Sep 06

Winter in Sao Paulo

by in brazil, business trips, hotels, photography, sao paulo

I’ve been home from Brazil for about a week now and have enjoyed mostly sunny summer weather here in Vancouver. What a surprise! A pleasant one, for sure! Despite the chilly Brazilian winter weather, I had a fantastic trip with plenty of time to meet agents and even do a little photography.Sao Paulo is a colourful city, if you can get away from Avenida Paulista to explore a bit. Avenida Paulista is the perfect place to stay for a business traveler but not all that engaging otherwise. Step away from Paulista and you will find a city splattered with paint: beautiful commissioned murals, street art and graffiti; an eclectic display of artwork depicting Brazils flavour, colour and taste for life, art, politics and humour.

My only complaint (besides the lack of heating in the room at the Caesar Business Hotel), is the lack of services and facilities at Guarulhos Airport. Considered a major South American hub, this airport moves about 20 million passengers a year! With that kind of volume, you could at least expect a Starbucks or a bookstore. While it’s hit and miss with airports worldwide, I’ve also come to expect and enjoy free wi-fi and reasonably priced pedicures or massages at most airports. No so at Guarulhos. Beyond the security check-points, you will be lucky to find an espresso and a place to sit while you wait out your delayed flight. This airport places third in most delayed flights of all airports in the world.

Any traveler flying into Guarulhos airport should be prepared: although only 30 km from downtown Sao Paulo it can take nearly 2 hours to get there due to notoriously bad Brazilian traffic. There is little you can do but sit-back, relax and breathe in the exhaust! Whether you take a bus or taxi, the travel time will be about the same (anywhere from 30 minutes – 2 hours!) but the airport bus will cost about $50 Brazilian Reais less than a taxi.

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