5 days in rainy Santos

Santos Travel Blog

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From the Top of Monte Serrat

Santos.

Skip forward two months and ive at work. The trip at work went from Recife to New Orleans and then further on to the Houston/Galveston area and then down again to Salvador and finally Santos where i signed off.

I decided on taking a few days in Sao Paulo , but when i was about to step of the ship i was told that i had to stay in Santos. I was a little put off by the idea of spending time in a city ive been in (during nighttime) so many times before, but accepted the fact that this was not my choice to make and settled into the Parque Balneario hotel.

The hotel itself is located in the Gonzaga Area of Santos in the end of Costa Ana.

Embraer church
Avenue which is a place that has several good resturants , altough i had problems finding any really good bars in the area. If youre into going to the beach the location is really good as its located a 2minute stroll from the Beach and about the same distance to a bilingual tourist information.

The hotel is a 5star resort with all the amenities you can expect. You get a rooftop pool bar (with the adjoining jacuzzi and pool), a lobby bar , restarants , a game room with video games, a play area for kids , sauna and a small gym.

The Buffet breakfast was boring. The quality of the food where good, but the selection was quite poor. You only had scrambled eggs and some kind of sausages (the changed type everyday i was there) as the hot alternatives. For cold alternatives there where the same kind of spreads everyday.
Coffee Exchange Auction Hall
There where however sweet pastries availible and the coffee was good.

The rooms are comfortable, and have everything you can expect. Clean and modern bathrooms , a room safe , minibar and an acceptable view (I had room 605). The aircon where silent (many aircons arent!) and the air quality was good. I was very pleased with the rooms, but i would like to stress that the "high speed" internet was quite unreliable and the selection of english television channels could have been better. I found CNN and two channels playing english television series. I would have wanted (at least) Discovery Channel and BBC World (for a more unbiased view than the CNN).

In total i was very pleased with my stay at the Parque Balneario.

Pros:
Comfortable rooms
Play area for adults and for kids
Good location if youre activities involve the beach

Cons:
Poor selection of English TV channels
Poor selection (altough high quality) in buffett breakfast
Somewhat expensive(?).
On the way up to Monte Serrat. Probably not the safest neighbourhood to walk around in at sunset
My rate was BRL 280 pr night and that was not the official rate

The highlight of the Santos trip was without doubt the old Coffee Exchange and the history of the seaport which was the biggest port for coffee exports in the world during its hayday. Today its the biggest port in South America trading everything from Containers to toxic chemicals (which my ships carries)

The first day i went to the Monte Serrat mountain during sunset and i insisted on using the stairs. I probably walked through some pretty dodgy neighbourhoods after sunset which probably wasnt the safest thing ive ever done. The view from the top is however spectacular. I foind two good viewpoints in Santos if you want to watch over the entire lenght of the Costa Ana. Avenue and the rest of the city you get an exelent view from the top.


The other viewpoint is an pedestrian overpass very near the main square (with the city hall) which gives you a good view over the harbour area and the chemical terminal at Barnabe Island.

The Coffee exchange and its marvelous auction hall is probably the biggest "must see" in Santos as the Museum features a lot of English material and the fact that the building itself carries significant historical value. This was the place where the prices for coffee was negotiated and the different parcels of coffee where loaded onto the big sailing ships sailing towards Europe and the US.

Its also quite interesting to walk along the old yellow storage houses along the port and seeing that almost all of them are in a state of desperate disrepair. There are plans for rejuvinating the port area, but nothing has happened in the period 2005-2012 (My first visit to Santos was in 2005).


Another thing that might be mildly intersting is the Historical Streetcar ride. THe price is 5 realis. The tour itself might be interesting, but there is no english commentary which spoils the noisy and particularly bumpy 25minute ride. The tram tours around the old historical part of the city, but youll most likely cover all of that area by foot anyway.

The entire historical downtown of Santos is dotted with small squares and statues where some where more facinating than other.

Another recomended item is to walk along the beach. There is an more than 5000 meter long garden along the beach which features fountains and different kind of flowers. You also have the Calixto Art Museum , CHurch of Embraer and the Aquarium fairly close to eachother.

THe buses in Santos are aqtually based on a fairly simple system.
Most busses run towards the historical center in one direction and the beach (Praias 2 means Beach , near the Canal 2). I have given myself the titel "Santos Busmeister" since ive taken busses 4times and always ended up exactly where i wanted to go.

At many bus stops there are maps which shows exactly where the bus is going. Clever!

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From the Top of Monte Serrat
From the Top of Monte Serrat
Embraer church
Embraer church
Coffee Exchange Auction Hall
Coffee Exchange Auction Hall
On the way up to Monte Serrat. Pro…
On the way up to Monte Serrat. Pr…
Some Trophies!
Some Trophies!
The old coffee storage houses. Now…
The old coffee storage houses. No…
My ship :)
My ship :)
The port of Santos with my ship al…
The port of Santos with my ship a…
Drinking beer in all sorts of neig…
Drinking beer in all sorts of nei…
Santos
photo by: CFD