Mogi das Cruzes is a city in the state of São Paulo. The city has gained prominence as a regional tourism destination, after it became one of the three destinations of São Paulo's touristic train line (Expresso Turístico CPTM).
Being in the São Paulo Metropolitan area and having a population of more than 450.000 people, Mogi is the first big city in the Tietê river course, the central river in São Paulo city. Surrounded by hills and with a large area of the remains of the Atlantic rainforest, Mogi still has a lot to offer for those who like to spend some time in nature: 60% of its area is environmentally preserved, having 3 city parks, natural parks, the Urubu peak that gives a panoramic view of the region, several trails that go to stones and neighboring towns like Salesópolis, Biritiba Mirim and Guararema, and some waterfalls. Some people like to go fishing in one of the lakes that resulted from the water dam electricity plant. The city's origins go back to the 16th century, when the bandeirantes, the first men who explored Brazilian lands, chose this area to rest from their expeditions. Its population has mixed origins with immigrants of several origins. Among them, monuments of Japanese immigration and the mosque stand out. It is also one of the cities that produce vegetables for São Paulo city, and Mogi is the largest mushroom producer in Brazil. On Sundays, the Producer Market (Mercado do Produtor, varejão do cobal) receives buyers from neighboring cities and even from São Paulo, looking for fresh food and some ingredients that can be found only there.
- CPTM train line 11 (coral)
Get off from one of the 4 train stations in the city.
- 1 Jundiapeba Station (Estação Jundiapeba), Rua Dona Áurea Martins dos Anjos - Jundiapeba. Jundiapeba is a simple neighborhood with some reminiscent constructions of the train worker houses from the 19th century. Public security around it is not as good as in other places of the town.
- 2 Braz Cubas Station (Estação Braz Cubas). Simple residencial district, it is near the Leon Feffer Park.
- 3 Mogi das Cruzes Station (Estação Mogi das Cruzes), Praça Sacadura Cabral - Centro. Downtown train station. You can get to the Municipal Market and most shops downtown from here. It is also close to Asian product shops, Catedral de Sant'Ana, Carmo Church, and Theatro Vasques.
- 4 Estudantes Station (Estação Estudantes). Last station of the train line. Its name means "students", and it has this name because it is located between two private universities. It's also close to the shopping mall. You can get off here to transfer to the Estudantes bus terminal and get the city buses or intercity buses that go to the neighboring towns, or to the long-distance buses that go to Guararema, Jacareí, Aparecida, and Bertioga.
As a mid-sized city in the São Paulo metropolitan area, Mogi has a decent public transportation service and you can get to most places by bus. Most buses run with 10-20 min frequency around downtown during the weekdays, and they run with at least 90 minutes frequency on weekends even in rural areas. Most lines run between 05:00 and 23:00.
- 1 Termninal Central. Central Bus Terminal for city buses. Buses from Sabaúna district and the Serra do Mar (coastal mountain range), by the borders with Bertioga, arrive from here.
- 2 Terminal Estudantes. Bus terminal by the long distances bus terminal and intercity bus terminal, as well as the last station of the CPTM train line 11 (coral). There are buses from the urban neighborhoods and the rural areas, like where some trekking trails, waterfalls, and the Casarão do Chá (old tea factory) is located. There is a circular bus to the central terminal.
- 1 Centennial Park of Japanese Immigration (Parque Centenário da Imigração Japonesa), Av. Francisco Rodrigues Filho, s/n. Tu-Su 08:00-18:00. Commemorating 100 years of Japanese immigration to Brazil, this 215,000-m² park has 4 lakes, walking trails, playgrounds, a Museum of Japanese Immigration, and a replica of the Kasato Maru, the first ship to disembark at the port at Santos with Japanese immigrants. Free.
- 2 Sabaúna district, R. José Paniaguá Sanchez. Sabaúna is a now quiet village founded in the 19th century around the train station of the same name, by immigrants and workers that settled in that area. It used to ship minerals from the local quarry and vegetables produced by the immigrants. Now, the quarry is deactivated but can be visited. There is a small waterfall in the quarry (Pedreira e Cachoeira De Sabaúna).
It is located about 16.5 km from the city center. The main landmark of the village is its train station, inaugurated in 1893 and deactivated in 1986. You can enjoy the local food like rustic bread or feijoada, and chill in the laidback atmosphere sitting on the tables inside the small bakeries, bars, or restaurants. It is possible to walk from Sabaúna to Guararema, the neighboring town, which is more touristy.
