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.
2018 Price per person for services in US$: $665 with 2 people, $535 with 3, $500 with 4. Single supplement is $100. Triple room reduction is -$9.
For the following 2017 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).
For the following 2018 dates, prices are ON REQUEST: New Year's Eve (30 Dec to 01 Jan), Carnival (09 to 14 Feb), Easter Holidays (29 Mar to 01 Apr ), Tiradentes (20 to 22 Apr), Worker's Day (27 Apr to 01 May), Corpus (30 May to 03 Jun), Independence (06 to 09 Sep), Aparecida (11 to 14 Oct), All Souls (01 to 04 Nov), Republic Proclamation Day (14 to 18 Nov) and Christmas (20 Dec to 02 Jan).
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
Estrada Real - Guided
The Estrada Real is far more than your average road or average road-trip. Not only is this iconic Brazilian route world-famous for the incredible scenery, Atlantic forests and extraordinary places of historical interest along its course, but the very road itself has its own story to tell. Mapped out by the former colonial rulers who were looking to connect the gold producing regions surrounding Minas Gerais with the coast, this was a busy trade highway in its heyday. The 710 km of largely dirt roads which make up the Estrada Real are best explored in an unbreakable Overland 4WD vehicle for maximum comfort, with the journey beginning in the 17th century colonial town of Ouro Preto; one of the best examples of beautifully maintained ancient architecture to be found anywhere in Brazil. The road will continue on through the thriving forests of Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra do Mar, passing small settlements and no end of stunning viewpoints, overlooking the green valleys below. Finally, your journey climaxes at the coastal town of Paraty, known for its heavenly white beaches and all-too-appealing laid-back atmosphere!
DAY 1 – Origin – Belo Horizonte – Ouro Preto
Airport arrival at Belo Horizonte and transfer to Ouro Preto, the crown jewel of the historical cities of Minas Gerais. Thanks to the fever for gold and diamonds there are numerous cities of colonial architecture built in this terrain of mountains and valleys. Upon arrival, we will move to our pousada, located in the historic center of the city.
DAY 2 – Ouro Preto - Tiradentes (B)
In the morning, we will go walking on a guided tour in Ouro Preto. We will visit the Church of São Francisco de Assis, the Matriz Nª Senhora do Pilar, the Church of Nª Senhora do Carmo, the Casa dos Contos (ancient foundry of Gold) and the Stones Museum.
In the afternoon, we will leave for Tiradentes, starting our 4WD expedition by the historic Estrada Real route, stopping at the view points to observe the local mountain range. Once at Tiradentes, we will have a short tour to get to know the city before arriving at our accommodation. Then we’ll have free time to take a promenade around the town and visit craft shops and small restaurants. Our guide will provide interesting suggestions. Accommodation.
DAY 3 – Tiradentes – Carrancas – Aiuruoca (B, D)
In the morning, we will take a city tour through the city of Tiradentes, with guided tours to the main attractions as Santo Antônio´s Church, the Chafariz, and to the historic center. We will walk by the old cobbled alleyways, where we will find churches, chapels, museums and handicraft workshops.
Driving along the Estrada Real in our 4WD vehicle up to Vale do Matutu, we will stop at Carrancas, known as the city of waterfalls. In addition to its ¨cachoeiras¨, we will visit there the Fazenda Traiatuba, and we will learn about its importance in colonial times. In the afternoon, we will arrive at Vale do Matutu, passing through the city of Aiuruoca, initiating then our entry into the Serra da Mantiqueira, at the Serra do Papagaio State Park. Dinner and accommodation.
DAY 4 – Aiuruoca – Santo Antônio do Rio Grande – Mauá (B)
After breakfast, we will have time to take a hike up to the peak Cabeça do Leão. Just before noon, we will go towards the city of Mauá, horizontally cutting part of the Serra da Mantiqueira, reaching the town of Santo Antônio do Rio Grande.
There, we will visit a traditional farm that produces regional cheese and we will taste a sample of their products. We will reach Mauá by the Vale do Acantilado and then by the Vale das Flores, with its natural attractions. At night we will make a walk by Vila de Maringá, where we`ll be recommended to dine a typical dish made on local fish. Accommodation.
DAY 5 – Mauá – Paraty (B)
We leave to Paraty and, on our way, we visit a traditional chocolate factory. We will pass by the city of Cunha, and then we cut part of the Atlantic Forest by the Serra do Mar and through the antique Cunha-Paraty road, where we will enjoy the beautiful view of great part of Paraty Bay. We will make a stop to visit a Fazenda that produces ¨Cachaça¨ (sugarcane liquor). Arrival in Paraty and accommodation.
DAY 6 – Paraty (B)
In the morning, after having breakfast, we will make a half day tour hiking through the historic center of the city, through its main churches and colonial houses. Here we will discover the importance of this population’s past time in the history of Brazil.
In the afternoon, we will have time to walk through the streets of Paraty, enjoying some of its typical restaurants with live music. Accommodation.
DAY 7 – Paraty – Rio de Janeiro – Destination (B)
Departure to Rio de Janeiro´s Airport in land transfer to board for the next destination.
2018 price per person in US$:
For the following dates, prices are ON REQUEST: New Year's Eve (30 Dec to 01 Jan), Carnival (09 to 14 Feb), Easter Holidays (29 Mar to 01 Apr ), Tiradentes (20 to 22 Apr), Worker's Day (27 Apr to 01 May), Corpus (30 Mai to 03 Jun), Independence (06 to 09 Sep), Aparecida (11 to 14 Oct), All Souls (01 to 04 Nov), Republic Proclamation Day (14 to 18 Nov) and Christmas (20 Dec to 02 Jan).