Though the French founded Sao Luis, making it unique among Brazilian state capitals, they'd barely established a settlement before Portugal took over. Today, the city boasts the most well preserved colonial architecture in all of Latin America. Indeed, its historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors usually enjoy its shabby, picturesque charm.
Sao Luis is also one of 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. A lively reggae scene and vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture make sun-filled days unforgettable. Quaint streets are beyond tempting in the moonlight. Still, visitors should not explore Sao Luis alone, especially at night.
History lovers will enjoy visiting the lovely historic town of Alcantara. Lying just across Sao Marcos Bay, its aura of laid-back tropical decay seems only to have enhanced its charm. Trivia fans should note that many celebrated poets and writers have called the city home, including Brazil's national poet, Gonçalves Dias.
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.
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.
No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination
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