br


Hotels

There is virtually an unlimited amount of hotels in São Paulo; all imaginable accommodation is available. Hotels usually fill up during the week; congresses and professionals ensure that the hotel industry is chiefly focused towards business travel. The best areas for leisure accommodation are in the Jardins (especially around the Avenida Paulista) district and the old center.

A large bed in a spacious modern room at the Intercity Interactive Jardins hotel in Sao Paolo

5 star

Overlooking the lush green Parque do Ibirapuera, the exquisite Sofitel is near the Ibirapuera shopping center and the Modern Art Museum. Stylish rooms offer state-of-the-art technology, wireless Internet, voicemail, and fax solutions. The array of French and international dishes will satisfy your palette, while the tranquil spa is at your disposal for the utmost in relaxation. Excellent service makes your stay at the Sofitel an unforgettable experience.

4 star

Offering cozy accommodation and convenient facilities, the Estanplaza Paulista Hotel is a perfect place for travelers. The hotel is located near the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) and theaters, as well as the subway station, dining, shopping, and entertainment venues. The elegant hotel is decorated in modern Brazilian style and features 120 rooms and suites with balconies and full amenities. An on-site restaurant offers outdoor seating and a delectable menu. In addition, there is a lounge bar where you can enjoy drinks and snacks. A swimming pool, sauna, and gymnasium are also available for your enjoyment.

3 star

The Tulip Inn Interative Hotel is located near the main financial and business center of São Paulo and a 15-minute drive from Congonhas Airport with a vast selection of shops, bars, restaurants, and cultural activities nearby. Its 123 rooms are well-equipped with cable TV, air conditioning, electronic safe deposit box, telephone with voicemail, high speed Internet access, minibar, pantry bar, and a work table with a desk lamp. Suites also feature a Jacuzzi and outside patios. Additionally, the hotel restaurant serves international food along with local flavors.

Consider staying at a number of other excellent Sao Paulo hotels as well by contacting one of the expert travel advisors at Brazil For Less today.


Nightlife

São Paulo offers a thriving and delectable nightlife that is sure to suit any possible taste and preference. The offerings are quite spread out although clustered within the different neighborhoods and the best boate or boites (nightclub/s) to go out to change with regularity. Check a local newspaper to see what’s going on when you’re in town. A good place to look to keep up to pace with the pulse is Veja magazine’s “Veja São Paulo” Sunday supplement or the newspaper Estado de Hoje.

An array of food plates and cocktails at a popular bar in São Paolo

Sao Paulo Nightlife Districts

Moema Itaim and Vila Olimpia have slick street-side bars, designer restaurants, and European-style dance clubs that make these sophisticated and chic parts of town fantastic places to go out at night.

A little more rustic but no less jumping at night are the districts of Pinheiros and Vila Madalena. Travelers can discover all different sorts of bars and restaurants with vibrant live music and an interesting mix of artistic people.

Sao Paulo Nightlife Venues

For a taste of live music, the Bourbon Street Music Club in Moema (Rua dos Chanes 127) is living and breathing with live tunes. This venue was inaugurated by BB King himself and hosts some smooth jazz and blues bands on a regular basis.
http://www.bourbonstreet.com.br

For a little Latin dancing, Azucar in Itaim Bibi (Rua Mario Feraz 423) will keep you on your toes. This spicy Cuban number pumps out some salsa and merengue rhythms to a dynamic crowd. Doors open from 7pm on weeknights but starts to heat up at 1am.
http://www.azucar.com.br

Bar Brahma in the center (Av. São João 677) is definitely one of the city’s more cultured watering holes—it has long been a meeting spot for artists, intellectuals, businessmen, and politicians. This bar is a great place for a chat into the wee hours accompanied with a nice cold chopp (beer on tap) with gorgeous interiors of wood and bronze.

Deep in the business district, Manga Rosa is a blast for those into hard-thumping electronic music. A range of house, trance, and techno sets are played by national and international DJs – the house DJs are especially good. The venue usually heats up around 1 or 2am.

Look up to Skye Bar for a clean and classy club experience. This smart venue is on top of the trendy Unique hotel (Av. Brigadeiro Luiz Antonio, 4700) and has a spectacular sweeping view of the city’s seemingly endless twinkling street lights. There is a very nice lounge and restaurant to share a drink with the eclectic group that converges here. Dress code not over-the-top, but dress smart.

