Scenic Drives Near Sao Paulo, Brazil, For Your Sponty Road Trips

Do you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life? Rev up your engines as we cruise through the most scenic drives near Sao Paulo, Brazil, where breathtaking landscapes await around every bend. 

A scenic driving route heading to the mountains in Sao Paulo
A scenic driving route heading to the mountains in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is a city known for its towering skyscrapers and bustling street life—and needless to say, this bustling metropolis boasts its own beauty. But when the cityscape starts to feel all too familiar, you might just find the need to momentarily swap urban vistas for stunning landscapes.

Interestingly, Sao Paulo can also serve as a gateway to Brazil’s quick day trips. What’s more, the roads leading out of the city offer journeys as captivating as the destinations themselves. Whether you’re heading to the sun-kissed beaches of Rio or the lush green hinterlands, the route itself becomes a captivating part of your adventure

Curious to know where the road can take you? 

Let’s explore some of the most scenic drives that start right at Sao Paulo’s doorstep!

The Scenic Drive From Sao Paulo to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Set out on one of Brazil’s most iconic road trips—the scenic drive from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro. This journey not only connects two major cities but also weaves through some of the most picturesque landscapes in the country.

From Sao Paulo, hit the BR-116 highway, a route that offers a blend of mountainous terrains, lush forests, and coastal views that are simply breathtaking. As you drive towards Rio, consider stopping at Guararema, a small and peaceful town north of Sao Paulo. Stretch your legs for a bit as you stroll along quaint streets and sample its famous pastel.

Further along, the city of Aparecida hosts the famous Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, a must-visit for its stunning architecture and spiritual significance. The route also passes through Taubaté and Cunha, offering opportunities to explore local pottery shops and artisanal crafts.

As you approach the coast, the road ascends through the scenic Serra do Mar, a mountain range draped in lush Atlantic forest. This will then lead you to the famed beaches of Rio de Janeiro—whether it’s Copacabana or Ipanema, the choice is yours!

A scenic driving route amidst the vineyards near Sao Paulo
A scenic driving route amidst the vineyards near Sao Paulo

Other Short, Scenic Drives Near Sao Paulo, Brazil

If you’re seeking shorter yet equally scenic drives near Sao Paulo, Brazil, the region certainly won’t disappoint!

Head towards the Rota dos Vinhedos in São Roque for a route dotted with local wineries. Marvel at nature’s beauty as you sample some of Brazil’s finest wines right from their source.

But for a truly nature-centric escape, drive to Paranapiacaba in the Atlantic Forest for dramatic mountain views and dense green canopies. This historic village serves as a portal to numerous hiking trails that reveal the region’s breathtaking natural beauty.

Want to improve your uphill and downhill driving skills while savoring the view? Then venture to Campos do Jordão. Often referred to as Brazilian Switzerland, this route passes through rolling hills and features traditional European-style architecture, culminating in a town celebrated for its winter festival and charming ambiance.

The Most Scenic Neighborhoods To Stay Near Sao Paulo

After a long day on the road, we’re pretty sure you’d soon be looking for a place to stay that complements the scenic drives you’ve taken from Sao Paulo. 

Here’s a look at some of the most visually appealing neighborhoods and areas combining natural beauty with comfortable living.

While we did a quick mention of Campos do Jordão as an ideal stopover earlier, it’s also a great area for travelers seeking a scenic, upscale neighborhood with a European vibe. Located in the mountains of the Serra da Mantiqueira, it boasts a cool climate and stunning natural scenery in contrast to Sao Paulo’s bustling urban landscape. 

Likewise, Santo Antônio do Pinhal is another gem with its tranquility and panoramic views. It’s less touristy than Campos do Jordão but equally charming with its rolling hills and lush forests. Here, you can stay in quaint chalets or boutique hotels that overlook stunning landscapes, perfect for those seeking peace and natural beauty.

Meanwhile, São Bento do Sapucaí is a true haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. This neighborhood is enveloped by imposing mountains, including the famous Pedra do Baú. Local accommodations here often feature rustic designs that complement the natural surroundings, offering a serene escape from the fast pace of city life.

Aerial shot of the coastal highway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Aerial shot of the coastal highway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hit The Road in Sao Paulo with ThisCityKnows

Indeed, these scenic drives near Sao Paulo are an adventure that unveils the breathtaking diversity of Brazil’s landscapes. From the lush, rolling hills surrounding Campos do Jordão to the dramatic coastline on the way to Rio de Janeiro, each route offers its own unique set of vistas and experiences.

As you hit the open road, ThisCityKnows is here to help you discover the most stunning drives and relaxing stopovers near Sao Paulo. Whether it’s uncovering hidden gems along the back roads or taking in expansive ocean views, our insights will help you make the most of your road trips.

Have you explored these scenic routes around Sao Paulo in the past? We’d love to hear about your favorite spots and experiences! And if you’re craving more scenic drives and beautiful destinations, stay tuned to ThisCityKnows for more expert tips and guides.

So, buckle up and start your engines—adventure awaits on the scenic roads of Sao Paulo, and we’re thrilled to help you explore every turn!

Author: Katie

Katie is all about hitting the road solo, always on the lookout for spots the internet hasn't fully discovered yet. She’s the one turning left when the map says right, hunting for those genuine, "you had to be there" moments. With a style that's as engaging as a late-night chat by the hostel fire, her stories aren't just about places, but the raw, unfiltered joy of exploring them on your own terms.

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