Although it's also the location of the Latin America's largest seaport, Santos isn't just a boring port town. The city of 420,000, just 75 kilometers from São Paulo, features a seven-kilometer stretch of beach divided into just as many social cliques as you'd find on Ipanema. A verdant promenade separates the beach from the seafront condos and hotels, along which families and friends walk, amble, bike, skate, rollerblade, throw frisbees, you name it. Less sandy points of interest include the Museu do Café Brasileiro (Brazilian Coffee Museum), the Aquário Municipal (City Aquarium), the Orquidário Municipal (City Orchid Garden) and the Neo-Gothic Santos Cathedral.
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Monte Serrat is on a big hill, surrounded by nature. There are a lot of trees, plants and bushes. It is near the historic center. Depending on the weather, you can have a very good view of the harbor, the waterfront and the open sea. It is also possible to see Guarujá and one part of the Santos canal. On the top of the hill there are two constructions from different times. The church Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat was built in the beginning of the XVII century, when Brazil was still a colony of Portugal. The other building is the casino Monte Serrat. This cassino began to be built in the beginning of the XX century, but on behalf of the world war, it just finished being built in 1927. This casino was very popular, but in 1946 the government prohibited casinos here in Brazil. Nowadays the building is used for events and parties. It is open to the public. There is a cafeteria inside the building. The construction and the decoration of the place is really pretty. The view of the rooftop is stunning and breathtaking. To go up there you need to take cable car, and to go down, you can use the cable car again or go downstairs. There is a chapel built between 1598 and 1603. The chapel is part of the miracle story in which Joris Von Spielbergen and his crew wanted to attack the village of Monte Serrat. The locals ran away to the chapel to pray to Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat. They were afraid to die. While the pirates were climbing the mount a rock avalanche started and killed every one of the crew, but Joris didn’t die because he was in the harbor waiting for them. We strongly recommend visiting the place.
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At this aquarium, playful seals and scary sharks, along with many other fresh and saltwater fish and plant life, make for a fun family outing.
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