Welcome to Brazil!
São Paulo is one of the largest cities in the world, with over 18 million people in its metropolitan area. It hosts around 15% of Brazilian GDP and is the heart of the Brazilian economy.
It is metropolitan in nature, with a diversified population, composed of Italians, Germans, Japanese (the largest community outside Japan), Lebanese, Chinese, Koreans, Spaniards and, of course, Portuguese.
The São Paulo state road system, composed of modern highways, converges to São Paulo city. Good coaches are available every 30 minutes to Rio de Janeiro (5-hour ride), Belo Horizonte (6-hours), Curitiba (5 hours), and Campinas (1 hour).
The nearby beautiful beaches at Santos and Guarujá cities are accessed by a state-of-the-art highway, with buses every 15 minutes.
It is served by the two busiest airports in Brazil , with plenty of flight options to and from abroad, and to all important cities in Brazil . Unfortunately, trains are not an option.
São Paulo has a rather tropical, mild climate, generally with good weather, although the seasons are not well defined. Winter, which spans from June to August, is not harsh. Majority of the time São Paulo is nice and dry, not too hot. People here usually wear sweaters and light coats. You can expect temperatures between 13° and 25° degrees (55° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit).
Upon arriving, the best way to get to a hotel or into the city is via taxi. When travelers choose taxis, they should try to use the blue-and-white radio taxis from the airport. These taxis provide a flat rate from the Airport (approximately from R$ 100,00 to R$ 170,00). They are reliable and safe, unlike some other “common” taxis. Taxis in the city are usually completely white (no stripes) with red plates. The common taxis are metered, with drives beginning at R$ 4,10 and costing R$ 2,50, or R$ 3,25 in specific hours, per Kilometer. Regardless of what cab one takes, the ride to the city should take about 30 to 50 minutes from the International Airport, depends on traffic. Avoid flight schedules during 17:00 to 20:00, when you will get the worst traffic.
Another option to get into the city is ground transportation. A special bus service (http://www.airportbusservice.com.br) offers numerous routes around the town. These buses run from 7 am until 7 pm, and the ride to and from the airport should last about 30-50 minutes. If it’s the first time visiting the city, be sure to get information at forum before reaching airport. São Paulo is quite a huge city and easy to get lost.