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March 30, 2008

Santos - Sao Paulo


Santos - São Paulo

Santos initially became known for its important Port, which in the beginning of the 20th Century became the largest in Latin America, especially as a result of coffee exports. In the 1960s it was soccer’s turn, and the city became famous for being home to Santos Futebol Clube, the team where the 'King of Soccer', Pelé, played. Today, Santos is the largest city on the São Paulo State coast and it has excellent structure for commerce and services.

Santos SP

It is proud of having the largest garden in the world: 5.3 km (3.3 mi) along the shore, with a bike path along the entire extension; as well as being one of the best Brazilian destinations for diving. Its continental area conserves the dense Atlantic Forest vegetation, guaranteeing excellent outings for those who enjoy ecotourism and adventure tourism. There are also urban outings, such as museums, historical constructions, churches, and many others; attracting the attention of tourists from all over the country and the world.

International Triathlon Championship
It is held annually in the month of February. It gathers a large number of triathletes from several parts of the world.

Laje de Santos Marine Park
This Marine Park is 45 km (28 mi) from the coast and is considered to be one of the best diving points along the Brazilian coast.

The depth varies from 18 (59 ft) to 40 meters (131 ft), and visibility can reach 40 meters (131 ft). It includes crags; reefs, which are underwater rocks; and the marine slab, which is the definition for a marine crag without vegetation and whose shape resembles a whale.

The marine slab is 55 meters (180.5 ft) long, 33 meters (108 ft) high and 185 (607 ft) meters wide, and it has a Marine lighthouse. It also includes a complex known as the “cemetery of anchors”, comprised of several of these pieces that got caught in the coral reef that surrounds the rock, as well as a sunk fishing boat, which has become a nursery for marine animals.

José Menino Beach
This beach is near the border with São Vicente and it receives many surfers. It has the Submarine Outfall Platform where the Pelé Museum will be built.

Gonzaga Beach
This is located in the liveliest part of Santos, very sought after by tourists staying in the district’s hotels. The Bandeiras Square has a Tourist Information Post and it is the final stop for the Know Santos bus line.

Boqueirão Beach
It has a Convenience Island with a Tourist Information Post, a Police Post, an ATM and bathrooms. It also has a modern architectonic complex. The Arts and Crafts Fair is held here on Saturday afternoons.

Embaré Beach
It is located in front of the Smaller Saint Anthony of Embaré Basilica. It has several kiosks with snack bars that gather many young people.

Aparecida Beach
Its main point is the Fonte do Sapo (Frog Fountain) where children play, skate and ride bikes. The Senior Citizen Dance is held there late Sunday afternoons.

Tip of the Beach
The ships can be admired from this site as they enter and leave the Port of Santos. On weekends, the Garden of Arts is held here with painting exhibits by local artists. Channel 6 and Channel 7 are also on the Tip of the Beach, a district that also includes regatta clubs, the ferryboat – exit for ferryboats to Guarujá – and the Edgard Perdigão Bridge. It is also known as the Practical Bridge, and the embarkations to the Laje de Santos ecological reserve and the small boats to the Barra Fortress depart from here.

Barra Fortress
This is the most important historical-military monument in the State of São Paulo and it enriches the landscapes topography. The walls or defensive curtains prop up two overlaid platforms and then unite towards the Góes beach, totaling 300 meters (985 ft). There are gate houses in the lower platform that used to be towers for sentries. The upper platform holds the main building, called the barracks, and it measures nearly 800 square meters (8611 sq. ft.). It also has an old weapons area that extends to an entrance called the “Spanish gate”. The cannons that used to be in the fortress are spread about museums in the entire country.

Municipal Aquarium
This is the first public aquarium in Brazil with an area of 1000 square meters (10,764 sq. ft.), inaugurated in 1945. Approximately 500 thousand people per year pass through the second most visited park in the State, surpassed only by the São Paulo Zoo. More than 200 species and a total of 800 aquatic animals from fresh and salt water occupy its 35 tanks.

Sea Museum
This permits a general view of the main marine groups in Brazil and several parts of the world, since 90% of the material on exhibit comes from overseas, from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. It originated with a collection of shells, and its 21 thousand samples correspond to the largest collection of mollusks in the country. Two giant Tridacna Gigas mollusks stand out. The largest measures 1 meter, weighs 148 kilos and is from the Philippines.

Fishing Museum
A 23 meter (75 ft) whale skeleton is on exhibit as are stuffed marine fauna, processed in the museum’s Taxidermy Section. The Sands and Shells Room gathers samples of sand from several beaches along the Brazilian coast.

