Surprisingly, São Paulo is a city with a large number of green areas. There are lots of parks e squares throughout the capital. Places that make you feel as if you were not in one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world. But there’s a place where São Paulo is even greener: the Cantareira Park. Located in the extreme north of the city, 10 kms from the center, the park has one of the biggest areas of native tropical forest in metropolitan area in the world. In its almost 20 thousand acres, it is possible to find remains of original rainforest and endangered animals, like the Ocilot (which I fortunately didn’t meet in person).
The park is divided in three areas, each with its own attractions. The Pedra Grande (Big Stone) area has three trails. The Figueiras trail, with 1,2 kms that goes from a soft to steep hike. The Bica trail, with 1,5 km of soft hike. And the Pedra Grande trail, with 9,5 km of steep hike. That’s where you will find one of the best attractions of the park, the Pedra Branca observatory. Located at 1,100 meters of hight, the place is perfect for admiring São Paulo in all of it magnitude, having the places passing right over your head
In the Engordador ares, there are four trails. The Cachoeira trail, with 6,5 kms, the Macuco trail, with only 700 meters, the Sagui trail and one for the people with mountain bikes, with 1,4 kms. In the Águas Claras area, there are also four trails. The Águas Claras, with nearly 700 meters, the Samambaia-açú, with a mall sided by brackens, the Araucaria trail, with 1,2 kms and lots of araucaria pines, the Suçuarana (puma) trail, with 1,2 kms, and the Pinheirinho, trail, the longest, where people practice off road. All the trails have indication signs.
Besides the Pedra Branca observatory, another big attraction of the park is the Lago das Carpas (Carp Lake). A beautiful place where families gather for picnics. In the high part of the park there’s a parking lot and a little museum with some of the species found at the forest. The park is open till 5 PM and a little before closing time a guard goes around the trails on a motorcycle warning the people.
Cantareira State ParkRua do Horto, 1.799 – Horto Florestal –