The city of São Paulo offers a wide array of choices for the evening-and-weekend athlete and a surprising number of options for the outdoors enthusiast. (For more on Brazil’s biggest city, see the BrazilMax São Paulo Travel Guide.)
São Paulo Health Clubs and Exercise Academies
For reasons of traffic, pollution, security and convenience, many paulistanos prefer to take their workouts at one of the many private health clubs that dot the city. The top “academies” are as well as or better equipped than their counterparts in the United States or Europe. Customary amenities include rooms full of the latest weight equipment and stationary bicycles and treadmills and a full schedule of aerobics classes. Many feature swimming pools, running tracks, sports courts and lessons in the Brazilian martial art capoeira. The leading chains have braches in different parts of town and most offer day passes for visitors. Some of the leading chains are Companhia Athletica, Runner, Competition, Bio Ritmo, and Formula.
Running and Jogging in São Paulo
An association called Corpore (the Portuguese acronym for Paulista United Runners) organizes cross-country races about once a month. Headquarters: Rua Bento de Andrade, 436, Jardim Paulista. Telephone: 3884-4188,
Bicycling in São Paulo
An association of cyclists, Sampa Bikers, runs regular night outings in the city as well as trips outside of town. Rua Baluarte 672, Vila Olímpia, Sao Paulo. Phone: 3045 2722.
Horseback Riding in São Paulo
Haras Cantareira organizes horseback riding inside Sao Paulo city limits, including occasional night outings on the weekends. Estrada da Cuncremix, 245, Serra da Cantareira. Telephone: 4485-1244.
Golf in São Paulo
Not so long ago, golf was conspicuously absent in Brazil, but the sport is now growing by 15% a year. Partly due to the its popularity among a large Japanese expatriate community, it caught on first in São Paulo, and the metropolitan region offers more opportunities to play than anywhere else in the country:
FPG Kaiser Golf Center - Rua Deputado João Caldeira, 273, Jardim Ceci, near the Congonhas Airport. Telephone: 5587-5844
Guarapiranga Golf & Country Club - Most clubs are private, but visitors can get starting times at the Guarapiranga course, set in the middle of a remaining expanse of the Atlantic Rainforest and next to a reservoir. Estrada do Jaceguava, Parelheiros. Telephone: 5922-1000,
Sao Francisco Golf Club - Avenida Martin Luther King, 1527, Osasco, Telephone: 3681-0329.
São Paulo Golf Club - Praça Dom Francisco de Souza, 540, Santo Amaro. Telephone: 5521-9255.
Academia Gold & Gym (driving range and putting green) - Avenida Marques de São Vicente, 1700, Barra Funda. Telephone: 3611-0080.