- 3 Leon Feffer Park (Parque Leon Feffer), Av. Valentina Mello Freire Borenstein, s/n. 09:00-17:00. The Leon Feffer Park was open in August 2004 by the city of Mogi das Cruzes in the district of Braz Cubas. Having approximately 26 hectars, it enables a greater integration of the community with nature. Inserted in the Tietê River Back Environmental Protection Area, 6,000 seedlings were planted in the park.
It has a rich vegetation that borders the Tietê River, which is known as rivebank forest, responsible for protecting the riverbanks and for the formation of ecological corridors, connecting other forest fragments. Among the species found are ipe, marica, ingá, aroeira, angico, araçá, cambuci and fig tree. The local fauna includes several species of birds, capybaras and marsh rat.
The park also has equipment for physical and artistic activities. There are kiosks, a soccer field, a sand soccer field, multi-sport courts, volleyball courts, a skate park, playgrounds, a lake and a walking trail. Free.
- Neblinas Park (Parque das Neblinas), on the boundary with Bertioga, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 09:00-17:00. A private reserve with almost 300,000 hectares next to Serra do Mar State Park with guided nature trails varying in level from easy to expert and opportunities for mountain biking and canoeing. Needs booking.
- 4 Urubu Peak (Pico do Urubu). The highest point in the city. You can have a panoramic view of Mogi das Cruzes and the surrounding areas, such as the Itapeti mountain range, the neighboring cities, and, in clear days, you can get to see the coastal mountain range, Serra do Mar. There are paragliding groups on the weekends. You can get to the top either by car, bicycle, or climb it up hiking, and there are alternative natural trails. Free.
- 5 Casarão do Chá. Temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Casarão do Chá of Mogi das Cruzes was built as a tea factory, designed and built in 1942 by Japanese architect and carpenter Kazuo Hanaoka. For nearly three decades, this building housed a production line of black tea for export, employing Japanese immigrants. With the difficulties of the tea export market in Brazil, the factory ended its activities and became a warehouse, and over the years it naturally wore out. It is now a cultural center, space for exhibitions, festivals, plays, and events. The building is surrounded by tea trees.
Hiking and trekking
- 1 Pedra do Lagarto (walk up the Av. Antonio de Almeida until its end and get the road that goes up to the right). Much less popular than Pico do Urubu, Pedra do Lagarto is a good option for those who prefer hiking in natural, quieter, narrower trails. It is still part of the Itapety mountain range that Urubu is part of, offering a partial view of the city. There are two big rocks on the top, where the vegetation differs from the one on most of the trail. From early spring to late autumn, the road that leads to the trailhead is full of different types of butterflies. When hiking up on quiet days, you can also see wild animals and birds like toucans, penelopes, woodpeckers, and more. Average time of 1h to the top in a moderate pace.
- 2 Pedra Grande da Quatinga. Large rock in the district of Quatinga. Hikers can have a view of the surrounding green areas. It is on the way to Paranapiacaba, a train workers' village in Santo André.
- 3 Sabaúna District to Guararema (Travessia Sabaúna - Guararema). It is possible to hike from Sabaúna district to Guararema, the neighboring town which was used to be connected by the railway line. The distance to the closest village, Luis Carlos is only 5km, and the hike is easy. It has a small museum and some restaurants with local unique food, like coxinha with cassava dough. This path is part of the Rota da Luz Pilgrimage Route, which connects Mogi das Cruzes to Aparecida.
- 4 Trilha da Aranha. It takes you to a valley, the other side of Pico do Urubu. Steep, rough path.
- 5 Cross the Tietê river (get off at the Estudantes Station and walk Av Yoshiteru Onishi until it ends, then turn right; turn left in the roundabout and you'll be in the river preserve area). There are several places where you can cross the Tietê river, and in some of the points, you can see birds and capivaras. The spot indicated on the map is one of the quietest, although it goes along a road that has cars passing by. You can stop on the bridge or go to the river bank to see the birds. If you keep walking, you'll be in the avenue that takes to the Pedra do Lagarto trailhead.
