Speaking of São Paulo state without using superlatives is difficult. The southern hemisphere’s largest city! Its finest museums! Its best restaurants! Its worst traffic! (Well, you can’t have everything.) São Paulo city – Sampa to locals – serves as Brazil's Boom Town, commercially, financially, industrially and culturally, and an explosion of sophisticated travelers descending on the city’s extraordinary restaurants, art galleries, bars and cultural centers has ensured the sprawling city remains a must-stop for urban-addicted sophisticates.
Inland from the cityscape, the Serra da Mantiqueira's 2500m peaks play the novel Alpine-esque getaway role, while Iporanga sits tucked away in pristine Brazilian Atlantic Forest. And out to sea, some of southeastern Brazil’s finest beaches cling both to the mountainous stretch of rainforest-backdropped coastline near Ubatuba; and to nearby Ilhabela, which relishes its position as São Paulo's cosmopolitan island escape.