Santos is a city in the south of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Santos is the core city of Baixada Santista, a coastal metropolitan area with 1.6 million people, and contains the most important port in South America. Santos is a city known for its historical center, the Santos FC football team (team of the legendary Pelé), and its beaches (reputedly, not the cleanest).


View of Santos from mt Serrat. Notice Ana Costa avenue

Santos is a municipality in the São Paulo state of Brazil, founded in 1546. It is partially located on the island of São Vicente which harbors both the city of Santos and the city of São Vicente, and partially on the mainland. It is the main city in Paulista Coast. As of 2006, its population was estimated at 418,375. Santos has the biggest seaport in Latin America; is a significant tourist center; has large industrial complexes and shipping centers, which handle a large portion of the world's coffee exports; as well as a number of other Brazilian exports including oranges, bananas and cotton. The city also displays the Coffee Museum, where, once, coffee prices were negotiated; and a football memorial, dedicated to the city's greatest players, amongst which is Pelé. Its beach's garden, 5335 Km length, figures in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest beach front garden.

There is a tourist information on the beach garden in the center of the beach. It is the building with Mondrian walls at the big "i"-sign, The staff speaks excellent English and are very helpful.

Get in

From São Paulo

There is also a direct service from terminal 1. The Bus is Cometta and costs around 12 usd, arriving into Santos in 2h20

Get around

By taxi

A good way to move around to not-so-close places. They are not very expensive and drivers are mostly friendly, although small cheats are not uncommon. To avoid it, after getting into a taxi, check if the taximeter has been started . If not, ask the taxi driver to do so.

By bus

Buses are a cheap and nice way to get around by day, although by night they become more scarce. The fare is paid either with tickets, which can be bought at most bus stops, or in cash to the driver or conductor, passing through a turnstile. Keep an eye out for pickpockets when the bus is crowded. Many people board the bus while still wet from the sea, so have a good look if your seat is dry before you sit.

By bicycle

Bicycles are by far the best way to move around the town, but unfortunately there are not many places where you can rent one (but plenty where you can buy). It's not allowed to ride on most of the beaches during the day. There are some "ciclovias" (bikelanes), specially a well-signed one in front of the beach. Better safe than sorry: buy a padlock as well.

By streetcar (tramway)

There are a couple of tourist routes with early XX century streetcars.




old house and museum
Coffee Stock Exchange

Beach area

Santos beachfront.
Church of Embare
tilting buildings

Center East area








Bars in Santos are usually crowded and lively during the weekends. Many bars offer live MPB music (Popular Brazilian Music). Beer, caipirinha and batidas are found everywhere.



On the side streets just West of Avenida Ana Costa (forwards Avenida Bernardino de Campos), one or two blocks from the beach, there are a few simple mixed cheap hotels / pensões.

On the Paqueta side of the city center (between the center and the port) there are a few grotty very cheap hotels, if you cannot afford anything else. (women travelling alone might fell uncorfortable there).



Stay healthy

Santos is infamous for beach pollution, and during most of the year, swimming on its beaches is not advised. A red flag of CETESB in the beach indicates that it is not suitable for swimming (information also available online).

You will probably see plenty of people swimming on the beaches, and some sanitarians argue that CETESB's indicators are too conservative. Nonetheless, if you want to play safe, it is better to go the neighboring city of Guarujá for swimming.

Go next

Routes through Santos

Peruíbe Cubatão  S  N  Guarujá Ubatuba

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