Following Montevideo we arrived at the port of Santos, Brazil, the gateway to São Paulo. Having had enough large city time, we chose to stay in the port city of Santos. We hoped the provided shuttle to a local shopping mall and then fired up the Uber app to take us to the historic downtown. Virtually all of our stops were covered by Uber and the fares are super cheap. Skip the taxis and buses and take this option.
After wandering the historic district we chose to explore the funicular railway up to the top of to Monte Serrat. Upon our arrival, we were told the railway was undergoing maintenance and only pre-booked groups were being accommodated. Fortunately a gentleman took notice and discussed the situation and that he would try to accommodate us. As we would later realize, this man was part of the family that originally built the railway and provided access to the casino and chapel on the hill. Our fortune was enhanced when a young lady arrived who was his daughter and graciously offered to personally guide us up the steep ascent and provide context to the surroundings. Nicole’s great great grandfather was responsible for building the railway, so her insight was fabulous. The family is in the process of refurbishing not only the funicular but the casino structure at the top. This outing was one of those few and far between occasions where everything comes together to make for a unique and memorable travel experience.
After taking on the views from the casino rooftop we made our way to the beautiful cathedral in the central district before making our way back to the vessel.
Next stop, Ilhabela, Brazil!