São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, though overlooked by most tourists due to its lack of beaches. Founded in 1554 by Jesuit missionaries, it was the hub of Brazil for most of its history. It has been attractive to immigrants from all over the world, so the culture and feel of the city is much more international. A truly world-class city, it is a place bustling with activity, but there is still old colonial Brazil nestled in the center. The historic city center of São Paulo contains many cultural buildings, and is one of the best places to catch famous street artists. The Avenida Paulista is the focal point of the city, a large business district filled with numerous shopping galleries, theaters, bars, coffee shops and restaurants.
There is a river that runs through the city, the Rio Pinheiros. Along its banks, enjoy a bicycle ride, or the numerous bars and nightlife in the area. In the middle of the river stands the magnificent Ponte Octavio Frias, one of the most famous bridges in Brazil. If you feel like leaving the city, there are numerous large city parks to get lost in. Or take a journey to the nearby Ihla Grande for a beach getaway. The south region of Brazil, as the name suggests, is the southern most part of the country. The smallest region by size, it holds some impressive coastal beaches, and the mighty Iguaçu Falls.