- 6 Pedra do Sapo trail (Trilha da Pedra do Sapo) (take the bus E392 Estrada Mogi-Bertioga (Acampamento Final) from Estudantes bus terminal and get off on the final stop; keep following the signs for "Pedra do Sapo" until Rancho da Dona Maria, then keep right to the top). Although the destination is in Biritiba Mirim, the neighboring town, Pedra do Sapo is better accessed from Manoel Ferreira, a village in Mogi das Cruzes. The rock on the top has a peculiar shape and this trail is adjacent to several other trails, like the one that takes you to Torre do Itapanhaú, Pico do Garrafão, and Pico da Esplanada.
- 1 Municipal Market of Mogi das Cruzes (Mercado Municipal de Mogi das Cruzes (Mercadão)), R. Cel. Souza Franco, 440 - Centro. Municipal market of the city, has all things to cook with, from Asian food to feijoada. There are also good pulse, grains, dried fruits, flours, fruits, vegetables, fish, seafood, herbs for herbal teas, and meat. The second floor has fishing equipment, kitchen tools, and camping items. If you want to have something to eat right now, there are pastel, cakes, esfihas, and coxinhas.
Somewhat diverse for its size, Mogi has options of different cuisines to try. The influence from the people coming from Arab culture countries is a notable difference from neighboring towns. Some of the Japanese food restaurants are decent, too. You can eat relatively cheap in downtown and residential areas, but if you go around the shopping mall, it gets expensive.
- 1 Bisa Maria Gastronomia, Av. Cap. Manoel Rudge, 1169 - Parque Monte Libano. M-F 11:00-15:00, 18:00-22:00; Sa 11:00-16:00, 18:00-22:00; Su 12:00-17:00. Carefully prepared Brazilian food. Lunch combos are much cheaper than dinner.
- 2 Thayb Doces Árabes, R. Prof. Flaviano de Melo, 1151 - Centro. M-F 11:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-17:00, 18:00-22:00. Authentic arab food and sweets. Has different lunch meal sets for each weekday, shwarma, falafel, halawi and other sweets.
- 3 MN Lamen, R. Cel. Souza Franco, 813 - Centro. Tu-Sa 11:30-15:00,18:00-21:30; Su 11:30-15:00. Lamen, teishoku, gyoza.
- 4 Karin Lámen, Av. Ver. Narciso Yague Guimarães, 1540 - Jardim Armenia.
- 5 Goliat Gelato & Coffee, R. Galdino Alves, 142 - Parque Monte Libano. Good quality gelato-style ice cream. Lactose-free and sugar-free options available.
- 6 Tropical Açaí & Sorvete, Av. Japão, 781 - Vila Ipiranga. Cozy local açaí and icre cream place.
- 7 Açaí da Barra, Praça Monsenhor Roque Pinto de Barros, 9 - Centro. Branch of a big Açaí chain. Sugar-free options are available.
- 8 Producer Market, Av. Pref. Carlos Ferreira Lopes, 550 - Vila Mogilar. Su 06:00-13:00. Big producers' market selling fresh vegetables, mushrooms, flowers, plants, fishes, seafood, processed food, pastel, sugarcane juice, hamburgers, baozi, dumplings, paella, and more. It is the biggest in the area, and people from the neighboring cities and even from São Paulo come here looking for fresh food and some ingredients that they can only get here.
1 Cheirin Bão Mogi das Cruzes, Rua Padre João, 17 Praça Monsenhor Roque Pinto de Barros nro 17 - Centro. Minas Gerais themed coffee chop, offering different blends and brewing options.
- 1 ibis Mogi das Cruzes Shopping, Av. Ver. Narciso Yague Guimarães, 372 - Vila Partenio. Close to Estudantes station and bus terminal, Davo supermarket, and shopping mall.
Wi-Fi spots are pretty common and they're available in big stores, some restaurants, bars, cafes, shopping malls, and some city buses. The phone signal is strong in most of the urban area, and mobile phone works even in places like Urubu peak or Pedra do Lagarto, but not in rural isolated areas.
- Guararema - Small town with the old railway station as its symbol, you can take the touristic train, go to the park, walk through the preserved areas, hike and see the waterfall, appreciate the local unique cuisine, or just relax in the laidback atmosphere.
- Salesópolis - This is the town where Tietê river spring is located. It also has the Cachoeira da Porteira Preta that can be accessed by trails from Mogi das Cruzes.
- Bertioga - Coastal city with beautiful beaches, less crowded than Santos or Guarujá, and some cleaner and quieter ones.