Located in the Serra do Itaqueri region, Brotas is a city with a population of about 22 thousand people and is totally off the radar for foreigners.
Even out of the state of São Paulo it is known by very few, -
... but is definitely worth a visit for adventure lovers!
One of the few options to get to Brotas is by the three daily buses of the company Prata that departure from São Paulo's main bus terminal: Rodoviária Tietê.
For those lucky enough to be travelling by car, the city is located at 200km from the state capital.
- Leave São Paulo using Rodovia dos Bandeirantes or Rodovia Anhanguera (prefer the first, better drive), either way these highways merge after about 85km.
- Another 50km on Anhanguera Highway and enter Washington Luiz highway
- … and once more after 50km you'll reach the Eng. Paulo Nilo Romano highway, from there you'll be 45 km from Brotas.
It's easier driven than read!
Who to Look For
Most locals are very welcoming, so a quick chat with anyone will leave you with some good information on what to do.
You'll be surprised by there receptivity, but to better your chances on understanding (and being understood) look for young boutique like store owners, they are more likely to be able to help out. But if you are keen on adventure, head to one of the many agencies.
Some places like the Recanto das Cachoeiras, where you can make the best of the beautiful waterfalls and natural pools, there's no need for an agency; just pick up a local map in any agency and head over there -, but to be able to do treetop walking and horseback riding, you’ll need a guide from EcoAção.
Brotas Tourism Board: Rua Modesto Alfredo Surian, 5 (website in Portuguese).
Agencies are found on Rua Francisco Costa, between nº 100 e 500.
Where to Stay
The city is small but prepared for receiving tourists. It is equipped with more than 40 establishments, with options for all budgets that vary from camping, to hotels, out of town farms and spas.
So Many Activities to do at the City of Ecotourism!
Known as the city of adventure tourism and ecotourism, it offers a large range of activities: rafting, cross buoy, canyoning, trekking, indoor climbing, rappelling, treetop walking, biking, zipline, horseback riding, ATV and 4-wheel driving.
It is highly recommended to organize the activities of interest before the arrival, since in low season (winter) some activities like rafting are hard to reach the minimum amount of people (great if in a group) and in summer the city is full of adventure loving tourists.
If a carefully planned trip can be organized, a must is the rafting during full moon. It's good to book ahead.
Other than adventure, it is possible to go to the movies and theatre, and also visit the pottery-burning workshop (known as Raku), opened Saturdays only. Do not forget to visit CEU (Center of Universe Studies) one of the most modern observatories and planetariums in Latin America.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at Camping e Lazer Jacaré, a place with vast options located at R. Giocondo Tessari, 420. They offer camping, cabins, apartments and actual homes, very close to the city center, tourist board and agencies.
It offers a complete structure with bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, adult and children pool, parking, power points, volleyball and football courts, playground, a restaurant and an event room.
Their prices vary according to the accommodation.
What We Did
Parque dos Saltos:
Where: Brotas Touristic Center
How much: Nothing, it's free.
Recanto das Cachoeiras
Where: BR – 040 highway, close to km 485?
How much: U$ 13 per person?
When: Open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 8h to 21h
Accessibility: the place has a trail for wheelchair needs, it is possible to reach the Santo Antonio waterfall.
It has a wonderful structure and is ready to receive all ages, with activities for all, from the simple contemplation of the surrounding nature to radical zipline.
Other activities include cascading, rappelling, trekking, waterfalls and horseback riding.
Travel tip shared by On 4 Feet