On the ground floor, the Petrobrás Ludic Wing encompasses three thematic areas: The Sea Room simulates the ecosystems that cover the sea – sandy bottom, sandy beach, rocky coast and mangrove; from the ground level and basement of the room, animals and plants made of resin can be observed through glass; and in the Boat Room, the feeling of the prow of a sailboat is simulated as you handle an ancient helm that moves a platform and changes the course shown on the compass.

Embaré Church
The neo-Gothic architecture of the Smaller Saint Anthony of Embaré Basilica is seen in the point arcs, stained glass windows and rosettes. Although the Gothic demands representations of Christ and Our Lady, the Basilica has an effigy of the patron saint.

Escolástica Rosa
This was the first professionalizing school in the country and it has courses in nutrition, metallurgy and high school extension. The project by engineer Ramos de Azevedo foresaw a five-block division, similar to hospital pavilions.

Tip of the Beach Piers
Although defined as structures built on pillars over the sea and buried in the ground, destined to serve as docks, in Santos the piers gather visitors with two pleasant beer houses. They provide a privileged view of the ships as they enter and leave the port, the fishing boats setting out for high seas, tourist yachts and the impressive Barra Fortress.

Measuring 70 meters (230 ft) long and more than 30 meters (99 ft) wide, the two establishments, with approximately 230 square meters (2475 sq. ft.), have capacity for nearly 400 people.

Draining canals
Although the city has 19 canals that are from 50 (164 ft) to 3450 meters (11,319 ft) long, those that empty on the beach are more popularly known as numbers 1 thru 7 and the serve as a reference for any place you want to go.

Schooner Ride
There are several outings to get to know Santos Bay, passing by the Barra Fortress, Palmas Island, Góes, Cheira Limão and Sangava Beaches – located in Guarujá – and Urubuqueçaba Island , on the border with São Vicente. You can also see, from a different view point, the beaches of José Menino, Pompéia, Gonzaga, Boqueirão, Embaré, Aparecida and Ponta da Praia, all in Santos.

In the opposite direction, through the Bertioga Canal and the estuary, the highlights are the port and its warehouses, the ancient constructions of the State of São Paulo Dock Company (Codesp), Barnabé Island, the Santos Air Base and Diana island – where a community of 200 fishermen live, mangroves and part of the Santos continental area.

Know Santos Bus Line
These air-conditioned microbuses have capacity for 25 passengers. They operate on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, departing at 9Am, 11AM, 2PM, and 4PM. The starting point is the Bandeiras Square in the Gonzaga District.

Trolley Car Tourist Line
It covers the streets and squares in the Historical Center for 10 minutes and includes guides and members of the "Grandma Knows All" program - elderly who tell curious tales of the local past. The open vehicle is from the 1920s and it began to run again in September 2000 after being restored.

The high point of this outing is the waterfalls, which is nearly 10 meters (33 ft) high and falls upon a rock, forming a natural pool. Large trees – some with identifications on their trunks – delimit the main trail. Cabuçu is from Tupi-Guarani and means “large wasp”.

The farm represents a historical reference for the Santos area since it served as shelter for the Company of Jesus, which during the colonization period, set up a post to convert Indians on that site.

Caeté Lookout
Standing 260 meters (853 ft) high, the Caeté Lookout can be reached over a steep 1200 meter (3937 ft) long trail, ideal for visitors interested in practicing intense physical exercise.

Diana Estate
Murrah buffalo are raised here in an area that calls people's attention due to the rural scenery, very unusual in a typically beach city. The estate has 82 hectares and lies in the Diana River valley. The river waters change suddenly from crystal clear to dark as a result of the organic matter in suspension as it flows over the plateau. There is diversified fauna and several species of vegetation along not very long trails, appropriate for children and the elderly.

A few kilometers by car, a quick boat crossing and a journey by trolley through the Atlantic Forest takes you to the Itatinga Village trails. Besides the walks, you can enjoy the beach of stones formed by the Itatinga river, which in Tupi-Guarani means “white stone”. It has some simple and other steep trails that can reach 730 meters (2395 ft) high and provide a beautiful view of the ruins that tell the story of the Jesuit missions, the Itatinga, Itapanhaú Rivers and the scenery from Bertioga to Alcatrazes Island.

