Nestled in the green peaks of Serra da Mantiqueira, 180km northeast of São Paulo, Campos do Jordão is at once a kitsch and rather plain confection. Still, it makes a comfortable base from which to explore the nearby peaks, which are home to some of the last remaining virgin araucária (Paraná pine) forests and proffer spectacular views of the Paraíba valley. There is also a renowned winter classical-music festival in July.
Its attractions throughout the year include German and Swiss cuisine restaurants, bars, and a cable car. There are many pousadas (inns) and chalets. Also, in order to cater to the large number of visitors, several bars, lounges, discos and clubs open during the winter months.
With sunny winters, excellent hotels and restaurants, and quaint timber frame architecture, Campos do Jordão has become synonymous with winter travel in São Paulo, especially to São Paulo city residents, who are just 167 kilometers (103 miles) away.
Be aware that the town is a hugely popular winter weekend getaway for Paulistas who enjoy the novelty of wearing woolens. Traffic and prices spike accordingly.