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  • Overview

    While unique among Brazilian state capitals in that it was founded by the French, Portugal annexed São Luis almost immediately after settlement. The city now boasts the most well-preserved colonial architecture in all of Latin America, its historic centre even recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    São Luis is also one of only three Brazilian state capitals built on a collection of islands, which adds considerably to its allure. Pastel-coloured mansions, craft shops and art galleries enchant tourists, while a lively reggae scene and vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture make sun-filled days unforgettable. Quaint streets are beyond tempting in the soft moonlight but we'd advise that visitors don't explore São Luis alone, especially at night.

    History lovers will enjoy visiting the pretty historic town of Alcantara. Lying just across São Marcos Bay, it has a laid-back and rustic aura, and bundles of charm. Many celebrated poets and writers have called the city home, including Brazil's national poet, Gonçalves Dias.

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    English Pronounciation

    The city of Sao Luis is located on an island in Sao Marcos Bay, in the Atlantic Ocean. Its tropical monsoon climate is typified by hot, humid, wet weather, with lots of clouds and heavy rain from December through July. The city's driest period falls between October and November, which is probably the best time to visit. Temperatures average between 72°F (22°C) and 86°F (30°C) year-round.

    Marechal Cunha Machado International Airport
    Location: The airport is located roughly nine miles (15km) from Sao Luis.
    Time: Local time is GMT -3
    Getting to the city: An urban bus line connects the city to the airport and is available from 5am to 11pm. Bus 901 São Cristovão/Alemanha leaves from right outside the terminal (follow the signs) every 25 minutes or so, and takes about 45 minutes to reach Praça Deodouro in the city centre. Taxis and hotel shuttles are available.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies represented at the airport include Hertz and Avis.
    Airport Taxis: Taxi services are available 24 hours a day.
    Facilities: Airport facilities include ATMs, a medical post, restaurants, a pharmacy, a comfort station, baggage protection, a post office, a baby changer, a clinic, and various shops.
    Parking Parking is available.

    Visitors staying in Sao Luis' historic centre will find most major sights are within walking distance. However, for more distant attractions, many buses operate in the Sao Luis city area. Intercity buses also run from the Praia Grande to other parts of Brazil, including Brasilia, Belem and Porto Alegre. Tickets are available at the station, or from some travel agents. Taxis are available in the city, and can be ordered by phone when they cannot be found on the street.

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    No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination