Boutique Travel Experts

Speciality Coffee Circuit of Minas Gerais

Want to know how the green coffee bean becomes a delicious drink? If you are a coffee enthusiast, this itinerary is specially designed for you. Travel to the south of Minas Gerais state, deep in the picturesque Brazilian countryside, and learn about the sustainable coffee growing. The farms are set in the beautiful mountains of Serra da Mantiqueira, totally off the beaten path. The region is part of the old royal road, Estrada Real, stretching from Diamantina to Paraty. Visit family-run coffee farms and taste the best gourmet coffee from first hands. Walk among plantations, smelling the aroma at the time of flowering, noticing the fruit growing or watching the harvest. From May to September it’s the harvest time, so you can have fun picking coffee cherries. Speak with the farm owners who will be your guides, stay in charming country inns and enjoy exceptional Minas Gerais gastronomy and hospitality. Top it up with a spectacular balloon ride above the green hills and valleys of Serra da Mantiqueira. The trip can be done the other way around, adapted and changed, according to your preference. You can start in from Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Add this epicurean experience to your Brazil holiday. The program is an excellent choice for gourmets, for families travelling with children, a group of friends or couples, as well as for senior travellers.

12 Days – From £2,800 per person 

*equivalent in USD, EUR accepted

Itinerary: Espírito Santo do Pinhal, Poco de Caldas, Serra da Mantiqueira

  • Price is per person, based on two people sharing in a double/twin room
  • Accommodation with breakfast (more hotels HERE)
  • All the excursions mentioned in the itinerary 
  • All transfers by car on a private basis
  • Entrance & guiding fees to all the mentioned National Parks
  • 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. Fly to Sao Paulo (GRU).

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 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 our Brazil Itineraries.

Best time to visit: year round. 

  • Coffee Harvest Season: May to September
  • Coffee Blooming time: end of August to beginning of September.
  • Wine Harvest season: May to August (or during “Vindima” in June to July)

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 - Wine & Olive Oil

Today drive north of Sao Paulo (2,5 hours) to Vinícola Guaspari, a winery in Espirito Santo do Pinhal.  This old coffee farm has been transformed into a beautiful winery. Take a guided tour through the industry, the barrel cellar and taste different types of wine. Continue to Fazenda Irarema (1 hour), an old coffee plantation transformed into an olive farm, producing high-quality products. Take a walk in the scenic fields and taste olive oils with local delicacies. For the evening visit the spa town of Pocos de Caldas which has therapeutic hot springs in bathhouses such as Thermas Antônio Carlos. Overnight at Palace Hotel.

Vinicola Guaspari, Brazil

Day 2 - Fazenda Recanto

After breakfast, visit the waterfall of Cachoeira Véu das Noivas, then continue to Fazenda Recanto in Machado (1,5 hours). The 5th generation of this family-run coffee farm is growing specialty coffee. Learn about processing from wet mill and drying patios. In the roastery, watch how beans transform into a mix of flavours. Learn about coffee evaluation, taste several micro-lots in diverse methods of extraction, connecting the links, from the plants to the cups. After lunch, continue further to the south, to Santa Rita do Sapucai (1,5 hours). After check-in, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at Pousada do Barão.

Coffee beans in Brazil

Day 3 - Santa Rita do Sapucai

After breakfast, visit a few coffee farms around Santa Rita do Sapucai, such as Fazenda Delta, Grandpa Joel’s Coffee Farm and Casa Baldoni, where you will have a complete presentation about the difference between traditional and speciality coffee and learn about the entire process of speciality coffee. Smell and taste different types of coffee in a surprising discovery. Visit the plantation and enjoy beautiful view over the fields. A tasty organic meal will be served for lunch. Return to Santa Rita in the evening. What a day filled with a wonderful epicurean experience! Overnight at Pousada do Barão.

Speciality Coffee Santa Rita do Sapucai

Day 4 - Cristina & Carmo de Minas

Today visit a part of Serra da Mantiqueira with scenic valleys and mountains. Typically, specialty coffee is grown at high altitudes, with much care and attention from the farmer. Learn about the cultivation of high-altitude coffee at the farms around the charming towns of Cristina and Carmo de Minas, known for producing some of the best coffee types in Brazil. Go deeper into the specifics of gourmet coffee growing. You will have a barista presentation who will explain about different ways of preparation, followed by tasting. Overnight at Pousada Casarao Dos Noronha Kauage.

Coffee Flowers

Day 5 - Balloon Ride & Trem das Aguas

Early before sunrise, transfer to a high altitude farm to fly in a balloon over the green valleys. Take off from a coffee drying yard that is approximately 1100 meters above sea level. Contemplate the view over numerous coffee plantations and the beautiful mountains of Mantiqueira de Minas. The total tour takes an average of 4 hours. The panoramic flight lasts about an hour. Soon after the flight, breakfast is served with an energizing local coffee.  After lunch take a beautiful journey aboard the old train, Trem das Aguas (weekends only), from Sao Lourenco to the charming little town of Soledad de Minas. The return journey takes 2 hours. Overnight at Refúgio Eco Boutique Tuiuva.

