São Paulo is the capital of the state which bears the same name. It is the largest city in Brazil with over 20 million people inhabiting the metropolitan area. Partly because of this, the city presents difficulties in gaining rides to the place you want to go. Paulistas aren't the most open people to hitchhikers, indeed in Brazil it's not too common. Truck drivers are generally a better bunch to ask and will be usually going further in terms of distance. The state of São Paulo has over 40 million inhabitants and statistically responsible for around 40% of the country's GDP.
|<map lat='-23.55' lng='-46.6' zoom='9' view='0' />|
|Licence plate:||SP São Paulo|
|Major roads:||BR-116, BR-381, SP-021, SP-070, SP-160|
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East towards Rio de Janeiro (BR-116)
- Posto Farol
From Terminal do Metro Armenia (near Metro station Armenia) take bus 384 to Itaquaquecetuba and tell the driver that you want to get off at Posto Farol at Rodovia Dutra . It's a big service station and truck stop, perfect to ask around. It has a Shell petrol station. Presidente Dutra is the name of BR-116, the main motorway connecting Rio and São Paulo which passes close to the airport near Guarulhos.
- Pedágio Arujá
Around four kilometres further up the road from Posto Farol there is a toll plaza in the city of Arujá. You can get closer by bus 384, the same that goes from Metro Armenia to the Posto Farol. The toll plaza has a lay-by to pull over, so some trucks stop there. Hitch further away from the toll booths, if you're too close you'll be sent further away anyways.
- CEASA Guarulhos
For something different head to the CEASA (Central de Abastecimento de Alimentos) in Guarulhos. From here its possible to get a truck anywhere in Brazil, the size of the place is overwhelming at first. CEASAs are centres of sale for producers of food.
I had to sleep in the Ceasa waiting for the one truck going to the Bolivian border but the truckies looked after us and we had free showers and food - two anonymous hitchiking friends.
It is also very possible to hitch on the road (Dutra) near the bus stops. Simply ask for a intercity bus that goes to the dutra, and start hitching there. While some people do not like hitching directly along the highway, I had no problems getting a ride quickly. Most of the time, there is a wide shoulder, and a grassy area where you can stand. Many people stop their cars on this shoulder regularly, so it is not a problem for them to stop - two different anonymous hitchhiking friends.
South towards Curitiba (BR-116)
- Posto Fase Quatro
From Terminal Tieté (Metro station Portuguesa-Tieté) take bus 164 to Itapecerica da Serra and get off at the exit from BR-116 to Itapecerica. Tell the driver to stop em saida da Biittencourt pra Itapecerica. It should cost you around 7 reais. From there walk along the motorway for around 300m until you get to Posto Fase Quatro with Shell petrol station. The ride with a bus is about 1.5 hours through all the São Paulo, but the bus passes close to the Metro station Cidade Jardim, so you can catch it there to save time. Another option to get to the posto is bus 282 also from Tietê, but the last one leaves at 18:00. This one passes close to the Metro station Butanta and costs around 8 reais. Régis Bittencourt is the name of BR-116 connecting São Paulo and Curitiba. Here is the video made on the place.
- Pedágio São Lourenço da Serra
From Metro station Capão Redondo take either bus 001 or 340 to Itapecerica da Serra and get off at Praça Belchior de Pontes in the town of Itapecerica. From the same praça take bus 030 to Jaquitiba (2.75 reais) and tell the driver that you want to get off at pédagio (toll plaza). Hitch slightly behind the toll booths. Another option to get to the pedágio is bus 282 from Terminal Tietê, but the last one leaves at 18:00 and on weekends 16:00.
Make your way to Jundiai by train. From the centre of São Paulo go to Metro station Luz and get the A train. The fare is around R$ 2.80 Once you get to Jundiai station you will need to walk or get a bus through the city to either one of the Rodovias Anchieta or Bandeirantes. There is a posto de gasolina (petrol station) and truck stop a little north of the city on the Rodovia Anchieta. Lunchtime is a good time to find a caminhoneiro (truck driver). If not there are always truck drivers trying to fix their trucks. Have a map on you so you familiarise yourself with the many cities in the area when asking for lifts.
"I waited a long time at one petrol station because I was lazy and couldn't be bothered asking people. I did find a ride after two hours to Campinas which left me having to do the same thing again at another Petrol Station. I let a few rides go because many motorists didn't know the town i wanted to go to even though it was on their way" - The author and hitch-hiker.
North towards Belo Horizonte (BR-381)
There is a gas station with a McDonalds on the BR-381, not very far from São Paulo city and reachable by bus. It is not very big, but you can definitely get a lift to the next, larger one. It is easy to get there with a bus, but it takes a lot of time (a journey of around one hour). Bus 1783-10 you can take from the metro L1 Santana station, it departs every 20 minutes. Bus 2023-10 departs from the same metro line L1, but three stations further north, Tucuruvi. Check google maps to be sure where to take the bus, and if the route still exists. Ask the driver for Rodoviaria Fernão Dias, it is the name of the motorway BR-381 going direction Belo Horizonte. The busses bring you very close to the motorway, and then you have 3 minutes walk till the gas station. You will have to cross the motorway over the bridge.
There you can ask drivers. There are very few cars going to Minas Gerais, but a lot of those driving at least till Atibaia. Just at the very beginning of Atibaia there comes a Petrobras gas station with "Frango Asado" restaurant. There is more traffic, and lots of people travelling to Minas Gerais stop for a meal there.