The Jurubatuba and Jurubatuba-Mirim rivers form paths in their valleys where the water and natural pools created along their way call attention. They belong to a complex of Southeast basins where the rivers head straight to the Atlantic Ocean. The abundance and purity of the waters are responsible for the important existing gathering system that supplies the neighboring city of Guarujá. In Tupi-Guarani, Jurubatuba means “happy place’.

Port of Santos
Considered the largest port in Latin America, its installations occupy 7.7 million square meters and approximately 14 km in length, stretching to both margins of the estuary to Guarujá and Cubatão, where we find the Paulista Steel Company (Cosipa) and Ultrafértil terminals. Almost 40% of the GDP passes through the Port of Santos.

Coffee Museum
The Museum of Brazilian Coffees is here and its Auction Room has the same hardwood benches that used to accommodate the old brokers. The domelike pink and white ceiling has a skylight in the center with stained glass by Benedicto Calixto, the artist who is also responsible for the frescoes that portray the different phases of Santos history. The building also has the Coffee Preparation Center (CPC) that gives courses on the subject, the Museum’s Coffee Shop where you can enjoy export quality Brazilian coffee, a library and a restaurant. A collection of objects connected to the product completes the four floor exhibit.

Santos-Jundiaí Station
Also known as the Valongo Station, the Santos-Jundiaí Railroad presents influence from Victorian English architecture, resembling the Victoria Station in London.

Church of the First Order of Carmo
Although raised 150 years before the Church of the Third Order of Carmo, it is connected to the latter by a tower with a belfry built for economic reasons to serve both churches, thus creating an uncommon baroque façade.

Overlaid with original Marian tiles from the 17th Century, this tower is topped with a dome and a narrow balcony. It also has Benedicto Calixto paintings and hardwood benches for the clergy. It is all gold-plated, as are the eight side altars. The first one, to the right, has a copy of the image of Our Lady of Mount Serrat from Catalonia (Spain), donated by the then Spanish colony since she was the patron saint of Santos.

Church of the Third Order of Carmo
Internally, the four columns that support the choir loft have basins of holy water. They were carved into the ‘singing stone’, the same material as the pulpit console and the sink of holy water (1710). The name comes from the habit the slaves had of singing to mark the rhythm for the joint effort that permitted the removal of blocks of rock from the mine.

Cathedral Church
The city’s mother church is in neo-Gothic style resembling the European temples. The layout was designed by the Prussian engineer Maximilian Hell, who was also responsible for the Sé Cathedral architecture in São Paulo.

Valongo Church
This important sample of the Franciscan fathers’ constructions has a large cross in the space in front of the building. Before the nave, the gallery that was used to congregate the community was expanded in Brazil because it created a shaded area that alleviated the rigorous climate.

Monte Serrat
This landmark is in the heart of the city, and at the top it has the Our Lady of Mount Serrat Sanctuary, the patron saint of Saints and celebrated on September 8. It is accessed by trolley, which operates on funicular system rails; or a stairway with 415 steps, with 14 niches containing Via Sacra representations. Located 157 meters above sea level, it permits a 360 degree view of the city and partial views of the cities of São Vicente, Cubatão, Guarujá and Praia Grande.

Sacred Art Museum
It is located in the old São Bento Monastery building. Inaugurated in 1981, it has a collection of nearly 600 pieces, more than 400 of which are on exhibit.

Santa Catarina Hill
This is the landmark for the foundation of the city. The Archive Foundation and Memory of Santos building is here with photographic and document collections, a library, and an exhibit of photos and engravings.

Andradas Pantheon
It contains the mortal remains of José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, the Patriarch of Independence, and his brothers, Antônio Carlos, Martim Francisco and Father Patrício Manuel. It was inaugurated September 7, 1923. The building’s architecture was inspired on the Masonic temples, because Bonifácio was the first Grand Master Mason in Brazil.

Botanical Gardens
The Chico Mendes Botanical Garden with its 90 thousand square meters of green area is responsible for the production of seedlings that supply the beach garden and all other public places in the city. It has a live collection with more than 300 vegetal species, divided into 20 collections. The most prominent are the samples from the Amazon, the Atlantic Forest, the hardwood trees, the Brazil-wood woods – inaugurated in 2001 – and 65 qualities of palm tree, including the Imperial Palm used for lining Ana Costa Avenue with trees.

Santos Futebol Clube
The Urbano Caldeira Stadium – the “Alçapão da Vila” (Vila Trap) – is where the history of the team that projected the name of the city of Santos to the world was made. The glories of the club are exhibited in the Trophy Room, with more than 500 pieces won in several modalities, such as professional and amateur soccer, volleyball, basketball, judo and karate.

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