It is said that if you want to experience a country, then travel around as the locals do. It is always good to travel by road using inter-city buses to get the pulse of a place. With lots of time on our hands, we chose to take Kaissara coach from Sao Paulo to Rio De Janerio.
Most national & all international coaches leaving Sao Paulo depart from Terminal Rodoviário do Tietê , second largest bus terminal in world. While we bought our tickets a day couple of days in advance, one can buy it before departure as well. There are numerous companies providing similar service so decide based on timing that suits you. For more timetable & prices, you can click here.
After a short UBER ride to the coach station, we took 9:15 am bus from Sao Paulo. The coach was exceptionally clean & with pleasant driver at wheel, the journey felt like a breeze. There were just about 15 people in the bus & none of them knew any English.
The drive is straight run of about 400 km and took us 6.5 hours. This included half an hour lunch break at a picturesque place named Queluz. One of the many highway stops, these are called Churrascarias and serve buffet by the kilo. There was a huge water reservoir right next to us and half an hour just went by. This part of the Brazil has great highways that can rival the ones in US/Canada. There was a toll booth after every 70 km or so but looking at the road quality, it seems worth it. Coach dropped us at Rio bus station named Novo Rio and from there we made way to our apartment at Copacabana. There are multiple ways to travel to Zona Sul – Tourist centre of Rio. One may use local buses, BRT, local cabs or UBER.
We are looking forward to these next 4 days at this much awaited place of our itinerary.
- Carry a jacket in the bus as Air-Conditioning can be unforgiving at times.
- Always buy tickets from bus station. They will be cheaper than online purchases by about 10-20%.
- Four kinds of coaches are available. Conventional, Executive, Semi-Leito (semi-sleeper) & Leito (full sleeper). For Day travel, choose Executive & for overnight, choose Semi-Leito.
For us, it was an opportunity to observe Brazilians up close & personal. Journey was comfortable and frankly, takes just about 2 hours more than flying between two cities (considering check in times at airports)