Águas de São Pedro
Águas de São Pedro is a city in the Campinas Region of São Paulo state. Boasting the second highest Human Development Index (HDI) of Brazil, Águas de São Pedro is a small and picturesque mineral spring resort town that attracts visitors to its public and private baths, green-filled streets and cozy city center.
In 1934, mineral springs with therapeutic properties were discovered in the municipality of São Pedro, which led to the construction of the luxurious Grand Hotel São Pedro in the area. In 1940, the municipality of Águas de São Pedro was created, with the city itself being completely planned and adapted for tourism.
With a combination of small size, non-existence of poverty, and good administrations, Águas de São Pedro became one of the most economically and socially developed cities of the country, a position that it retains until nowadays.
Despite being very small, as a tourist-oriented city, Águas de São Pedro is attended by a number of intercity buses, operated by Piracicabana and São Paulo São Pedro. From São Paulo, a one-way ticket costs R$ 41,50 (as of august 2013) and the trip takes about 3 hours. From Piracicaba, it costs R$ 6,50 and takes 45 minutes. Check the company websites for other itineraries and more information. The intercity bus terminal of Águas de São Pedro is located at the city center, near Praça dos Rouxinóis.
Most hotels and pousadas are located in the city center, which can be easily explored on foot. A car may be convenient to explore the attractions outside the city center, like the mineral water springs or the founder's house, although one with enough time and disposition may explore the hilly city on foot. Another option is to use the (non-stop) touristic train rides, taken at Parque Municipal Dr. Octavio Moura Andrade.
- Praça Dr. Octávio Moura (At the end of Av. Carlos Mauro opposite to the city center). The city's main square, a beautiful place containing a pond and several decorations.
- Grand Hotel São Pedro. See #Sleep section.
- Igreja Matriz Imaculada Conceição, R. Raul Ribeiro da Costa, 59-61. The city's central church, a modern building with the shape of a cross. The square in the front of the church contains a statue of St. James, as a reference to "Caminho do Sol" pilgrimage route.
- Mini-Horto, Rua Raul Ribeiro da Costa, no number, ☎ . Green space designed for relaxation and medidation, containing fountain, trails, gardens and aquarium. It is part of the "Caminho do Sol" pilgrimage route, containing the Casa de Santiago monument.
- Mini-Pantanal, Rua dos Curiós, no number. A small version of the Pantanal next to the Araquá river, containing a lake with alligators, capybaras and several types of birds.
- SPA Thermal (Balneário Municipal), Av. Carlos Mauro, s/n, ☎ . The city's famous public bath facility, offering mineral spring baths and several other spa treatments. A 20-minute hot sulphurous water bath (with the 2nd highest concentration of sulphur in the World) costs R$ 15.
- Fontanário Municipal, Av. Carlos Mauro, s/n (Next to the SPA Thermal). Here one can drink (for free) the city's three types of therapeutic waters.
- Parque Municipal Dr. Octavio Moura Andrade, Av. Carlos Mauro, s/n, ☎ . The large park, with 1.2 million square meters, offers several light and family-friendly activities, like horse rides, touristic train rides and cultural events. The park also contains a forest with a trail.
Av. Carlos Mauro is the town's highly tourist-oriented shopping street. There is a supermarket at Praça dos Rouxinóis.
- Villa Tardivelli, Av. Carlos Mauro, 318 - Centro, ☎ . Italian restaurant.
- Restaurante do Lago, Rodovia SP304, km 190 (Near entrance of the city). As the name says, the restaurant has a small lake, offering activities for children. Fish, Brazilian and Italian food.
- Grand Hotel São Pedro, Av. Carlos Mauro, no number (At Parque Dr. Otávio de Moura Andrade), toll-free: 0800 7700 790. The "Grand Hotel" is not only a luxury resort hotel, but also a technical school and the city's main historical attraction, open to the public. Facilities include a golf camp, swimming pools, spa, sport centers, a gastronomic center and pleasant green areas.