BRAZIL  |  São Paulo, Brazil Travel Guide
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Jardims of São Paulo

Jardims of São Paulo

Jardims is the Portuguese word for gardens. Here, it refers to a series of upscale residential areas that were built in the 1920s and delineated from Centro and Av. Paulista by their greenery. Names change frequently, but include Jardim Paulista, Jardim Europa and Jardim America. There are good restaurants in the Jardim areas as well as the city’s most fashionable shopping street – Rua Oscar Freire.

Ibirapuera Park

Ibirapuera Park is only a 10-minute taxi ride from the downtown area. Ask your taxi driver to leave you at Park Gate 10. The park houses the city’s Museum of Modern Art (MAM) and the Planetarium. Hours for both: Noon- 6 pm; closed Mon. Although far smaller than NYC’s Central Park, Ibirapuera provides the same respite from big city noises. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer for the city’s 400th anniversary, it is marked by small lakes, complete with gliding ducks, beautifully maintained lawns, jogging and bicycling paths and a stage where outdoor performances are given.

When the park opened it featured several exhibit pavilions, some of which remain today. Don’t miss the Japanese Pavilion, which is an exact replica of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. It was built in Japan, then shipped and reconstructed here. It sits beside a small man-made lake in a Japanese-style garden. There are exhibits of samurai clothing, pottery and sculptures inside, but it is the setting that makes it so special. It is near Gate 10. Open weekends and holidays.

Butantá Snake Institute

In 1888, a Brazilian scientist turned a farmhouse on the grounds of the University of São Paulo into an institute for the purpose of preventing deaths from snake bites. It now distributes vaccines and related products throughout Brazil and runs a hospital that offers free treatment to victims of venomous animal bites.

Visitors can view thousands of snakes, spiders and scorpions in pens on the institute’s grounds. You can watch feeding time (live frogs and hamsters are food) and watch venom being extracted.

Last updated September 21, 2008
Posted in   Brazil  |  São Paulo
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