Ouro Preto Tours
Founded in the early eighteenth century, Ouro Preto is a masterpiece of colonial Brazilian architecture and art. In fact, UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site. Here the intricate details of the buildings and art works clearly reflect the originality and autonomy of the craftsmen and artists who created this monument of Brazilian baroque style. A visit to Ouro Preto is a step back into history and past human accomplishments.
The first capital and bishopric of Minas, Mariana was founded in 1711. Its principal attractions are the Archdiocesan Museum, the Carmo and Saint Francis churches and the Cathedral. On the road between Ouro Preto and Mariana lies the old Passagem gold mine which offers tours to visitors. Music lovers will not want to miss the concerts performed on the Cathedral's Arp Schnitger organ manufactured in 1701. They are given on Fridays at 11:00 AM and Sundays at 12:15 PM.
The former mining center of Congonhas is blessed with a major grouping of this brilliant sculptor's works: the twelve prophets sculpted in soapstone and the figures of the Stations of the Cross, completed from 1796 to 1799. The life-size sculptures constitute Brazil's most important artistic treasure. The architectonic and artistic complex of the Bom Jesus dos Matosinhos Basílica was recognized as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 1985. Congonhas was an important mining center and large fortunes were extracted from it. Some of the gold nuggets taken from the mine called Bataeiro (Potato Field) were the size of potatoes. The city also became famous in the 1960s because of the cures being performed by the medium called Zé Arigó, who incorporated the spirit of the German doctor, Fritz. People from every corner of Brazil and all over the world converged upon Congonhas in search of healing.
Although it lacks the rich archictecture landmarks which abound in Ouro Preto, Tiradentes has plenty of colorful, harmonious colonial houses. The town seems to have been frozen in time, and attracts tourists seeking both peace and quiet cultural events. The town was practically forgotten between the end of the gold rush period and the 1970s, when business people from Rio helped restore the beautiful old houses. Soon the locals pitched in, and Tiradentes soon became a refuge for artists from Rio and São Paulo.
Ouro Preto Tour
DAY 1 – Origin – Belo Horizonte – Ouro Preto
Airport arrival at Belo Horizonte and final transfer to Ouro Preto, the crown jewel of Minas Gerais’ historical cities. Thanks to the gold and diamond fever, there are numerous cities of colonial architecture constructed on hilly terrains with deep valleys. Upon arrival, we will be directed to our pousada. Accommodation.
DAY 2 – Ouro Preto (B)
In the morning we’ll make a walking historic tour in the beautiful Ouro Preto, which is known as an open-air museum. Uphill, downhill, the city´s colonial houses live with the excitement of the students of the Federal University and the community who comes to town for frequent events that take place in the region. We will see part of the immense wealth discovered in the area that was used to decorate important churches like Matriz do Pilar, 1733, a maximum example of Brazilian baroque. We`ll appreciate the Church of São Francisco, 1810, with panels, frames and painting on the ceiling of the Mestre Athaíde. Next we’ll visit a traditional urban mine. After the visit we return to the pousada.
Free afternoon to do optional activities such as a visit to the Gold Mines and Mariana, or to walk the historic downtown of the city. Accommodation.
DAY 3 – Ouro Preto (B)
In the morning, we will leave Ouro Preto and on the way we stop in Congonhas, to see the Santuário de Bom Jesus de Matosinho, here we find one of Aleijadinho`s masterpieces, the set of sculptures named Doze Profetas.
We continue to São João del Rei, where we will see monuments such as the Church of São Francisco with works and projects of Aleijadinho and landscaping of Burle Marx; the Matriz do Pilar and the region of Solares, where we find the Solar dos Neves from the former President of Brazil, Tancredo Neves; we can also appreciate the tin crafts.
Next, we leave for Tiradentes, considered the most charming city of Minas Gerais and gastronomic capital of this state. It has a rich collection of the first half of the eighteenth century, in addition to housing one of the best restaurants in Brazil where we will have lunch (not included). After lunch we’ll return to Ouro Preto. Accommodation.
DAY 4 – Ouro Preto – Belo Horizonte – Destination (B)
Transfer from Ouro Preto to the airport of Belo Horizonte for departure to our next destination.
2017 Price per person for services in US$: $671 with 2 people, $548 with 3, $514 with 4. Single supplement is $125. Triple room reduction is -$9.