Those travelers nostalgic for a typical European bar should head to Republic Pub. This venue is in the style of an English pub and serves various imported beers, beer on tap, and excellent Scotch whiskey among a varied menu of liquor. The décor stays true to warm English ambience and there is live music to complete a relaxing and friendly atmosphere.
http://www.republicpub.com.br


Cultural Calendar

São Paulo is a globalized city hosting a multitude of cultural events every year. There is thought to be as many as 90,000 events held in the city every year ranging from corporate business functions to trade fairs to music concerts to art exhibitions—the list is extensive and ensures that there will always be something happening for travelers to see. Up-to-the-minute listings can be found in various locations and publications such the Agenda Cultural de São Paulo (São Paulo's Cultural Calendar) and City of Sao Paulo website. Below are some of the most significant cultural events that take place in the city.

Three Carnival dancers dressed in extravagant clothing smile while taking a selfie

January:

Foundation of the City

São Paulo Fashion Week (January – Fall Collection/ June – Spring Collection) ranks alongside London, Paris, New York, and Milan as one of the most significant fashion weeks in the world. Originally established in 1996 as Morumbi Fashion Brazil, this has become the most significant fashion circuit in Latin America with many Brazilian fashion models increasing in international accolade. The event is also marked by various social campaigns such as campaigns against hunger, AIDS, and other issues affecting those less fortunate in the city.

February:

Carnival is celebrated in São Paulo with samba groups parading at the Sambódromo do Anhembi (Anhembi Sambadrome). Many São Paulo samba schools showcase their best talents, and there are also visits from the best schools of Rio de Janeiro.

March/April:

The Electronic Language International Festival is a non-profit series of exhibitions, seminars, debates, and courses aimed at developing and distributing electronic arts, technologies, and scientific research. The festival brings a range of different electronic artists to São Paulo to exhibit an array of innovative electronic artwork. Mediums include CD-ROM, Internet, and VJs whose works are displayed in exhibitions, installations, and performances. Each event has its own distinct theme and attracts artists from across Brazil and the world.
http://www.filefestival.org

May/June:

The March for Jesus parade is organized by the Evangelical Reborn in Christ Church and takes place every Corpus Christi Thursday in Zona Norte. This is a global celebration of the Eucharist – the body and blood of Jesus Christ – and an important part of Catholic worship. During the event, millions from across Brazil and the world descend on São Paulo to march through the city while enjoying the music of dozens of Christian bands.

June:

The Annual São Paulo Gay Parade is now the biggest gay parade in the world in terms of attendance after overtaking more established parades in San Francisco, New York, and Sydney – the 2008 parade saw 5 million people troop down Paulista Avenue. The parade aims to bring visibility to social discrimination against homosexuals, bisexuals, transvestites, and transsexuals, and strives to promote equality for these groups.
http://www.gaypridebrazil.org

October/November:

The São Paulo Art Bienal (see Museums section) is the most important art event in the city: close to one million people attended the 2004 Biennial. It is held every 2 years from October to December.

The São Paulo International Film Festival has been held annually in São Paulo since 1976. Along with its counterparts in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, it is an important celebration of Brazilian and international filmmaking featuring several awards in various different categories.
http://35.mostra.org


Sports

As with any part of Latin America, football (soccer) is the most popular sport in São Paulo. The big derby match in the city is between Palmeiras and Corinthians. “The Derby” was created in 1914 when a group of Italians who played for the Corinthians decided to break off and form their own football team, dividing the fans between the 2 clubs. The clubs can play several times a year depending on the number of tournaments in which they are both competing. Anyone making a trip to the match, usually held at São Paulo’s biggest stadium Estádio de Morumbi, should always take utmost care and not bring any valuable belongings.

The São Paulo Formula One Grand Prix is the only race on the annual Formula One circuit to be held in Latin America. Enthusiasts should head down to the Velodromo to experience some invigorating high-speed motor sports. Tickets should be bought well in advance as this event is hugely popular and sells out quickly.


Health and Safety

It is best to drink bottled water while traveling in São Paulo as with anywhere in South America to prevent contracting any harmful parasites or water-borne illnesses. If no bottled water is available, be sure to travel with water purification tablets or boil water for 15 minutes to eliminate any harmful bacteria.

Travelers should be wary of thieves in São Paulo as with any city large or small in South America and the world. Some choose to deploy the usual tricks against tourists, creating a distraction while an accomplice robs an unattended bag or slips a hand into your pocket.

When traveling at night, the safest form of transport is by taxi though travelers are advised to keep even this to a minimum.

As a general rule, only those who have a compassionate interest in the poorer and darker side of São Paulo should even consider entering the favelas – even then, they should contact an organization with experience and knowledge in visiting these deeply impoverished slum towns.

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