Attractions Nearby Belo Horizonte, Day Trips and Excursions
(Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil)
A number of popular attractions are located just a short distance from Belo Horizonte, with the nearby town of Lagoa Santa being ideal for day trips, due to its prehistoric sites and remains. Located within Greater Belo Horizonte and opened in 2006, the Centro de Arte Contemporanea Inhotim is an impressive attraction and features a series of landscaped gardens and some nine galleries specialising in modern art creations.
Belo Horizonte serves as a gateway to many appealing colonial towns and cities in the state of Minas Gerais, with the attractions of Congonhas being a popular excursion and located just over 90 km / 56 miles to the south. Congonhas is perhaps best known for being home to the Santuário do Bom Jesus do Matosinhos, a magnificent basilica dating back to the 18th century.
The town of Ouro Preto is to be found around 110 km / 68 miles to the south-east of Belo Horizonte and is connected by main roads. This former mining town is one of the best-preserved of its kind in Brazil
and now ranks as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The attractions of Ouro Preto are extremely plentiful, with the best including the Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis (Church of St. Francis of Assisi), the Museu da Inconfidencia, the Museu de Ciencia e Técnica da Escola de Minas and the Casa dos Contos, an attractive 18th-century treasury building.
Further attractions within reach of Belo Horizonte include three very interesting caves. The cave known as the Gruta Rei do Mato is to be found close to Sete Lagoas, directly to the north of Belo Horizonte, and comes with petroglyphs (ancient rock carvings) and prehistoric paintings. Rather more popular is the often crowded Gruta de Maquiné and its seven enormous caverns, while the Gruta da Lapinha has an impressive crystal formation.