15 days in State of Minas Gerais Itinerary

15 days in State of Minas Gerais Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in State of Minas Gerais Itinerary

Start: Rio de Janeiro
Fly + bus:  2​h 30​min
1
Belo Horizonte
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Brumadinho
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Congonhas
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Ouro Preto
— 3 nights
taxi + bus:  2​h
5
Sao Joao del Rei
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
6
Capitolio
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
7
Sao Roque de Minas
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
8
Pocos de Caldas
— 2 nights
+3
bus + foot + bus + Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Rio de Janeiro

2
nights
Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte ©
Named for its spectacular mountain views, and known locally as the "Garden City," Belo Horizonte has historically fostered a connection with nature since its inauguration in 1897.
When in Belo Horizonte, make a side trip to see Casca D'Anta Waterfall in Serra da Canastra National Park, approximately 1h 30 min away. There's much more to do: make a trip to Praca da Liberdade, head outdoors with Trilhando Minas, explore the world behind art at Memorial Minas Gerais Vale, and pick up some local products at Mercado Central de Belo Horizonte.

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Rio de Janeiro to Belo Horizonte is an approximately 2.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Rio de Janeiro in January, Belo Horizonte is little chillier at night with lows of 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can go by car to Brumadinho.

Things to do in Belo Horizonte

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trip

Casca D'Anta Waterfall
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:
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Praca da Liberdade ©
Praca da Liberdade
Mercado Central de Belo Horizonte ©
Mirante Mangabeiras ©
Mirante Mangabeiras

1
night
Brumadinho

Brumadinho ©
Located among lush tropical hills in Minas Geras state, the small city of Brumadinho serves as a good base for exploring the surrounding region's natural attractions.
On the 7th (Tue), contemplate the long history of Vila de Piedade do Paraopeba, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Igreja Batista Nacional Ebenezer, then explore the world behind art at Inhotim, and finally contemplate the long history of Igreja Nossa Senhora da Piedade.

To see reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Brumadinho trip app .

Drive from Belo Horizonte to Brumadinho in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January in Brumadinho, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 25°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can drive to Congonhas.

Things to do in Brumadinho

Museums Historic Sites
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Inhotim ©
Inhotim
Igreja Nossa Senhora da Piedade ©
Igreja Nossa Senhora da Piedade
Vila de Piedade do Paraopeba ©
Vila de Piedade do Paraopeba

1
night
Congonhas

Congonhas ©
Characterized by impressive Baroque architecture, the town of Congonhas makes a perfect day trip from Belo Horizonte.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Wed): make a trip to Praca Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek, admire the landmark architecture of Santuário do Bom Jesus do Matosinhos, don't miss a visit to Capelas dos Passos da Paixao de Cristo, then don't miss a visit to Doze Profetas De Aleijadinho, then admire the masterpieces at Museu de Congonhas, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas.

For reviews, photos, maps, and tourist information, read our Congonhas trip planner.

You can drive from Brumadinho to Congonhas in 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in January, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to drive to Ouro Preto.

Things to do in Congonhas

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:
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Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas ©
Museu de Congonhas ©
Museu de Congonhas

3
nights
Ouro Preto

Ouro Preto ©
Designated a World Heritage Site because of its well-preserved Baroque architecture, the city of Ouro Preto served as the state capital until local governance outgrew the scale of this pleasant valley settlement.
Venture out of the city with trips to Catas Altas (Cachoeira Cascatinha & Igreja de Nossa Senhora Mae dos Homens) and Rua Frei Durao (in Mariana). There's still lots to do: make a trip to Centro Historico de Ouro Preto, explore the world behind art at Museu da Inconfidencia, see the interesting displays at Oratory Museum (Museu Do Oratorio), and get engrossed in the history at Casa dos Contos.

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Traveling by car from Congonhas to Ouro Preto takes 1.5 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Sao Joao del Rei.

