Nicknamed "The Pearl of the Atlantic," the Brazilian city of Guarujá hosts the closest stretch of beach to São Paulo, making it a wildly popular weekend destination among Paulistanos. A total of 23 beaches stretch across the city front. And being right in the heart of downtown, Pitangueiras is the most popular beach — it’s near Avenue Puglisi where there's a shopping mall, and local artisans sell their handicrafts at the nearby plaza on weekends and holidays.
Guarujá Enseada is another lively beach with tons of kiosks selling coconuts, beer, and snacks. Pernambuco is where the locals sun themselves, and every self-respecting surfer heads to Praia do Tombo. Another unique beach along the Guarujá oceanfront is Iporanga, which has its own waterfall and freshwater swimming pool.
Guarujá is famous for its buzzing nightlife. And for outdoorsy types, there's Guarujá Golf Club with its acclaimed golf course. For cyclists, a bike path stretches along the length of Enseada beach. Also by Enseada is Acqua Mundo Theme Park — home to the biggest aquarium in South America with over 700 species of fish. You can also visit the 16th-century Barra Grande Fortress, built to protect the local village against pirate attacks.
From Sao Paulo’s Jabaquara Bus Station (reached by metro) there are direct buses to Guarujá, and the journey takes around an hour and a half.