São Pedro offers contemplation route with light zipline and hot air balloon ride

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While waiting for their turn to jump on the zipline that offers the Itaqueri mountain range as a backdrop, visitors to the city of São Pedro discuss how dramatic the route will be. In line, they watch spirited instructors turning upside down as they glide 60 meters into the air.

The initial fear soon turns to relaxation when they realize that the proposal there is to enjoy the view without dying of fear, and the doubt that sucked the soul of many in the place was successfully resolved: with a little way, it was possible to hold the cell phone and film yourself on the path that has a total of 500 meters, since the speed during the route pleases those who want emotion at very moderate levels.

Close to Brotas, a reference among adventure destinations, São Pedro, about 190 km from São Paulo —not to be confused with Águas de São Pedro—, seeks another niche. There, it is even possible to feel butterflies in the stomach, but what prevails is contemplation, on the zip-line, on balloon rides — and even in the gastronomic part.

After all, after eating country delicacies, such as an unbelievable crackling lollipop or a rib that spent hours on the breath before being served, what remains is to look at the horizon while digesting.

Rogério Boaventura, from Rancho da Tirolesa, says he designed the project precisely so that the place would not be restricted to “young people in search of adrenaline”. So, in addition to the steel cables to glide smoothly, it offers pony rides and, once a year, a luau that “only plays retro music”. “When it’s rock, it’s retro, when it’s MPB, it’s Milton Nascimento, so young people don’t show up,” he explains.

On regular days, the ranch, which does not charge admission or minimum consumption, attracts couples and families looking for what Boaventura calls “rural meals” with a natural setting around.

Children can go alone on the zipline, as long as they weigh at least 40 kg — if the weight is less than the minimum limit, an instructor will accompany the person, and the total sum must be a maximum of 100 kg. On one of the doors, hundreds of stickers with motorcycle club coats of arms show another vein of local customers.

If the tune is to observe the landscape with zero risk, the city has two options very close to each other. At Marcelo Golinelli Park, visitors will find a walking trail with decks to enjoy the view of the Itaqueri mountain range. Opposite, another park, the Cristo, has a staircase that leads to a viewpoint with an unintentionally kitschy 17-meter statue of Christ the Redeemer.

For the steps of the stairs, the city hall commissioned a local artist to paint a perspective that highlights the attractions of São Pedro, including the balloon rides. With 33 years of experience in the area and flights carried out in Japan, Argentina and Spain, Feodor Nenov, 58, is the one who leads the main company to offer the service in the San Pedro region.

For about an hour, always at dawn — around 5 am, when the wind conditions are better —, travelers can fly over the city, on a tour that surprises with the smoothness of the movements and dazzles by the visual spectacle provided by the balloon. Thus, Nenov, who says he has flown with more than 15,000 people, reports having witnessed many proposals in the air.

It’s not a cheap attraction. Exclusive flights, for two people, cost BRL 1,800, a value that reaches BRL 2,400 for four travelers and BRL 3,600 for six – children from the age of six can participate. Those who venture alongside strangers will pay an average of R$500. The price includes respect for a French tradition: to celebrate the tour, everyone toasts with sparkling wine at the end.

On the ground, on the road between São Pedro and Brotas, a spot stands out. Opened in 2003 as a bar, Vila del Capo became a restaurant and antique shop, the result of the hobby of its owner, a former executive of a multinational. There, it is possible to find everything from a 1.5 ton stone angelim lion that costs R$ 50,000 — without shipping — to fax machines, which, depending on the age of the visitor, may sound strange.

There are also crystals, furniture, resin objects and even old musical recordings, in a peculiar curatorship — the rustic mansion houses so many objects that manager Bruna Souza says she doesn’t know the size of the collection.

Although the Covid pandemic forced the establishment to close for the first time since its opening, the resumption was good for business, and the movement, says Souza, is today three times what was seen in the period before the coronavirus crisis. . With a capacity for 60 people, the restaurant works almost exclusively with lunch reservations. At night, it only opens for contracted events.

Outside the silence of the antique shop and in a different approach to attractions such as zip lines and balloon rides, Thermas Water Park is one of São Pedro’s main assets. With 70 thousand m², the water park brings together toboggans, artificial waves, children’s areas and the entire arsenal of entertainment that places like this offer.

At a time when the coronavirus is scaring Brazilians again with the arrival of the ômicron, the park has reduced visitor entry to 60% of its total capacity. Thus, on a crowded day, Thermas welcomes 6,000 people. Other measures to prevent the spread of the virus include guidelines for the use of masks in transit between attractions and in covered areas, but the recommendation, especially when traveling from one toy to another, is almost always disregarded.

On the verge of turning 30, the park is now working on building a resort. The delivery of the first part of the work, with 271 apartments, is scheduled for the second half of this year – by 2024, the expectation is that 3,000 units will be ready, in an investment of R$ 400 million.

Meanwhile, visitors to the water park — more than 495,000 in 2021 — migrate from pool to pool, and whoever wants to, as São Pedro proposes, is contemplating the scenery of giant buoys, colorful water slides and young people in search of adrenaline.

The journalist traveled at the invitation of the São Pedro City Hall.


Rancho from the zip line

Ulisses Guimaraes Highway, km 2.5
(19) 99964-9767
Prices: zipline (R$40), pony ride (R$50, about 35 minutes)

Balloon ride – AirBrasil

(19) 99706-6603
Prices: exclusive flights for two people (R$ 1,800), for four (R$ 2,400) and for six (R$ 3,600); per person, without exclusivity (R$ 500, on average)

Vila del Capo

Joao Dorigon Highway, km 7.5
(14) 99115-7472

Thermas Water Park

SP 304 Highway, km 189
(19) 3112-3388
Prices: BRL 140 (floating rates, advance purchases can generate discounts of up to 70%)

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