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State of Minas Gerais

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The landlocked State of Minas Gerais contains Brazil's storehouse of minerals, industrial diamonds, semiprecious gems, and quartz crystals. Visitors taking time to tour the region walk away with a deeper understanding of the country's industrial history, as well as a greater appreciation for its distinct architecture, cuisine, and natural treasures. Cosmopolitan cities packed with modern attractions provide plenty of urban things to do in State of Minas Gerais, while hydro-mineral spas and national parks serve as popular alternatives suitable for nature-lovers and travelers interested in discovering the quieter side of Brazil. In the build up to your vacation in State of Minas Gerais, plan trip itinerary minutiae using the visitor reviews, staff write-ups, and custom search fields on our Brazil trip generator.
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Minas Gerais Holiday Planning Guide

The landlocked State of Minas Gerais contains Brazil's storehouse of minerals, industrial diamonds, semiprecious gems, and quartz crystals. Visitors taking time to tour the region walk away with a deeper understanding of the country's industrial history, as well as a greater appreciation for its distinct architecture, cuisine, and natural treasures. Cosmopolitan cities packed with modern attractions provide plenty of urban things to do in State of Minas Gerais, while hydro-mineral spas and national parks serve as popular alternatives suitable for nature lovers and travelers interested in discovering the quieter side of Brazil.

Places to Visit in Minas Gerais

Cities in Minas Gerais

Belo Horizonte: The starting point for many Minas Gerais itineraries, state capital Belo Horizonte takes its name from the scenic mountain views it offers, with excellent opportunities for hiking and other outdoor activities at the doorstep.

Tiradentes: This scenic mountain town captures the essence of colonial-era Brazil, with well-preserved architecture complemented by the charm of the surrounding nature.

Ouro Preto: No trip to Minas Gerais is complete without visiting Ouro Preto, a World Heritage Site displaying perfectly preserved Baroque architecture, nestled in a lush valley.

Pocos de Caldas: It's all about nature in the City of Roses, a mountain settlement boasting natural hot springs to complement its colonial architecture and abundance of public parks.

Popular Minas Gerais Tourist Attractions

Praca da Liberdade: The beating heart of Belo Horizonte, this central square impresses with its majestic fountains and leafy, palm-lined perimeter, while the city's fun-loving youth gather and mingle by its statutes.

Mercado Central de Belo Horizonte: There's no better way to get a sense of the local culture on your Minas Gerais vacation than by visiting this bustling market, where you can admire colorful shop fronts, smell an intoxicating cocktail of aromas, and taste some delicious local cuisine.

Inhotim: Nature and art blend seamlessly at this conceptual open-air museum, where works of modern art have been built into the forest and lake to create a semi-natural, semi-synthetic wonderland.

Estadio Governador Magalhaes: Feel the history in the air at this massive stadium, which hosted events during both the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Centro Médico Ouro Preto: You won't find any better preserved town center on your Minas Gerais holiday than that of Ouro Preto, a World Heritage Site displaying gorgeous Baroque architecture and charming cobbled streets.

Pedra Redonda: Climb to the top of the giant rock to enjoy well-earned, panoramic views over the rolling green scenery below.

Conjunto Arquitetonico Da Pampulha: A modern architectural marvel granted the status of a World Heritage Site, this lakeside complex--designed by the architect who planned Brasilia--features a golf club, a church, and even a casino.

Water Park: Cool off with the whole family at this exciting water complex, featuring plenty of fun activities for kids and adults of all ages.

Praça São Francisco de Assis: Not to be missed on any Minas Gerais itinerary, this distinctive lakeside church, with its wave-like curves and colorful modern design, will challenge your existing image of religious buildings.

Palacio das Artes: Browse a fascinating collection of exhibits at this modern gallery, which--aside from housing an array of interesting pieces--plays an important role in fostering the arts scene of Minas Gerais.

Dining and Shopping on Holiday in Minas Gerais

Cuisine of Minas Gerais

You can expect to sample a delicious array of local specialties during your trip to Minas Gerais, where the cooking style captures the essence of traditional Brazilian cuisine.

Blending a mix of European, Native American, and African influences, the state's cuisine includes heady stews, cheeses produced on local farms, and many pork- and bean-based dishes.

During your Minas Gerais vacation, make sure you try frango com quiabo, a dish of chicken and green chili cooked in vinegar.

You'll find the widest range of dishes in Belo Horizonte, with other regional centers like Ouro Preto also offering great meals made with fresh produce.

Shopping in Minas Gerais

You can find a nice balance of traditional souvenirs and big-name brands while shopping during your Minas Gerais holiday.

Start in Belo Horizonte, where you can browse through expansive shopping malls, including BH Shopping and Diamond Mall in search of all the finest modern goods.

Look beyond the capital during your Minas Gerais trip to pick up specialized local souvenirs, including cachaca--an alcoholic drink made from sugarcane--and some of the state's famous gemstones, including emeralds and diamonds.

Know Before You Go on a Trip to Minas Gerais

Interesting Facts About Minas Gerais

● Minas Gerais has a rich mining history, with the state believed to have produced around 80 percent of the world's gold in the 18th century

● The state also produces large amounts of coffee--around half of the country's total production

● The state's capital, Belo Horizonte, is the third-largest city in Brazil

Holidays & Festivals in Minas Gerais

Public holidays in Minas Gerais reflect those of the country as a whole, with a few extra special festivals and events.

Easter is a particularly big deal in some of the state's more devoutly Catholic cities, especially Ouro Preto, where you'll see streets lined with decorative, naturally made carpets.

If you vacation in Minas Gerais in December, head to the capital for Belo Horizonte Day. Of course, nothing compares to Carnaval, when the streets of Belo Horizonte come alive with festive extravagance.

Useful Minas Gerais Travel Tips

Climate of Minas Gerais

Minas Gerais enjoys a diverse climate across its regions, although its predominantly mountainous terrain keeps temperatures slightly cooler than much of the rest of Brazil.

Cities like Uberlandia experience a tropical climate, with heavy rainfall between October and March, while Belo Horizonte enjoys a less dramatic, subtropical climate.

The cooler months--between May and September--typically stand out as the best time to take a trip to Minas Gerais, with a lower chance of rain and generally pleasant temperatures.

Transportation in Minas Gerais

Despite the state's large size, you'll have no problem getting from city to city on your Minas Gerais itinerary.

You can fly to Belo Horizonte from most major destinations in Brazil. From there it's an easy bus ride to Ouro Preto, or a few hours farther to Tiradentes.

Navigating the transit system in Belo Horizonte could well be the most difficult aspect of your Minas Gerais holiday--the city's metro has a reputation for having too few stations, many of which are inconveniently located.

If you're prepared to pay a bit extra, consider taking taxis to navigate the large city and its suburbs.