Destination: Historical Cities, Minas Gerais

March 15, 2007 | By More

Ouro Preto, BrasilMariana, BrasilCongonhasNossa Senhora de Ó, Sabará
Ouro Preto, BrasilMariana, BrasilCongonhasLocomotoraTiradentes, Brasil

Exceptionally, this review covers not just one destination but several of them, in the vicinity of Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais. We are talking about the Cidades Históricas (Historical Cities). The best well-known are Ouro Preto (Unesco World Heritage Site, we have a blog post devoted to it: destination: Ouro Preto), Mariana (we also have a blog post: destination: Mariana), São João del Rei, Tiradentes, Congonhas and Sabará. The other jewel on the crown is Diamantina, far away from the others, which I will not cover here as I haven’t visited it yet.

WE LIKE THE MOST: the outstanding collection of colonial baroque art, the crafts, the food

the alarming deterioration of the artistic heritage with the utter connivance of the authorities. Unesco have repeteadly expressed their concern with the state of Ouro Preto

The Cidades Históricas can only be reached by road. You will need to you use a rented car, the public transport system, or embark on a one-day trip from Belo Horizonte.

it gets very cold on the mountain region during the Brazilian winter; the “comida mineira” (food from the region), as delicious as it is caloric; the notorious roads in the region, with one of the hightest accident rates for the whole of Brazil

FAVOURITE PLACES: Congonhas, the church of Nossa Senhora de Ó in Sabará, the steam train between Tiradentes and São João del Rei, Tiradentes, Mariana


  • there is plenty to see in Ouro Preto, you will easily fill a day visiting the town; Mariana is nearby, a couple of hours to visit the village will be enough
  • São João del Rei and Tiradentes can be visited on the same trip, there is a steam train linking both places

LINKS: Associação das Cidades Históricas de Minas Gerais, Cidades Históricas de Minas, Ouro Preto, São João del Rei, Tiradentes, Conheça Minas pela Internet

WEATHER FORECAST: The weather in Ouro Preto for the next 10 days

GOOGLE MAPS: Cidades Históricas

PHOTOS: Cidades Históricas

destination: Ouro Preto
destination: Mariana

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Category: Destination: Minas Gerais

Comments (6)

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  1. WHL travel says:

    You got a very nice blog, but just only one recomendation: you could speak more specific places.

    Thank you so much.

  2. Tony says:

    Thanks there. To be honest, I didn’t quite get what you meant by “more specific places”. This blog is mostly about “specific places”!

  3. AdrianLesher says:

    I agree that there is not enough information here about the individual cities. For instance, all you say about São João del Rei and Tiradentes is that there is a steam train between them. How about some links to supplant the information?

  4. Tony says:

    Adrian, I really wish I could give away the contents of a full guidebook for free. But I’m afraid I can’t. However, I find your assessment quite unfair, if you read the entry you would see I have indeed given links on the text both to pages on São João del Rei and on Tiradentes. I do not mind founded criticism. But I expect fairness in return.

  5. Tony says:

    If you have any questions about this destination you can ask at our Facebook page and we will give you an answer as soon as we can.