Trem das Aguas

Day 6 - Sao Lourenco & Caxambu

Today visit the town of São Lourenço which is part of the historic Royal Road of Brazil, Estrada Real, taking in the identity and beauties of three Brazilian states. The route was used to transit gold and diamonds from Diamantina in Minas Gerais all the way down to the ports of Rio de Janeiro and Paraty. Sao Lourenco and Baependi are part of it old Royal Road bifurcation, from Paraty to Diamantina. Visit the thermal waters in Parque das Águas which have the medicinal properties. Spend the day at leisure in the park. After lunch, continue to the nearby town of Caxambu, which also has mineral water springs. Overnight at JS Park Hotel.

Caxambu

Day 7 - Baependi

Today transfer to Baependi (1,5 hours). After check-in, visit Café Mantiqueira de Minas. The altitude provides exuberant landscapes to the eyes and unique flavors to the drinks. The immersion tour in the coffee farm will present the crop, plant varieties and post-harvest processes. Visit the coffee farm dedicated to the production of speciality coffee, taking a guided walk in the plantation. The owners will make a presentation of preparing and extracting the delicacy flavours. Have lunch in the main house and a workshop of speciality coffees with tasting of different profiles. End the day with coffee drinks paired with local cheeses at sunset. Overnight at Fazenda da Roseta.

Speciality Coffee Minas Gerais

Day 8 -  Fazenda Santo Antônio II

After breakfast, depart to the plantation of Fazenda Santo Antônio II with a presentation of the plant varieties, terroir, all stages of coffee production, the relationship of each one with the result of the drink and the experience of everything that surrounds life in the field. Have a traditional Minas Gerais lunch in the charming Casa Sede. In the afternoon, experience a sensory coffee workshop with tasting. Return to the farm where you can take a horse-riding trip along the trails for contemplating the sunset. What a magical place in the Brazilian countryside! Overnight at Fazenda da Roseta.

Red Coffee Beans

Day 9 - Sao Bento do Sapucaí

Today is the time for scenic outdoors in Serra da Mantiqueira, near São Bento Do Sapucaí (1 hour away). Spend the time in nature, hiking on beautiful trails with spectacular lookouts. Take trail of a moderate difficulty to Mirante da Pedra do Bauzinho,  Pedra do Bauzinho,  Pedra do Baú and Pedra Ana Chata (2 hours / 4-5 km). After the trek, in the evening, it is the time for romance or meditation, when the sunset brings magic and tranquility. Enjoy a gourmet picnic with local delicacies and wine. These will be truly special, private and unique moments. Overnight at Pousada Caminho da Mata.

Araucaria Tree

Day 10 - Araucaria & Milky Way

In the morning, explore trails through lush forests of araucaria trees and mountains in the south of Goncalves i.e. the moderate Pedra do Forno trail, which opens up panoramic views of the Mantiqueira Mountains (7 kilometers round trip / 4 hours). Return to town for lunch and try some traditional Minas Gerais dishes. In the late afternoon, depart to Pedra de São Domingos by 4×4 (2,050 m), walk a small path to the top for an unobstructed magnificent sunset. Next, drive far away from urban lighting, for a unique sky observation experience, where it is possible to enjoy all the splendor of the stars, constellations, the Milky Way and planets. Overnight at Colina das Andorinhas.

Serra da Mantiqueira

Day 11 - Monte Verde

Today visit the romantic Swiss-style village of Monte Verde and hike along Pedra Redonda (1km) and Pedra Partida (2km) trails, enjoying stunning panoramic views at the border between Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states. The hikes are easy to moderate. For lunch return to the village and try some cheese, chocolate, or meat fondues. In the afternoon, it is time for some relaxation – treat yourself to a soothing spa session! Closer to the evening, depart on a sunset picnic with products from the surrounding Serra da Mantiqueira region. This is a great time for birdwatching. Overnight at Mirante da Colyna.

Fondue

Day 12 - Return to Sao Paulo

After breakfast, enjoy a slow morning with beautiful views of the mountains. Later, transfer by road to one of the airports in Sao Paulo (2,5 hour). Alternatively, continue further north to the picturesque historic towns of Minas Gerais, such as Tiradents, Ouro Preto and Diamantina. We also recommend discovering the picturesque coffee farms of Vale do Cafe, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, scattered along Vale do Paraiba, in the towns of Vassuras, Valenca, Barra do Pirai and Rio das Flores, or visit the historic farms circuit in the state of Sao Paulo, going to Serra Negra, Itu, Campinas, Piedade, Atibaia and more.

Fazenda Allianca, historic coffee farm located on the famous Coffee Valley in Barra do Pirai in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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