We reached Belo Horizonte (BH) by around 4 pm on Thursday evening. This time we chose Cometa bus and it was one the most comfortable 6 hour journey with 4G WIFI at our disposal!!!. If that wasn’t enough, we were treated to sumptuous snacks by our host, the moment we reached our home stay. BH is unique in the sense that it has huge number of streets that cut each other diagonally that it is easy to get lost. One wrong turn, takes you away from your destination in no time. Also, as the whole city has been built on hills/mountains, the walk is either steep uphill treks or downhill runs.

Google Maps Snapshot – Notice the diagonal streets !!!

Here is the run-down of few places/attractions that we covered during our stay at BH.

Liberation Square (Praca De Liberdade)

Smack in the centre of the city, lies this square that has fountains & trees all lined up. Situated next to many universities, this place is always teeming with students. There are various government buildings & museums surrounding the square. We just sat there munching our popcorns & observing people going about their business.

Tree Lined Avenue at Liberation Plaza
Fountains at Liberation Plaza

Mangabeiras Park

Star attraction of the city, this park is essentially as conserved area where city meets Atlantic Rain forest. It took us 70 minutes to reach the gate of the park after 5 km uphill climb. But all the efforts are worth it once you are in the park. After relaxing for a while at the lagoon, we started the real trek inside the forest. Again it is easy to lose your way in here as the trails are not marked. Fortunately, we had few locals in front of us and we kept on following them. This attraction demands lot of physical effort in a day and my advice is to do this only if you are fit. Else you may not be able to enjoy it much.

Atlantic Rain Forest

Savassi Neighbourhood

Savassi, the party centre of BH comes alive every day post 5 pm. There are pedestrian only areas where open air restaurants & bars come up and there is always a nice vibe going on. It is also flanked by Savassi Patio, an upscale mall hosting all international brands for shopping fanatics.

In addition to this, we also did a day trip to Ouro Preto, a beautiful & quaint colonial town. I will be covering that in a separate post later.

Deft Tips:

  • Use & carry mosquito/insect repellent while visiting Mangabeiras Park. It is an essential precaution.
  • You can use SLRs etc. without any fear inside the Mangabeiras Park. There is enough police presence.
  • There are lot of colonial towns in vicinity like Mariana, Our Preto, Tiradentes etc. Visit at least one of them to get a low down on history.