I was over the moon when I saw this trip on my roster and had been waiting all month for it – a 7 day multi-sector to São Paulo, Brazil and Santiago, Chile! This route is new to Emirates so it’s difficult to get as lots of crew bid for it so I was very happy to be going. It was also my first time visiting South America so I was looking forward to seeing a new continent!
We flew out of Dubai at 10am and it was 15 hours over to Guarulhos International Airport. We had a 24 hour layover in São Paulo, 24 hours in Santiago and then another 48 hours in São Paulo on the way back. In this post, I will write about the three days spent in São Paulo and then I will do a separate post for Chile.
We arrived in São Paulo in the evening, so it was straight to bed for me. The next morning, I had breakfast downstairs in the hotel, and then met up with one of the girls to go to the mall. We took an Uber to Parque Shopping Maia – a shopping mall about 20 minutes away from our hotel which someone recommended to us.
What I didn’t realise was that we were in Brazil during the week of carnival – brilliant timing! There were loads of shops selling all the carnival costumes.
I then spotted a Havaianas shop and had a field day in there! I live in my Havaianas so bought myself a few new pairs and also kitted out my family. I couldn’t believe how cheap they were compared to England and Dubai prices!
That was all I got up to on the first part of the layover as we planned to do more stuff after Chile when we had more time in São Paulo.
Our second layover in São Paulo was 48 hours, and we arrived early morning so we had two full days to explore. The first day, I slept a few hours in the morning and then met one of the girls downstairs for breakfast.
The girl who I met up with, Virna, told me to try an Açaí smoothie and it was delicious! I didn’t know that Açaí was grown in Brazil and is everywhere! I loved it.
We decided to go to another shopping mall as I wanted to have a look for some more bits and Virna also wanted to buy some Havaianas. We took the hotel shuttle bus there and did some shopping. I ended up buying two tops, some more Havaianas and then lunch in Taco Bell.
We came back to the hotel as the purser had booked a table at a traditional Brazilian BBQ restaurant. Lots of people had recommended this, so I was looking forward to trying all the different meats.
There is a red/green card on your table which you put facing up to show if you want meat. If your card is green, the staff will continuously come over to the table to give you cuts of meat and then when you are full up, you turn your card over to the red side.
I then tried Caipirinha Cachaça which is Brazil’s national cocktail drink. It was nice, but very very strong!
We had a lovely evening at the BBQ and I was so full from trying all the different meats.
The next morning, Virna and I met downstairs at 9:30am as we had booked a tour of the city with a local guide. The first stop of the tour was Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley) which is a neighbourhood completely covered in graffiti art. The first graffiti in this area was of Batman which is where the place gets its name from. Now, the streets are filled with all different types of graffiti.
After this, we drove to Paulista Avenue which is one of the most popular streets in São Paulo. We was going to visit the Museum of Art but as it was Tuesday and the museum had free entry, the queue was really long and it wasn’t moving, so we decided to leave it. Instead, our tour guide recommended a nice view point at Mirante SESC Paulista. It was free to go to the top and you could see beautiful views over Paulista and across the city.
Next, we headed to the carnival! Our tour guide told us that there would be a big carnival in Ibirapuera Park so we stopped off for some glitter and a headband and then made our way to the carnival!
The carnival was absolutely crazy! There were thousands of people, all singing, dancing, drinking and having a good time! It was a great atmosphere and I can see why people travel all over the world to experience the Brazilian carnival.
We then stopped off at another shopping mall on the way back, but covered in glitter and tired from the carnival, we didn’t stay long. Instead, we came back to the hotel so we could get a good night sleep before the 15 hour flight back to Dubai.
Something that shocked me was the photo below which I took on the way back to the hotel. I thought this building was derelict as all the windows were smashed and broken, however, I then zoomed in and saw two young children looking out the of window (third row from the bottom).
I had the most amazing time in Brazil and it was so nice spending three days there. A lot of people said there wasn’t much to do in São Paulo but I definitely don’t agree as we did lots. Now, I really want to visit Rio de Janeiro as I’ve heard that’s even better!
Thanks for reading.
Kerry May xo