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Minas Gerais

Visit Minas Gerais

Introduction

The state of Minas Gerais - ‘General Mines' - was a source of great wealth for the Portuguese imperialists, with gold and other precious metals found in plentiful supply in the forested hills that characterise much of this part of South Eastern Brazil. Pretty colonial towns such as Ouro Preto, Tiradentes and Mariana grew up to support the mining boom, and their cobbled streets, churches and whitewashed colonial mansions are well-preserved.

The beautiful Baroque churches in these towns are especially noteworthy, a good number of them featuring carvings by Brazil's most celebrated sculptor, Aleijadinho. As such, it's the colonial settlements to the south of the modern state capital, Belo Horizonte, and their cultural treasures that attract most visitors to Minas Gerais. Time allowing, it's also worth visiting one or more of the state's national parks - which protect swathes of cerrado forest and grasslands, in which live giant anteaters and other elusive and interesting animals.

Top itineraries in Minas Gerais

Best of Brazil

16-day tailor-made journey from £4,415 pp incl. flights

Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world, hides a continents worth of highlights within its borders. Teeming rainforests, sparkling beaches and iconic megacities can all be found here, along with a people and culture with a deserved reputation as one of the most welcoming on earth.

Where to go in Minas Gerais

Ibitipoca Reserve

The Reserva do Ibitipoca is a hidden gem, located a few hours to the north of Rio de Janeiro, in the Mantiqueira Mountains of southeastern Minas Gerais. The 3,000 hectare Ibitipoca reserve surrounds an elegantly restored 18th century farmhouse, the Fazenda do Engenho, which has quickly established …

Tiradentes

Tiradentes is, like Ouro Preto, one of Minas Gerais state's historic gold mining towns. It too has some carefully restored Baroque churches and whitewashed cottages built along steep cobbled streets, which clatter to the hoof-beat and trundling wheels of horse-drawn carriages - which are a popular …

Ouro Preto

Ouro Preto - or ‘Black Gold' - was named after the darkened nuggets of gold mined nearby during the 18th century gold rush. Fine colonial buildings were constructed on the back of the gold boom, with artists and craftsmen such as the ecclesiastical painter Mestre Athayde and the master sculptor Ale…

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