• Image about Ouro Preto

A trip to Belo Horizonte, Brazil, offers a little bit of everything: an up-and-coming modern metropolis and an old-world village nearby.

THINK OF THE MOST BREATHTAKING vista you’ve ever seen, the most bucolic surroundings you’ve ever found yourself in, and the most unbelievably delicious food you’ve ever eaten. Now imagine a locale possessing 10 times that beauty and tranquility, with food that surpasses your wildest culinary dreams. Once you do that, you’ll have at least an idea of what it’s like to travel to Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and the nearby village of Ouro Preto. Minas Gerais, the state both destinations are located in, is a part of Brazil that many people are quickly discovering is one of the country’s gems.

Located inland, about 280 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, is a bustling metropolis that’s growing exponentially to accommodate new business and booming industry. While not as well known as popular Brazilian tourist destinations Rio and São Paulo, Belo is a place that more and more people are flocking to for both business and pleasure. “It is a famous business and event city,” explains Heinar Santos, who grew up in Belo Horizonte and has been a tour guide with the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism for the last 15 years. “When you think about culture, when you think about nice museums, nice churches, nice art, really wonderful restaurants, and very nice hotels, Minas Gerais gives you all that. Because here, the culture begins with the state.