If you are a person who likes to run, skate, bike, or walk--and the traffic and noise of São Paulo has you feeling beat up, take a break in Ibirapuera Park. The park is a lovely escape in the mega city of 40 million people. It covers approximately 554 acres.
I went there for a morning run, mid-week in July. The temperature was perfect (54F). The park visitors ranged from serious runners (with their running clubs proving a tented area with liquids and stretching mats), to recreational runners, joggers, skaters, bikers, yoga session attendees, Thai Chi groups, and plenty of walkers with and without dogs. Also present, park police. One time around the large loop is about 1.25 miles. You can easily run 3 miles without backtracking---I stayed on the main loop to avoid getting lost.
The park is huge and because of the number of other exercisers, feels very safe. I was there alone (a female) at 8 am and did not have any safety concerns. That being said, I personally would not go there alone, at dusk or at night.
Other relaxing aspects of the park include a lake, walking trails, and museums nearby (did not visit). The scenery is pretty. Admission is free.
I hear that the park is packed on the weekends as a portion of the of the 40 million city inhabitants seek a break from each other--only to bump into each other at the park.
Based on my one time visit: Week days are nice. It feels safe (at least in the day time). There are NO cars inside. The only "noise" that you will hear is the singing of birds, the pounding of running feet, and the soft conversations of the Paulistas exercisers.
Beat the concrete blues---go to the park: Avenue Pedro Alvares Cabral
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