Things to do in Ouro Preto

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Catas Altas, Rua Frei Durao
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Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosario ©
Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosario
Centro Historico de Ouro Preto ©
Centro Historico de Ouro Preto
Oratory Museum (Museu Do Oratorio) ©

2
nights
Sao Joao del Rei

Sao Joao del Rei ©
Founded as one of the region's great gold mining settlements, Sao Joao del Rei has managed to maintain its prosperity even after the rush died down in the 19th century.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sun): take in the pleasant sights at Centro Historico de Sao Joao Del Rei, get engrossed in the history at Cardinal Dom Lucas Moreira Neves Memorial, pause for some serene contemplation at Paroquia da Catedral Basilica de Nossa Senhora do Pilar, admire the striking features of Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis, then stop by Al Bazaar Especiarias, Masalas e Chas, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Carmo. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy some diversion at Pesque Pague Recanto dos Amigos, then pause for some serene contemplation at Church of Nossa Senhora das Merces, then take in the exciting artwork at Atelier e Galeria Guido Boletti, and finally take an in-depth tour of Museu Regional de Sao Joao del-Rei.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Sao Joao del Rei using our trip planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and bus from Ouro Preto to Sao Joao del Rei in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Ouro Preto in January: high temperatures in Sao Joao del Rei hover around 30°C and lows are around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to drive to Capitolio.

Things to do in Sao Joao del Rei

Historic Sites Fun & Games Museums
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan

1
night
Capitolio

Capitolio ©
With an urban reservoir and interesting geological sights, it's easy to plan an outdoorsy vacation in Capitolio.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Tue): get outside with Cachoeira Lagoa Azul, take in breathtaking views at Canyons de Furnas, then take some stellar pictures from Mirante dos Canyons, and finally stop by Chale do Queijo.

To see more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Capitolio trip builder website .

Traveling by car from Sao Joao del Rei to Capitolio takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. The time zone changes from Brasilia Time (BRT) to Amazon Time (AMT), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Sao Roque de Minas.

Things to do in Capitolio

Outdoors Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 14:
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Chale do Queijo ©
Chale do Queijo
Mirante dos Canyons ©
Mirante dos Canyons

2
nights
Sao Roque de Minas

Sao Roque de Minas ©
Start off your visit on the 15th (Wed): take in the dramatic scenery at Casca d'Anta Waterfall and then experience rural life at Fazenda Capao Grande - Canastra. On your second day here, explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional da Serra da Canastra.

For maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Sao Roque de Minas trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Capitolio to Sao Roque de Minas takes 2 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to travel to Pocos de Caldas.

Things to do in Sao Roque de Minas

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Casca d'Anta Waterfall ©
Casca d'Anta Waterfall
Fazenda Capao Grande - Canastra ©
Fazenda Capao Grande - Canastra

2
nights
Pocos de Caldas

Pocos de Caldas ©
Established in 1872, the city of Pocos de Caldas became famous after hot springs were discovered close to the urban center.
On the 17th (Fri), browse the exhibits of Galeria Ampliart, then get to know the resident critters at Zoo Das Aves, then don't miss a visit to Santuário Mãe e Rainha de Schoenstatt, and finally get great views at Rampa de Voo Livre. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Sao Domingos Church, look for gifts at Cristais Ca d'Oro, then don't miss a visit to Basilica Nossa Senhora da Saude, and finally make a trip to Praca Pedro Sanches.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Pocos de Caldas journey maker tool .

Traveling by car from Sao Roque de Minas to Pocos de Caldas takes 6 hours. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Sao Roque de Minas to Pocos de Caldas due to the time zone difference. In January in Pocos de Caldas, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 20°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Pocos de Caldas

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 18:
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Zoo Das Aves ©
Zoo Das Aves
Basilica Nossa Senhora da Saude ©
Basilica Nossa Senhora da Saude
Rampa de Voo Livre ©
Rampa de Voo Livre