Arriving in Aparecida
Localization of Aparecida
Aparecida is situated in the Eastern tip of the State of São Paulo, 168 km East from the capital city São Paulo.
This area is known as the Vale do Paraíba (Paraiba Valley); this valley was carved by Paraiba river, which passes by several cities in the East of São Paulo and the West of neighbour State of Rio de Janeiro.
From Rio de Janeiro to Aparecida, the distance by road is approximately 265 km.
The most convenient ways to get to Aparecida are by car or by bus. There are no train or boat lines serving Aparecida. There is no commercial airport in Aparecida; the nearest airport is in São José dos Campos, about 90 km away.
Highways to Aparecida
The maps below show the routes from São Paulo to Aparecida and from Rio de Janeiro to Aparecida; notice that these maps are not at the same scale.
Route São Paulo to Aparecida;
click here to enlarge the map.
Via Dutra was chartered to private companies; it is in very good conditions (including signalization and emergency help), but there are more (and more expensive) road tolls. Check out the Via Dutra website: www.novadutra.com.br.
Between São Paulo and Aparecida, the main cities are Guarulhos (30 km from São Paulo) and São José dos Campos (100 km from São Paulo). It is possible to get from the international airport in Guarulhos directly to Aparecida, avoiding a passage through São Paulo.
It is also possible to fly to São José dos Campos and then drive to Aparecida, but few air companies operate this route (in 2007, the only company flying to São José dos Campos is OceanAir). Notice that, given the time spent with check in and baggage pick up, it will probably be faster (and cheaper) to drive to Aparecida than fly.
Route Rio de Janeiro to Aparecida;
click here to enlarge the map.
From Rio de Janeiro to Aparecida, the way is longer but also simple: drive about 15 km along Avenida Brasil (which passes near the International Airport Tom Jobim), then 250 km along Via Dutra.
The main cities along the way are Nova Iguaçu (35 km from Rio), Volta Redonda (120 km), Resende (170 km), Queluz (righ after the border between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, about 200 km from Rio) and Guaratinguetá (260 km from Rio, 5 km to Aparecida).
Buses to Aparecida
Because Aparecida is small, there are few lines ending there. However, many buses serving bigger cities (like São José dos Campos or Guarantiguetá) make brief stop overs in Aparecida. Notice, also, that during religious holidays many companies run extra buses to Aparecida.
In São Paulo, check out information with Passaro Marron.
In Rio de Janeiro, check out Viação Sampaio (www.viacaosampaio.com.br - site off-line), Viação 1001 and Viação Cometa.
To get to and from the State of Minas Gerais, check out Util and Gontijo.
Packages to Aparecida
Visitors coming during the religious holidays (Holy Week, October 12th and other special events) are advised to contract a trip package with a reliable travel operator; a package should include accommodation (either in Aparecida or other nearby city, possibly São Paulo), transportation and guidance.
The city becomes very crowded. Hotels should be booked well in advance; families rent space at their houses, but even this is far from being enough to accommodate all visitors. Buses are usually fully booked, and transit is difficult.
Click here for a list of hotels in Aparecida.
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