Next to the Zoo and also inside the Parque do Estado is the Jardim Botânico, one of the nicest tourist attractions in São Paulo and a real paradise away from the concrete jungle of the city centre. A long, palm-fringed entrance leads to the Lineu Garden, inspired by the Uppsala Garden in Sweden, with two giant greenhouses, one used for temporary exhibitions and the other housing exotic, tropical plants.
Further in, a lake with water nymphs and aquatic plants inspires peace and tranquillity. This beautiful nature reserve is home to wild animals such as monkeys, sloths, tucans and herons among many others. The 360,000 square metres of protected rainforest is also home to the source of the Ipiranga River, which the government has protected since 1893.
The Botanical Institute was created in 1938 when the Botanical Gardens were made official; botanical research is carried out here. Visitors can enter the Museu Botânico to learn about the evolution of plants and Brazilian flora. The gardens also contain a children's play area, a bamboo tunnel and many trails through the vegetation.
It's set in a state reserve of over 800,000 square metres of coastal rainforest inside São Paulo's giant 526 hectare Parque Estadual das Fontes do Ipiranga, also known as the Parque do Estado (state park). As temperatures in São Paulo never fall below zero degrees, the animals live largely in outdoor enclosures and open paddocks, shaded by the trees of the forest. Guided tours (including night tours) are offered, with English-speaking guides available on request.