PETAR, adventures and caves to discover in São Paulo

Let’s say you are visiting São Paulo city, the so-called ‘concrete jungle’. You are having a blast and have all kinds of things to do in this vibrant city (we have written about the attractions of São Paulo here and here).

However, you think that the weekend is coming and you simply would like to see some nature and just have a break. Ok, no problem. How about seeing some caves and waterfalls? Not a bad idea, right? In Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park there are almost 350 caves, trails, beautiful waterfalls, and many other attractions. It is the largest preserved Atlantic Forest in Brazil. If you would like to learn more about this beautiful place, we encourage you to read this text.

How to get to Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park?


We have mentioned it before and will repeat it often, as we believe, that the best way to travel across Brazil, is by bus. This means of transportation is cheaper than planes (remember that there are no trains in Brazil) and it is comfortable. You do not need to rent a car – you can just buy your bus ticket online and sit comfortably and read a book or have a nap.


All you have to do is to visit the Brazil Bus Travel  website and find your bus. We recommend going from São Paulo bus station to Capão Bonito. It will take you around 4 hours to get there. Then, you just need to take a taxi to get to the Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park.

You do not need to have the Brazilian ID or Brazilian credit card to buy the tickets online. Just choose the departing and destination cities, pick a date and buy the ticket. Simple, right?

PETAR what to see   


Parque Estadual Turístico do Alto Ribeira (PETAR) is a park in the state of São Paulo and is located between Apiaí and Iporanga cities. 


Remember that you must plan the trip, as tours require a local tour guide and the caves and other attractions have a limit of people per day. 


You will find four visiting centers in the park (Nucleo Santana, Nucleo Ouro Grosso, Nucleo Caboclos, and Nucleo Casa de Pedra). Currently, 12 PETAR caves are open to visitors. The most famous caves are Caverna de Santana and Caverna do Ouro Grosso. Every cave is different (some caves contain beautiful rivers) so try to talk to the tour agent and ask which one he would recommend for you.

Do not forget about the waterfalls which are breathtaking and are also an amazing tourist attraction. There is nothing better than to swim in the crystal clear water during the hot and sunny day.


If you love sports like rafting, riding a bike, climbing, canoeing, diving inside caves and many others – this is a place for you. There are many agencies which offer those attractions. 


We hope that we have encouraged you to visit the Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park. If you have any questions about the trip or simply want to leave your comment, please do it in the comments section below. We are happy to answer all your questions. Enjoy your stay in Brazil.


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