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History & Food

The Food and History Tour is a culture-packed 9-day itinerary in Brazil. Are you looking for discovering historic places with a private guide? This tour will take you to the state of Minas Gerais, which has some of the best preserved colonial towns in Brazil and is famous for its delicious cuisine and hospitality. While staying at charming small pousadas, discover the picturesque historic towns of Ouro Preto, Tiradentes, Congonhas, Sao Joao del Rei, Mariana, Serro and Diamantina. You will feel as if you’ve stepped into an old movie! Learn about the goldsmith and take a journey on a vintage steam train. And while taking in the beauty of the architecture, stop at the traditional restaurants to try feijoada, pão de queijo, brigadeiro, and some of the best cakes in the country. We bet, it tastes better in Minas Gerais than in any other place. The region is not only home to the preserved past, it is also hosting a fascinating open air modern arts park, Inhotim. To balance off, a hike in the panoramic national parks of Andorinhas and Serra do Cipo is never a bad idea. 

9 Days – From £2,340 per person 

*equivalent in USD, EUR accepted

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

  • Price is per person, based on two people sharing in a double/twin room
  • Accommodation with breakfast
  • All the excursions mentioned in the itinerary 
  • All transfers on a private basis
  • Entrance & guiding fees 
  • All mandatory local taxes
  • Visa, where applicable
  • International Flights (See Flights to Brazil)
  • Domestic Flights 
  • Personal Expenses
  • Insurance
  • Tips & Gratuities
  • Meals not mentioned in the description

International flights are not included in the package price. We give you the freedom to book the flights yourself, 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. The starting point is Belo Horizonte Airport (CNF) which is connected by flight to all major cities in Brazil, as well as with direct flights form Lisbon, Miami, new York and Panama City.

For families and groups (starting with 5 pax), we can book domestic flights in Brazil, during the high season, and if the trip is part of a more complex itinerary. This is to ensure a seamless travel and no complications.

Send us a message on WhatsApp (+44 7 308 449 233) or email us at brazil@boutiquetravelexperts.com to check availability, discuss your preferences and get a quote.

This is a sample itinerary and prices are correct at the time of writing. We can tailor it to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities. More days can be added. Other hotels can be chosen, according to your liking. You can also combine this trip with other sights in Brazil, like the cosmopolitan Rio de Janeiro, the exciting Amazon rainforest, the fascinating Pantanal or the deep canyons of the south. For more travel inspiration check these itineraries.

To avoid unpleasant weather surprises, we recommend to check our Brazil Weather Guide to plan your trip in the right season. Click on the month you want to travel in and see the tours which are best for each month of the year. 

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.

hundreds of skyscrapers in the city of Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais state in Brazil

Day 2 - 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.

colourful colonial houses in the picturesque historic town of Ouro Preto in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil

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.

two baroque style colonial churches located in the centre of the historic town of Mariana in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil

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.

view of a baroque church in the historic town of Tiradentes at night, it is located in the region of Minas Gerais in Brazil

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.

the historic Maria Fumaca steam train running between the colonial town of Tiradentes and Sao Joao del Rei in Brazil

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.

traditional Brazilian dishes such as feijoada, rice, mandioca and caipirinha

Day 7 - Sera 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 - the famous Brazilian cheese bread from Minas Gerais

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.

the colorful houses and church in the historic town of Serro in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil

Day 9 - Back to Belo Horizonte

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 with horses in the centre of the colonial town of Tiradentes in Brazil

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