Belo Horizonte is the state capital and the largest city in Minas Gerais. It is also the third largest city in Brazil. Not traditionally on the tourist trail on a Brazil holiday, it is more frequently used as a transfer hub for the colonial towns of Ouro Preto, Tiradentes or Mariana.
In 2014 the city came to the world’s attention when it hosted 6 matches during the FIFA World Cup, including the infamous semi-final match between Germany & Brazil. The city is mad about football with the two big teams of the city, Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro, being fierce rivals in the Brazilian championship.
More commonly known as Beagá, after the sound of initials BH in Portuguese, the city is regarded as one of the best cities in South America for its quality of life. The city has a vast amount of green spaces, the most notable of these being the Pampulha, an area of wide avenues and many squares and parks designed in the 1940s by Brazil’s premier architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Just south of Belo Horizonte is Brumadinho, a small town but for art lovers an essential place to visit. Here lies Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim, one of the largest outdoor art exhibits in the world housing a museum within botanical gardens.
There is a vast array of cultural offerings in the city and the beautiful mountains of the Serra do Curral, surround the city making Belo Horizonte a very pleasant city to visit as part of a tour of the colonial historic towns of Minas Gerais.