Saturday, 22 February 2014

Where to run in São Paulo

I wanted to title this post "Where to run and cycle in São Paulo" but I've never cycled in my life* so I can't really be any expert in that field but on the odd occasion I do run. I even ran from home to Vila Nova the other morning for a coffee with friends; I did get a few strange looks as everyone else was on their way to work. I saw one other guy running with his backpack, must've been another Kiwi! If you've just arrived in the city it's a great way to find your way around. Carry enough money for an agua de coco in the park, and a taxi home if needed.

There are several parks you can run in this city. As usual the weekday early morning is best but if you don't have that option

  • Parque Ibirapuera - great for practicing dodging skills (children, dogs, elderly) during the weekend. 
  • Parque Vila Lobos in Alto de Pinheiros
  • Parque de Povo - little shade in a smaller park but convenient if you live in the neighbourhood (Itaim, Vila Olimpia)

You can also run down the middle of a busy road where they have set up bike and running lanes. If you don't mind breathing in a few fumes from the 3 lane roads on either side, try Av Sumare and Av Pedroso de Morais (which leads up to Parque Vila Lobos).

USP (Univeristy Sao Paulo) is next to where I live so I get to run in there on the weekends. It is filled with cycling and running groups, as well as rowers (the water is separate to the Tiête..). If you are not a student or professor you can run and cycle in there until 2pm on Saturday and Sundays. It's my favourite place to run on the weekend. If you don't live closeby you can drive into USP, park and run / cycle.

On Sundays, the Ciclofaixa is on! One lane along the main roads in the city are closed down for cyclists and runners. It's very well used as there is little other option to ride in this city outside of Sunday unless you have a death wish. My husband was fond of cycling to work in London but São Paulo is deadly business. The routes for the Ciclofaixa are here. Google "bicicletas alugar sao paulo" for where to rent bicycles. Itau "BikeSampa" also has bicycle stands dotted around the city where you can rent and return.  For the cyclists in you, if you don't mind fumes and smelly water then check out the newly formed bike lane CicloVia along the Tiête too.

If you are looking for races in São Paulo, here are some of the more popular ones

Bertioga-Maresias: 75km along the Litoral Norte can be run individually or up to team of 8 members. We did it last year and it was great fun! There are 2 stages: 31 May and 18 October 2014
Pão de Açucar Marthon 2014: The São Paulo edition is on the 21st September 2014. Applications are still not open.
Pão de Açucar for kids 2014 on 17th May. We took Sophie when she was 2 years old and she loved the whole experience. The actual race was a intimidating as she was one of the youngest in the race but one parent gets to run alongside them. Applications are not open yet.

Here are more races in Sao Paulo this year too if you are really keen.

*I'm guessing 3 times doesn't count: on a tricycle when I was 4, a Sonoma wine cycle tour when I was 33, and on a spinning bike in December at the new and amazing Velocity spinning studio in Itaim.


  1. I'm heading to Sao Paulo next week for 2 weeks, so this is really useful as I'm planning to run most days! How are the locals with runners?

    1. Richard, good morning!!!

      You are in São Paulo at this moment?
      Im asking because every Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday we run on "Parque do Povo" and "USP"

      If you are here, its a pleasure..receive you in our group..

    2. Hi Felipe!

      I am curious about the groups in USP as well as they all seem to be professional runners. Do you cater for all levels?


    3. Hello Felipe,
      I am visiting Sao Paulo from July 11 through July 25th. Please confirm if your group is still running in USP. I would love to join you guys.

    4. Hello,
      I am in SP on September 6 and I wanted to do a 13 miler for a marathon training. I am staying next to ibirapuera park.
      Any groups doing long runs in São Paulo.
      Contact me at

  2. Great! Lots of Paulistas run too - you'll see lots of people out running on the weekend.

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