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Brazil Belo Horizonte Panorama

Gold Road to Ouro Preto

Bite-sized trip

  • Itinerary:
    Rio - Tiradentes - Ouro Preto - Belo Horizonte
  • Duration:
    5 days / 4 nights (flexible)
  • Price:
    From £ 614.- per person (excluding flights)
This self-drive trip will take you from Rio de Janeiro to the baroque cities of gold such as Sao Joao and Ouro Preto before ending at Belo Horizonte airport. As you head out of Rio, you'll travel north along well-maintained road towards the 'hidden' town of Tiradentes. Along the way, you might want to stop off for lunch at the imperial gardens of Petropolis. The colonial gem Tiradentes is nestled deep in the hill country. You'll spend two nights here so that you'll have enough time to explore the surroundings by car. Afterwards, you'll continue on to Ouro Preto, a historical town that became wealthy during the 17th century gold rush.
Brazil Belo Horizonte church
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Day 1 – Rio – Petropolis – Tiradentes

On day 1 of your Brazil colonial cities tour you’ll pick up your rental car at a rental office in a Rio suburb. Before you head off, you’ll receive driving directions and an info pack from the car rental office. Then it’s an easy drive to the tranquil, well maintained road leading out of Rio. If you feel like parking your car for a rest stop, you can stop off at the former imperial city Petropolis this morning. From here you can continue driving to the picturesque countryside of the state of Minas Gerais and on to Tiradentes, a small traditional town nestled in the lush green hill country and the next stop on your Brazil colonial cities tour. You’ll spend tonight and tomorrow night in a pousada in Tiradentes.

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Day 2 – Tiradentes and surrounding area

Today is free to spend as you wish. Tiradentes, which is named after an 18th century freedom fighter, is home to baroque churches and art galleries. While in town, try one of the region’s traditional recipes such as Tutu á Mineira, a bean dish made with manioc flower, or try a meal prepared with the traditional Minas cheese.

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Day 3 – Tiradentes – Sao Joao – Congonhas – Ouro Preto

After breakfast today you’ll visit the historic town of Sao João del Rei, home to 3 17th century, baroque churches. You can go for a walk along the banks of the Corrego River that runs straight through the centre of town, stop off for a bit of lunch and then travel to Congonhas do Campo. The town is known for the pilgrim’s church perched upon a hilltop, Basilica do Senhor Bom Jesus do Matosinhos. After you’ve had a look around, you’ll continue on to Prados. This town is known for its music and leather tanning traditions. At the end of day 3 of you’ll reach Ouro Preto.

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Day 4 – Ouro Preto

You’ll spend the fourth day of this Brazil colonial cities tour exploring the narrow winding streets of Ouro Preto. This town became very wealthy during the gold rush and is now an open air museum of richly decorated baroque churches, there are more than 20 of them. Ouro Preto, which means ‘black gold’, has been a UNESCO protected site since 1980. This has helped the town to retain its historic 17th century atmosphere. The cobbled streets are uneven, so pack sturdy walking shoes. In the afternoon you can stop off for a tour of the Minas de Passagem gold mine on the way. During the tour you’ll descend into the mine by cart. Once you reach the bottom, 135m down, a guide will show you how gold was extracted from the mine. At the end of the afternoon you’ll return to Ouro Preto to spend the night there.

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Day 5 – Ouro Preto – Belo Horizonte

After breakfast on the last morning you’ll check out of your hotel room and drive to Belo Horizonte. Upon your arrival. drop off your car and you’ll fly on to your next destination.

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Accommodation

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Gold Road to Ouro Preto

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