Travel

Travel Diaries: Santos, Brazil

I know I promised to share this post a while back but with my crazy work schedule and even crazier health issues, I just did not get the time. I finally decided that I had to sit down and talk about my experience in one of the most beautiful places I visited last year because it deserves the attention.Yes, the Brazil travel post is finally here.

I know when people talk about Brazil, they mostly talk about Rio which I, unfortunately, did not get a chance to visit. I, however, was in Brazil for almost 3 weeks, a major part of which was spent in this beautiful town of Santos. For those who aren’t aware, Santos is one of the busiest port in Latin America, making it a really popular destination for holiday-makers ending their cruise to Brazil.

Now to answer the question of how to reach Santos, well I have already answered and visiting Santos on a cruise is one of the most popular ways that tourists get to this beautiful port town. Other ways to reach Santos is by road and you have quite a few buses running São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.

The nearest airport is in São Paulo which has both domestic & international flights. These airports are 69km from Santos so you would need to then take a taxi or bus. I personally did not take the road trip but we had a few people who joined the vessel after flying into São Paulo and they faced no issues while driving down to Santos.

The first thing that hits you as soon as you enter Santos is how modern yet traditional the city is. You see these amazing building and malls all around but then you have people cycling by the beach and these traditional houses with colorful porches overlooking the waters. The whole city has been divided by these canals and surrounded by beautiful beaches.

Two things that no one in Brazil takes for granted is Football and Coffee. Since the god of football, Pele was from Santos and you can see how much that the city loves their football star by visiting the Santos Futbol Club which was Pele’s home field.

The stadium’s museum is filled with trophies and photos of all the big championships that happened on the grounds. Also, there is a separate museum dedicated completely to only Pele that houses over 2300 items.

Our next stop was the coffee museum which is housed in the beautiful street near the port and surrounded by some amazing bakeries and cafe. The moment you enter the street, a whiff of freshly brewed coffee and baked bread hits you making you all hungry.

The tour of the museum took us an hour. They do have audio guides but to be honest,  the guides are not that great and ours stopped working midway so we had to rely on google translate a lot of stuff. The building in itself is a beautiful piece of architecture and it was an amazing experience to just walking around looking at the history of coffee plantations in Santos and the rest of Brazil and how they became one of the most popular centers for coffee for the world.

 

The tour was followed by a visit to the museum cafe where you could get a variety of fresh ground coffee to take home or a enjoy a cup with some really delicious cakes. I am not exaggerating but its pretty the best cup of cappuccino I have ever tasted so much so that I ended up going for another cup and was pretty wired for the rest of the day.

We spent quite a bit of time just roaming the streets near the surrounding the coffee museum, enjoying the gorgeous weather while eating some really good food that the cafes had to offer. The vibe of the city, in general, is pretty laid back and it is not an uncommon sight to see people relaxing with a cup of coffee and reading a book or a newspaper in a small cafe. For someone like me who pretty much runs around from 8 in the morning to like 10 at night, this was something that amazed me and I do feel that when I retire, I just need to move to a place like this where I could enjoy the joys of a quiet life.

 Another thing that I loved about Santos was the beach. I know you must be thinking that I would have had enough of the sea since I was sailing around for a good three months, but I couldn’t resist just lounging by the beautiful beach that lined most of the area in Santos. The highlight of our visit to the beach was renting bicycles and just roaming around the beachside eating and drinking all the yummy Brazilian snacks from the shacks. In my opinions, it is pretty much the best way to explore the city.

Food wise, Brazil is a seafood heaven. Brazilians food reflects the mood of its people so its all about colors on the plate and bold flavors. A few restaurants that you have to try in the city are Mar del Plata, Porta do Sol, and Temakeria Santista

For my fellow meat lovers out there, particularly if you are into beef, you have to visit Churrascaria Tertulia. We ended up going there to celebrate our anniversary and it is pretty much the best meal I had on the trip. They have a live salad counter while the meat is served straight out of the grill to your table. It’s an all you can eat kind of setting with basic cover charges.

 

The street food of Brazil is equally vibrant and reminded me of quite a few delicacies that have in India as well. We pretty much loved gorging on Pastel which is deep fried pastry filled fillings may vary from cheese, pepperoni, ham or pizza toppings and Coxinha which was a tear-drop shaped flat pastry filled with chicken and cheese, or just chicken. This post would be incomplete without the mention of Churros which are technically not a Brazillian snack but nevertheless, the streets are filled with Churro Stands that sell them with various toppings. I even tasted a Nutella stuffed churro and my life definitely changed forever.

Have you ever been to Brazil?

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