While South American towns like Cusco and San Pedro de Atacama lies buried under throngs tourists, three of Minas Gerais’s colonial gems lie waiting for foreign discovery.
The towns of São João del Rei, Tiradentes, and Ouro Preto lie in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Thick green jungle hiding monkeys and cities surrounds these places. Waterfalls tumble from cliffs while parrots and toucans live close by.
Ouro Preto lies in the Serra do Espinhaço mountains. The Brazilian gold rush build this town in the 18th century. In the eighteenth century, it housed more people than almost any other new world city. The town’s tremendous wealth attracted intellectuals from Europe. Both philosophy and art thrived.
Build on hills, steep streets lead into small valleys. Your imagination and the white colonial architecture will guide your imagination into the past life of this settlement.
The town’s churches reflect it’s historic wealth. Antônio Francisco Lisboa’s ornate Church of Saint Francis of Assisi’s unique exterior and gold laced interior remind one of the extreme wealth once present here.
Some of the best Brazilian chocolate awaits your taste buds. Chocolates Ouro Preto serves excellent hot chocolate.
Quiet Tiradentes, founded in 1702, lies at the end of still operating, at least for the tourists, train line from São João del-Rei. The steam train runs every weekend between the two towns through country full of cows and rusting mine shafts.
Life congregates at the plaza at the centre of old Triadentes. Streets lined by well preserved colonial buildings radiate from this place. Like many such towns, tourist oriented shops and galleries line these streets.
São João del-Rei rounds off this trio. Fewer visitors walk it’s old streets. Stores catering to everyday life vie with bars and souvenir shops lending a working atmosphere not found in near by Tiradentes