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. Click here for more information on our Brazil car hire options. 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.
Tiradentes and surrounding area
Today you are 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.
Tiradentes - Sao Joao - Congonhas - Ouro Preto
After breakfast today you’ll visit the historic town of Sao João del Rei, home to three 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.
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.
Ouro Preto – Belo Horizonte
After breakfast on the last morning you’ll check out of your hotel room and you’ll drive to Belo Horizonte. Upon your arrival you’ll drop off your car and you’ll fly on to your next destination.
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