Belo horizonte Travel Guide

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Belo Horizonte Pampulha

Belo Horizonte Pampulha

Andre Borba

Belo Horizonte is the 3rd largest city in Brazil coming after Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. You'll find this city at about 2/3 of the way from Brasilia to Rio. It is the capital of Minas Gerais state. The name means Beautiful Horizon. The city of Belo Horizonte was completely built on a plan corresponding to that of Washington D.C., with a very long highway circling the whole city. It is considered to be one of the cities with the best quality of life in Latin America. Belo Horizonte was founded in 1897 and is Brazil’s third largest city with a population of some 2.5 million inhabitants and over 5.1 million inhabitants in metropolitan area. The city is also a leading cultural center, with more than three universities, a historical museum, numerous libraries, and sports stadiums.

Belo is built on several hills and completely surrounded by mountains. The city's blocks and streets display some interesting features. With a chessboard layout, some have been named after Indian Tribes, and others have been named after states of Brazil. The constant rising and falling of the streets sometimes makes navigation a bit tricky, but the wide avenues lined with trees are always easy guidelines. Unfortunately, the growth of the population has been bigger than anticipated 100 years ago. So there's a lot of poorly built architecture and slums, but also still some excellent colonial buildings. You should not miss the fin-de siecle buildings around the Praca da Liberdade and the market on Av. Afonso Pena on Sunday.

Located about 100 kms from Belo Horizonte you will find the charming city of Ouro Preto (which means ‘Black Gold’), a colonial city with great churches and impressive pieces of work. The Complexo do Caraça and Serra do Cipó are also two well known landmarks of the State. The environment in these picturesque spots is additionally enhanced by the nature and the beautiful landscapes. The area is famed for its biodiversity.
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