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Brazil: Coastal and Inland Culture

Sao Paulo, Paraty, Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto, Tiradentes

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This example itinerary

from £3,346 $3,840 pp

11 days

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Highlights

  • Get under the skin of Sao Paulo’s fine art scene and contrasting neighbourhoods
  • Visit Tiradentes, one of the most charming towns in Minas Gerais
  • Explore Ouro Preto, the 17th Century town made rich during the gold rush
  • Discover coastal trails and the Atlantic rainforest in the beautiful town of Paraty
  • Walk in the gardens of Inhotim, an 87-acre open-air art museum

This example itinerary

from £4,086 $5,602 pp

11 days

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+44 (0)203 137 1247

+1 (0)800 635 8124

What’s Included

  • Two nights with breakfast included at the Emiliano in Sao Paulo
  • Three nights with breakfast at Casa Turquesa in Paraty
  • One night at the Fasano Belo Horizonte
  • Two nights at the Solar do Rosario in Ouro Preto
  • Two nights at Solar da Ponte in Tiradentes
  • All domestic land transfers
  • Guiding as mentioned in the itinerary

Example Itinerary

Day 1-2

Sao Paulo

  • Take a full-day specialist art tour to see some of South America’s best art galleries and museums
  • Explore the culture and contrast of Sao Paulo’s neighbourhoods

Sao Paulo is the dynamic economic centre of Latin America. This is the city that never sleeps with an eclectic mix of cutting-edge restaurants, an innovative art scene and lively nightlife.

From the international airport, you will be driven to the Emiliano Hotel in the heart of the leafy Jardines neighbourhood. Here you are in a fantastic position to explore the highlights of this sprawling city. During your time in Sao Paulo, we will include a full day with our expert art guide to explore the best of the museums and galleries in the city. We will tailor the day to reflect your interests, but we suggest including the MASP museum as it is internationally recognised for its leading collection of over 8000 pieces of artwork from Brazilian to African and Asian artists.

Days 3-5

Paraty

  • Learn about the history behind this former port town with a walk around the cobbled streets accompanied by a private historian.
  • Take a speed boat tour to explore the beautiful beaches and islands off this coastline.

Originally settled by the Portuguese in 1660, Paraty has maintained its Colonial heritage with architecture that has remained virtually untouched for hundreds of years.

The drive from Sao Paulo along the coast to Paraty is about 3 hours with beautiful views of the ocean along the way. Arriving in Paraty, you will stay at Casa Turquesa, one of the finest boutique hotels in town. With just nine cosy rooms, the house was restored to its former glory with sumptuous suites and a courtyard garden and a plunge pool.

Paraty is a wonderful town to explore at your own pace. On your first morning, we will arrange for a local historian to give you a walking tour of the city and help you get your bearings. This coastline is also well known for its turquoise water and hidden islands only accessible by boat. It is worth spending a morning exploring hidden coves including Comprida island with its reefs and multitude of fish.

Day 6

Belo Horizonte

  • Drive to Rio de Janeiro (with the option to add a night into the itinerary)
  • Stay at the Fasano in Belo Horizonte with easy access to Inhotim Museum

Drive north along the coast to Rio, where you will board a flight to Belo Horizonte.

You may wish to spend a night or two in Rio, and we can arrange several exciting adventures, from private culinary classes to historical and art tours. The live music scene in Rio is also a great way to sink into Brazilian culture and listen to up-and-coming artists playing samba music.

On arrival at Belo Horizonte airport, you will be driven to the Fasano Hotel. Part of the prestigious South American hotel group, the structure is elegant and contemporary, and the restaurant is excellent. From here you are in an excellent position to explore Inhotim tomorrow.

Day 7

Ouro Preto

  • Explore Inhotim, one of the finest open-air art museums in the world
  • Learn about the history and heritage of Ouro Preto, the capital of the Portuguese gold rush

Today will be an alluring contrast of exquisite contemporary art and classic Colonial architecture.

Early this morning you will be driven to Inhotim. This contemporary art centre is committed to education and cultural development in the local community. Over 500 works are displayed indoors and outdoors in the landscape gardens designed by Roberto Burle Marx. The focus is on contemporary art produced from the 1960s through to the present day. Mediums include sculptures, installations, paintings, drawings, photography and film.

Spend as long as you wish at Inhotim before driving about 2.5 hours to Ouro Preto, where you will settle into Solar do Rosario. Based in the centre of town, Solar do Rosario is charming with simple but stylish furnishings and a small pool in the garden.

Day 8

Ouro Preto and Mariana

  • Explore Ouro Preto, the first UNESCO city in Brazil
  • Visit Mariana, the oldest city in the state of Minas Gerais

Ouro Preto is in the hills below the Espinhaco Mountains. This town is a treasure trove of religious artwork and Baroque and Rococo churches. In the historic centre, you will discover a maze of labyrinthine streets lined with red-roofed houses and quirky shops.

A full day with your private guide will give you ample time to discover the treasures of Ouro Preto and Mariana. This includes the Museum of Mineralogy, home to the largest collections of minerals in the world and the Museum of Sacred art in Mariana. Stop for coffee in sunny plazas and let the magnificence of these heritage towns sink in.

Day 9

Tiradentes and Congonhas

  • Visit the Bom Jesus do Matozinho Sanctuary in Congonhas
  • Take in the rural scenery of Minas Gerais

The Bom Jesus do Matozinho Sanctuary was built in the second half of the 18th century. It consists of a church with a magnificent Rococo interior of Italian inspiration, an outdoor stairway decorated with statues of the prophets and seven chapels illustrating the Stations of the Cross.

The polychrome sculptures were created by the great sculptor, Aleijadinho and are masterpieces of a highly original, expressive form of Baroque art.

Arriving in the mountain town of Tiradentes, you will settle into Solar da Ponte, a country house situated in the historic centre of town. This hotel has a pool and a good restaurant with views of the city and mountain backdrop.

Day 10-11

Tiradentes and Sao Joao del Rey

  • Enjoy a gentle walking tour of Tiradentes
  • Drive to nearby Sao Joao del Rey to explore the historic centre of the town

One of the most charming towns in Minas Gerais, Tiradentes has an enticing selection of owner-run shops and restaurants and a rich sense of history.

The sculptor, Aleijadinho’s last project is housed at the Saint Anthony Church. The backdrop of the Sao Jose Mountains makes this pretty town even more scenic, and mountain-hiking can be arranged to add a more active element to the trip. Nearby Sao Jao del Rey was founded in 1713 in honour of King John V of Portugal. The city’s historical district is famed for its stunning Portuguese colonial architecture.

From Tiradentes, you will drive back to Belo Horizonte for your onward journey connecting with international flights home, or we can extend your trip to other parts of the country.

Marilyn

This was the most well organised trip I have ever experienced from any travel agent! Matt Wise was exceptional, always keeping me and my daughter updated on every detail! This made the extraordinary adventure so easy to manoeuvre. I absolutely loved every moment and would recommend True Travel to anyone interested. In fact, I already have !

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