The Peabiru Trail

Connecting South America Since Ancient Times!

The creation of São Paulo is directly linked to Peabiru. The small Portuguese population that already inhabited the region of São Vicente knew by the Indians of the existence of “a road” that went to “ice-covered mountains” dominated by a “King” full of gold and silver! It was Potosi, and the “King” was Inka (do you know our “Inka Samba Tour” ?).

As for the creation of São Paulo, Martin Afonso de Sousa thought it pertinent to create there a basis for future explorations. The Jesuits came in sequence, with some different plans for those entrances. They dreamed of using those trails as an axis of expansion of catechesis in the interior of South America. São Paulo was one of those first Missions.

Apparently the buzz along what the priests called the “Path of São Tomé” was so intense that in 1560 the Governor-General of Colonial Brazil, Mem de Sá, decided to prohibit its use, under strong Jusuits protests, for fear of the influence of the spanish Conquistadores who made advances along its length. The early closure of the Trail is the greatest challenge to establish its location, depending on the few contemporary accounts.

Some historians believe that in certain parts the trail was paved with stone. And documents mention an eight-span wide path covered by a certain magical creeping herb that resisted even to fire and kept the outline of the path preventing other larger plants from growing in place. Some believe that Peabiru was more than a single way, but a system composed of a complex of tracks and paths, as well as instructions for moving through the South American territory.

Regardless of origin and aspect, the Peabiru Trail started from (or ended in) Cusco, passed via Potosí, Asuncion de Paraguay, and in the region of Guayrá (in the interior of Paraná State – just north of Foz do Iguassu) and divided in three branches into the Brazilian coast. The first one arrived in Santa Catarina, near Florianópolis, the middle one found the sea in Cananéia, and further north it descended to the Serra do Mar until it came across the coastal mangrove of present Cubatão, with paths that connected northwards , to São Tomé das Letras and Rio de Janeiro. 

Legend says about “Portals”, connecting Pedra do Fenicio (“Phoenician Stone” – at  Pedra da Gávea Mountain, Rio de Janeiro) to  São Tomé das Letras, to Cusco …, and to other parts of the “world”! Little is known about these routes, since the official history until today is very focused on the deeds of the settlers. People say, the Bandeirantes would have broken the interior in the country, until then savage and disconnected. 

It seems though that, long before they colonizers arrived in South America, there was already complex transcontinental communication between the different Ameridian cultures and the main duct of this integration was Peabiru. This is the connection with Inka, passing though Iguassú Falls & Rio de Janeiro!

See our “Inka Samba Tour”!

(Adapted from

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