Campos do Jordão Overview:
Located at an altitude of 1,700 meters (about 5,577 feet), Campos do Jordão, in São Paulo State, is one of the best-loved mountain destinations in Brazil.
With sunny winters, excellent hotels and restaurants, and quaint timber frame architecture, Campos do Jordão has become synonymous with winter travel in São Paulo, especially to São Paulo city residents, who are just 167 kilometers (103 miles) away.
According to the IBGE Cidades, the official resident population of Campos do Jordão in 2007 was 44.688. The city administration, as reported by G1.Globo.com, expects 1.3 million visitors between May and August 2008.
The core of city fun in Campos do Jordão is the upscale district of Capivari, with timber framed houses, the Baden Baden brewery and restaurant, hotels and boutiques, and chocolate shops.
In the winter, Capivari streets are packed with tourists all the time. Seasonal attractions ranging from ice rinks to dance clubs that only open in the winter help create the peak season atmosphere.
Campos do Jordão International Winter Festival:
One of the most prestigious music events in Brazil, the Campos do Jordão International Winter Festival affords students the opportunity to study with renowned masters.
The festival concerts, held at Auditório Cláudio Santoro, with over 800 seats, are the highlight of cultural life in Campos do Jordão.
Some of the festival's presentations are held at a square - Praça São Benedito, in Capivari.
Pedra do Baú:
From many points in Campos do Jordão, you can see Pedra do Baú, or Trunk Rock. However, the best gateway to the rock is not Campos, but neighboring São Bento do Sapucaí. The town is home to one of the best mountain climbers and mountain guides in Brazil: Eliseu Frechou.
Grambaú, the Group for Environmental Recovery of Pedra do Baú, is also located in São Bento do Sapucaí.
At the Horto Florestal, a forested nature preserve and one of the São Paulo State Parks, visitors have the chance to see waterfalls, trees that change color in the fall and many araucárias (Araucaria angustifolia), which have become a visual symbol of Campos do Jordão.
The preserve covers roughly 20,500 acres. It's open daily from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Getting there without a car is possible, but tiring, since the Horto is about 9 miles from Capivari.
Another top attraction for nature lovers is Amantikir, a cultivated garden with expanses of preserved forest opened in 2007.
Christmas in the Mountains:
The Campos do Jordão landscape, weather and architecture create an ideal atmosphere for Christmas in the Mountains (Natal na Montanha).
Campos do Jordão Train Ride:
Built in the early 20th century to bring patients with respiratory diseases to the city's sanatoria, the Campos do Jordão railroad goes to Pindamonhangaba, but the most popular ride goes as far as the neighboring city of Santo Antônio do Pinhal.
The scenic round trip costs R$ 35. It takes 2 hours to get to Santo Antônio do Pinhal. One of the highlights is the highest railroad point in Brazil, at 1,743 meters above sea level.
Trains leave six times a day from Campos (9:30a; 10a; 10:25a; 1:30p; 2p; 2:25p).The trip must be scheduled in advance (call 55-12- 3644-7408 / 3644-7409).
A local tram runs on the same tracks.
Where to Stay in Campos do Jordão:
Upscale hotels in Campos do Jordão make the most of their scenic surroundings and treat guests to outstanding mountain comforts.
One can say budget travel in Campos do Jordão is an oxymoron. But there are some less expensive hotels and even a few options for backpackers: