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Planning to know Ouro Preto ??

Try then to include a short stop in Petropolis, then visit Tiradentes, Congonhas and finally Ouro Preto, enjoying the landscape and the countryside including some old Sugar cane distilleries producing the famous  "Cachaça".  You can then continue your trip from Belo Horizonte with your next flight. A more adventurous itinerary would depart from Rio(*) to Paraty along the "Green Coast" and on to Tiradentes, about one week trip by car equivalent to one month experience !

(*) Departure(or ending at) from Sao Paulo airport (GRU) is also possible.
Think about it !


Historical Cities - Minas Gerais State

          We depart Rio by car, passing through Petropolis, the summer home of emperor Dom Pedro, called also the Imperial City. Driving along dirt roads near Tiradentes, for our first overnight, we reach an old sugar cane distillery where we can see how the famous "cachaça" and "Minas cheese" are produced. Since February 2009 on Fridays there is an organ concert at the Santo Antonio Church at 20:30. Next day we take the Baldwin train to São João del Rey (only on Fridays to Sundays) and have the unique experience of visiting a Train Museum. Next day we
drive to Congonhas for the second night. NOTE: Best departure day from Rio is on Thursday.

          No one will ever forget sunrise beside the twelve Prophets carved in soapstone by the Brazil's most famous baroque artist, Antonio Francisco Lisboa. He was the son of a Portuguese architect and a black slave and is known as "Aleijadinho" (the little cripple). The "Bom Jesus do Matosinhos" Basilica with the Prophets and six small chapels representing the Passions of Christ will impress you with the sanctity of the area.  
                              Imperial Road from Ouro Branco to Ouro Preto
          Our drive from Congonhas to Ouro Preto will be along the ancient "Estrada Real" which is paved now. It was originally built by slaves, many of the old bridges and villages such as Itatiaia (pictured above right) remain in their pristine condition.
                                                  Ouro Preto and Mariana
          Although well documented in many books, Ouro Preto is as rich to the visitor in hidden treasures as it once was in gold. The "Mina Velha" and the "Cachoeira das Andorinhas" are treasures in their own rites. For nature lovers, hiking to "Itacolomi" Peak (1772m) , a local geographical reference, is a must. On Fridays and Sundays there is an organ concert of baroque music played on the 1701 Schnitger organ at the Basilica da Sé in Mariana, and the recently reinaugurated train ride to Mariana are also a must.
                                              Santa Rita do Ouro Preto
          On the way back to Rio we stop at Santa Rita do Ouro Preto. This village has many small soapstone plants that mainly export their products to Europe. Be sure to pick up something special for those friends at home who can only dream of the things you have done!

Pedro Novak -  Private Tours -  Rio de Janeiro

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