Brazilian History & Food

Belo Horizonte – Ouro Preto – Mariana – Congonhas – Tiradentes – São João del Rei – Inhotim – Serra do Cipó – Serro – Diamantina – Belo Horizonte

8 Days – From £2,340 per person

This tour will take you to the state of Minas Gerais, which has some of the best preserved colonial towns in Brazil and is also famous for its delicious cuisine and hospitable people. Discover the colourful historic towns and the works of Aleijadinho, where you will feel as though you’ve stepped back in time or into an old movie! Taste some of the finest recipes of Minas Gerais, like feijoada, pão de queijo, brigadeiro, and some of the best cakes in the country. Learn about the goldsmith, take a journey on a vintage steam train, visit one of the most beloved open air artspace, and connect with this fascinating part of Brazil.

  • Price is per person, based on two people sharing in a double/twin room
  • Accommodation & meals as per itinerary (breakfast and picnic lunch)
  • All the excursions mentioned in the itinerary on a private basis 
  • All transfers on a private basis
  • Entrance fees 
  • All mandatory local taxes
  • International Flights
  • Personal Expenses
  • Insurance
  • Tips

International flights are not included in the package price. We give you the freedom to use miles and choose your preferred airline, and if you are stuck we can help you find the right connections. Return flights to Brazil start from £800 per person, depending on the connections and time of the year. 

This is a sample itinerary and prices are correct at the time of writing. We can tailor the itinerary to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities. More days can be added and different hotels can be chosen according to your preferences and needs.

Give us a call or email us at brazil@boutiquetravelexperts.com to discuss your requirements, check availability and get a confirmed price. 

Day 1 – Welcome to Minas Gerais

Today you will land in Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Although Belo Horizonte is a jungle of skyscrapers, it has a pleasant vibe, everything here is spacious and you do not feel cramped. Time permitting take a city tour. Pampulha has some famous creations of Oscar Niemeyer, Praça da Liberdade is a beautiful palm tree-lined square with many interesting cultural centers. Our favourite spot is Pope Square, offering a panoramic view over the city – this is the best place to be at sunset. At dinner try some of the delicious recipes of this Brazilian gourmet paradise. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel.

Belo Horizonte

Day 2 – Belo Horizonte to Ouro Preto

Today you will be transferred to Ouro Preto. Nestled amongst lush green hills, Ouro Preto is a cultural gem and masterpiece of baroque architecture where you will step back in time. UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site.  Take a discovery tour to see Casa dos Contos, Inconfidencia Museum, Mineralogical Museum, Oratorio, churches and several beautiful local workshops where they still create gold jewelry. At the local restaurants, one can experience excellence of a regional food that was influenced by European and African cuisines. Treat yourself to fine dining. Overnight at Solar do Rosario.

Ouro Preto

Day 3 – Mariana & Andorinhas 

After breakfast visit one of the first capitals of Brazil by steam train or by car, Mariana. You will see the beautiful Sé Basílica, Minas Gerais Square, São Francisco de Assis and Nossa Senhora do Carmo churches. In the afternoon visit the nearby Andorinhas Park, 5 km from Ouro Preto. This is a protected area with very nice views, waterfalls and streams, surrounded by forest. Walk to see Mirante do Vermelhão, Pedra do Jacaré, Cachoeira do Veu da Noiva waterfall and maybe Cachoeira das Andorinhas which is a bit further on (a walk down the trail is needed). Upon return to Ouro Preto, spend the evening at leisure. Overnight at Solar do Rosario.

Mariana

Day 4 – Congonhas & Tiradentes

After breakfast continue to Tiradentes, passing through Congonhas, a small baroque town where you can visit Basílica Bom Jesus de Matosinhos and Passos Chapel. Tiradentes is also very scenic and an ideal if you want to rest and eat well. It is simply comfortable and stylish. Visit the main historical spots of the city: Chafariz de São José, Museu de Arte Sacra, Padre Toledo’s house and the Church Matriz de Santo Antônio. The small shops craftworks are of the finest quality, Brazilian art being the result of a mixed colonial society. This aspect distinguished Brazilian baroque from the European one. Overnight at Solar da Ponte.

Tiradentes at night

Day 5 São João del Rei

After breakfast spend the morning in Tiradentes and then visit another marvelous colonial town at midday. Take a fantastic train ride on the Maria Fumaça Train, from Tiradentes up to São João del Rei (Friday-Sunday only). Departures from Tiradentes at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. A must-see place in São João Del Rei is São Francisco de Assis Church, which is the first baroque church in the country and the only one in town designed by Aleijadinho. In the evening return to Tiradentes and enjoy an evening tea and free time to walk around the neighbourhood and indulge in a spot of shopping. Overnight at Solar da Ponte.

Maria Fumaca Steam Train

Day 6 – Inhotim 

Today continue your journey, discovering an amazing art space, one of a kind. It is acknowledged as one of the main art destinations in the world, currently being the largest open air museum of contemporary art. Institute Inhotim is a mixture of contemporary art and nature. There are more than 500 pieces of art spread throughout many pavilions and open-air areas. All of this is surrounded by lakes, gardens, mountains and valleys. The Institute is the only place in Latin America, where you can find a titan arum plant, the biggest flower of the world. After the visit continue your journey towards the park of Serra do Cipo. Overnight at Capim do Mato.

Feijoada

Day 7 – Serra do Cipo

After nourishing your art and history spirit, today take a break and reflect on it in the nature. Spend a full day in one of the most beautiful nature parks of Minas Gerais. With a wide variety of flora and fauna and gorgeous natural landscapes, Serra do Cipo is a fantastic destination for walking. Enjoy trekking and get to see beautiful caves, waterfalls, rivers, canyons and forest. The guide will tell you about the local plants and animals and you even might spot some of them while hiking. After a relaxing time at the hotel spa, prepare driving north to visit a few more picturesque towns the next day. Overnight at Capim do Mato.

Pao de Queijo

Day 8 – Serro & Diamantina

Today visit the historical towns of Serro and Diamantina. Theses cities are well known for the artisanal production of cheese, cachaça and sweets. The first people to settle here were adventurers, looking for gold and diamonds. This part of Minas Gerais has always been known for its precious stones, as the region always had potential for mining. But also gained fame for its personalities, like Chica da Silva, a slave woman who married a Portuguese, and Juscelino Kubitschek, former President of Brazil. Diamantina is a pretty UNESCO heritage site. Overnight at Pousada do Garimpo.

Serro

Day 9 – Departure

After breakfast you will be transferred back to Belo Horizonte to catch your flight home, or for onward travel. The departure time is flexible and you can plan your day accordingly. If you may want to explore more of Minas Gerais, we recommend some national parks such as Capitólio which is in the south of the state, and Caparaó in the east. These parks are more distant though and require more time, since there are a lot of beautiful nature sites to explore on a slow pace. 

Carriage in Tiradentes