For the following dates, hotel prices are ON REQUEST: New Year's Eve (Dec 30 to Jan 03), Carnival (Feb 24 to Mar 01), Easter Holidays (Apr 13 to 16), Tiradentes (Apr 20 to 23), Worker's Day (Apr 28 to May 02), Corpus (Jun 15 to 18), Independence (Sep 07 to 10), Aparecida (Oct 12 to 15), All Souls (Nov 02 to 05), Republic Proclamation Day (Nov 12 to 19) and Christmas (Dec 20 to 26).
History in the Hills
DAY 1–Origin–Belo Horizonte–Tiradentes
Airport arrival at Belo Horizonte and final transfer to Tiradentes where we’ll go to our pousada.
On our first day we will discover the hidden secrets in streets, alleys, forests and centuries-old buildings. The city was established in the 18th century and has been recognized as an unspoiled example of colonial architecture. Walking in this hilly town located we’ll forget the traditional city tours to live the unique experience of interpreting the rich heritage left through architecture, music, local cuisine and customs. We’ll also enjoy the company of local hosts to share good moments while we visit civil, religious and
natural patrimonies. Accommodation.
DAY 2–Tiradentes (B)
On this day, we will drive on the Estrada Real, stopping at three towns: Resen de Costa, Prados and the famous Village of Bichinho, which form an important tourist circuit. On each of them we’ll be
able to appreciate the art shops, ateliers, and small stores filled with pieces representing Brazilian colorful culture while walking across the picturesque streets, the colonial houses and off course,
meeting some of the artisans that live in this region and make a living creating beautiful craftwork. Accommodation.
DAY 3–Tiradentes (B, L)
Today we’ll discover why Tiradentes is known as the capital of Minas Gerais’ cuisine. On this gastronomic tour we will embark on a delightful discovery of the flavors of the region, where we’ll learn by personal experience the reasons for its worldwide fame. This unique tour is planned to indulge our senses with some handmade delicacies of traditional Mina’s cooking. What is your preference? Sippy milk sweet, guava, fine cheeses, handmade popsicles, fruit jellies and the famous cachaça de alambique (type of rum) are some of the delights that make part of this tour’s menu. Accommodation
DAY 4–Tiradentes–Belo Horizonte–Destination (B)
We leave from Tiradentes to the airport of Belo Horizonte to
board for the next destination.
2017 price per person in US$:
LOW: February to June & August to December
For the following dates, hotel prices are ON REQUEST: New Year's Eve (Dec 31to Jan 03), Carnival (Feb 24 to Mar 01), Easter Holidays (Apr 13 to 16), Tiradentes (Apr 20 to 23), Worker's Day (Apr 28 to May 02), Corpus (Jun 15 to 18), Independence (Sep 07 to 10), Aparecida (Oct 12 to 15), All Souls (Nov 02 to 05), Republic Proclamation Day (Nov 12 to 19) and Christmas (Dec 20 to 26).
Rio to Minas Gerais By Land
Day 1 Departure from Rio to Tiradentes.
On the way, visit to Petrópolis with lunch included. Overnight in Tiradentes
Highlights (Petropolis): Panoramic visit to Princess Isabel's house, Imperial Museum and Santos Dumond house.
Overnight: Villa Allegra in Tiradentes
Day 2 Tiradentes/Sao Joao Del Rey/Ouro Preto
Breakfast, Full Day touring Tiradentes to São João del Rei + lunch then Congonhas to Ouro Preto
Highlights (Tiradentes): Padre Toledo's house, Saint Antonie's church and Sao Jose water fount.
Highlights (Sao Joao Del Rey): Railroad Museum, Sao Francisco de Assis Church
Overnight: Pousada Classica in Ouro Preto
Day 3 Ouro Preto/ Mariana/ Belo Horizonte
Breakfast, Full Day touring Ouro Preto and Mariana + lunch , then Transfer to Belo Horizonte
Highlights (Congonhas): Bom Jesus do Matosinho Sanctuary, Passos Chapellle.
Highlights (Mariana): Panoramic visit to Se Basilic and Passagem Mine.
Highlights (Ouro Preto): Casa doas Contos, Saint Francisco de Assis Church, Mine Museum.
Overnight: Liberty Palace Hotel in Belo Horizonte
Day 4 Belo Horizonte
Breakfast, Transfer hotel to CNF airport in Belo Horizonte
Can quote with driver only, driver with English tour descriptions or with English-speaking driver guide