Ouro Preto

During the 17th and 18th century, Brazil faced one of most important and rich periods on its history. By that time, explorers found enormous mines of gold and precious gems in the mountains in the interior of the country, in a region so-called Minas Gerais (general mines).

In this region, the richness of the mines created spectacular cities with rich architecture and art. After the exhaustion of these mines and the beginning of a new economic cycle in the coffee farms, cities like Ouro Preto, Mariana, Tiradentes and Diamantina were virtually abandoned, leaving a spectacular treasure behind. Today they are called the “Historical Cities”, forming one of the richest

Among all the Historical Cities, Ouro Preto is certainly the most important example. Located at the Espinhaço mountain range - about 1 hour from Belo Horizonte and 7 hours from Rio de Janeiro – Ouro Preto was the focal point of the gold rush and Brazil's golden age in the 18th century and became a cultural center and one of the country’s most important cities.

After centuries of abandonment, its architectonic complex and cobblestone streets have been preserved in its original state and have escaped from irrevocable signs of modern urbanization. No skyscrapers or fast food chains can be found in this charming historical town what have taken UNESCO to declare it as a World Heritage Site in recognition of its impressive and well preserved colonial architecture.

The colonial buildings and churches in Portuguese Baroque style are spread all over the city, but the most important examples are located around the Tiradentes Square. Some churches, such as the Matriz Nossa Senhora do Pilar, which interior is covered by gold and decorated by sculptures made by Mestre Aleijadinho, are considered the most important example of the baroque art in the world.

Other important cities with similar history and impressive colonial architecture are Mariana, Congonhas, Diamantina and the lovely Tiradentes and small town that became a charming destination with great restaurants, bars and rich cultural life.
See other attractions in Ouro Preto and the historical cities of Minas Gerais clicking at the link below.

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See details and pictures of each attraction of this destination.

Church of São Francisco de Assis
Church of Igreja da Nossa Senhora do Carmo
Church of Nossa Senhora do Pilar
Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos
Tiradentes Square
Museum of Inconfidencia
Sanctuary of Caraça


  • The best shopping tips are the colorful gemstones and jewelry found in virtually every boutique lining the main square, Praça Tiradentes.
    The most typical and famous stone is the Imperial Topaz, a rare golden-tangerine color stone, discovered and only found in the Minas Gerais state. Readily available and more common are smoky & blue topazes, amethysts, citrines, opals, tourmalines, aquamarines and emeralds in assorted colors, shapes and styles.
  • If you have a few more days to enjoy the city, don’t let to visit Brazil's oldest gold mine, where you can ride an old mining car through the tunnels and see exposed quartz, graphite, and black tourmaline.
  • The sunset in Ouro Preto is very nice, painting the old churches in gold colors. Don’t let to admire this unforgettable spectacle from one of the belvederes in the city.
  • Many of the Brazilian most traditional dishes were created in Minas Gerais. The cheese-bread, the tutu-de-feijao (beans cream), pork lamb are just some of the examples. Don’t let to try it in one of the innumerous traditional restaurants in Ouro Preto.

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Ouro Preto has a very moderate and pleasant weather. The climate is tropical of altitude and is characterized by two distinct seasons: the wet season (October to February) and the dry season (March to April).

The summer is hot, humid and rains in that period. The days are usually hot and the nights cool due to the altitude. Temperatures during the day can reach 30C in the summer. In the winter the nights are chill, but rarely goes below 10C.

Because of its location in the mountains, daily weather conditions in Ouro Preto can change rapidly and often with little warning.

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The “Mineiro”, name given to the people born in Minas Gerais state is famous to be one of the most welcoming and peaceful in Brazil. It is common to be invited for a cup of coffee or a piece of cheese bread in the house of a person you have just met.

The tranquility is probably the most typical stereotype of the mineiro and can easily be noticed in the way he speaks and act.

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Southern Highlights   (Special Programs)
This package combines some of the most beautiful sites in Brazilian Southern region, such as the astonishing Iguaçu Falls, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro and the historical Ouro Preto, considered a World Hiratage site by Unesco.

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Ouro Preto

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