destination: Belo Horizonte

January 11, 2010 | By More

Belo Horizonte, Brasil

Of all the major Brazilian cities Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, is probably the one that gets less attention from international tourism. One of the reasons for this is its location, far awar from the beaches or other tourist centers such as the Amazon or the Pantanal. But Belo Horizonte makes for an excellent base to visit the Historical Cities of Minas Gerais and the highly recommended Inhotim museum.

Before we continue, it’s worth pointing out that locals (and many Brazilians from other cities too) refer to Belo Horizonte both by “bé-agá” (the result of reading the initials B H in Portuguese) and “Beló”.

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1. HOW TO GET THERE:

Confins international airport, on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte, receives many flights from other Brazilian capitals as well as a handulf of international flights. Pampulha airport, within the city limits, receives a small number of flights run by airlines operating small aircraft. To get from Confins to the center of BH there are two regular bus services: an Executivo service, costing R$16,90, and a Conventional service, costing R$7,35. Both services are adapted to transport passengers and their baggages. More details at Expresso Unir.

You can also reach Belo Horizonte by bus, both from Rio de Janeiro and from São Paulo. From Rio, companies Cometa and Util run services to BH. From São Paulo, companies Cometa and Gontijo.

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2. WHEN TO GO:

Rainfall in Belo Horizonte is concentrated during the summer months, from November to March, when torrential rain is not rare. From May to September rainfall is scarce. Belo Horizonte can be visited all year round.

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3. CAREFUL WITH:

Renting a car to move around town, it is not a good idea.

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4. WE LIKE THE MOST:

In spite of its 2 1/2 million inhabitants (many more when you consider its metropolitan area), Belo Horizonte feels like a smaller city, quite different from megalopolis like Rio or São Paulo.

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5. WE LIKE THE LEAST:

Unplanned urban development, particularly on the outskirts. Never-ending concrete. Reckless driving.

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6. FAVOURITE PLACES:

Lagoa da Pampulha and its surrounding area; Mangabeiras viewpoint; the Municipal Market

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7. PIECE OF ADVICE:

  • the Lagoa da Pampulha, in the north west of the city, it one of the most beautiful places in Belo Horizonte. Around the winding shore of the lagoon the beautiful church dedicated to São Francisco de Assis is found. It is an early work by renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Bus 2004, running through avenida Afonso Pena in the centre of town, will take you there.
  • stadium Governador Magalhães Pinto, better known as Mineirão, is home to Cruzeiro and Atlético Mineiro football teams. It is also located in the Pampulha area. There are daily guided visits (R$6) from 8am till 17am except on those days when there is a match at the stadium.
  • Belo Horizonte is known as the Brazilian capital of the botecos, the bars. It is said to have the highest per capita number of bars in the entire Brazil. Excellent places for a beer and a snack are the bars at the Mercado Municipal and the Savassi, Lourdes and Funcionários neighbourhoods.
  • a morning spent at the Mercado Municipal stalls is a true feast for the senses.
  • if you have your own car, drive up to the Parque das Mangabeiras and get to the Mirante do Mangabeiras. There is a spectacular view of Belo Horizonte from there.
  • if you have a day to spare, make sure you visit the Inhotim museum. At Inhotim museum we gave details on how to get there.

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9. ACCOMMODATION:

You can search for accommodation in Belo Horizonte through our Hotels Combined search engine, a unique free tool that searches multiple hotel reservation websites simultaneously to help you find the lowest rate instantly. It eliminates the need to search major websites one by one in order to compare prices and availability. An amazing time and money saver!

The results open on a new page.

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10. HEALTH:

You don’t need any vaccines if you are planning to visit Belo Horizonte. However, cases of yellow fever are regularly reported on the rural areas of Minas Gerais, so if you are thinking of getting out of town, it might be a good idea to get the shot.

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11. LINKS:

Belotur is the official tourism website for the city of Belo Horizonte. It has a version in English.

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12. WEATHER FORECAST:

The weather in Belo Horizonte for the next 10 days.

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13. CLIMATE:

Average temperatures and rainfall in Belo Horizonte at the weather channel.

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14. GOOGLE MAPS:

Location of Belo Horizonte in Google Maps.

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15. PHOTO ALBUM:

Belo Horizonte photo album (click on the link to go to the album)

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RELATED POSTS:
photos of Belo Horizonte
Inhotim, the perfect marriage between art and nature
Historical Cities of Minas Gerais

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Category: Destination: Minas Gerais, destinations

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  1. Tony says:

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