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For the first time since the borders of Latin America were reopened, non-stop flights from the United States to one of the most beautiful places in the region less visited destinations they are finally being reinstated.
Minas Gerais is one of the most culturally rich and diverse states in Brazil, home to stunning natural vistas, towering peaks, majestic waterfalls, centuries-old colonial towns, and best known for its delicious cuisine.
As the local saying goes, ‘Mines have no ocean, but the ocean has no Mines’, and starting this summer, Americans will once again be able to reach without long and unnecessary layovers:
What makes Minas Gerais a great vacation?
Minas Gerais is a state in the southeast of Brazil, bordering the coastal states of Rio de Janeiro, where the ‘Wonderful City’ is located, and Sao Paulo.
A territory as large as a country, being in fact bigger than France – is among the most traditional and culturally charged places in Brazil, with the natives miners be proud of its distinctive identity, history and defining jargon.
The more sing-song and melodious Portuguese spoken here isn’t the only big difference you’ll notice upon landing in Belo Horizonte, the state capital, especially if you’ve been to the tourist hotspots of Rio or Sao Paulo before:
A world-class dining destination
miner The cuisine has often been described as that of Brazil. best regional varietyand recently it was proclaimed intangible cultural heritage by the local government.
Of cheese breadthe small round cheese bun, for tropeiro beansa dish made from cassava flour and beans, countless of Brazil’s most famous culinary exports actually originated in Minas, making it a world class dining destination.
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Walking through the vibrant streets of Belo Horizonte, the largest metropolis in the state and the financial center with more than 3 million inhabitants, you will find a large number of traditional restaurants where you can taste the rich cuisine, as well as Asian-style, Middle Eastern and mediterranean. restaurants, a reflection of the multicultural character of the city.
Underrated City Escapes
As an urban getaway, Belo Horizonte is probably the most underrated in Brazilwith its extensive list of museums, entertainment venues, underground jazz clubs, catering to a reclusive and secretively shrouded elite, night bazaars packed with quirky pubs and cafes, and electrifying nightlife.
Whether you are more of an introvert, cultured or a social creature, Belo Horizonte and its many facets will not disappoint.
However, the true beauty of Minas lies outside of its bustling capital.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
As it is a short 1h30 drive from Belo Horizonte, tourists can visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of black goldone of the first European settlements in Brazil and a 17th-century gem that oozes Old World charm.
Cobbled streets lead to richly decorated Baroque churches and other minor Catholic shrines, and the townscape is dotted with old Portuguese colonial houses that are in stark contrast to the dramatic backdrop of the city. black gold Mountain range.
If folk art, small historic towns that seem frozen in time, and a quaint atmosphere sound appealing to you, then you should definitely visit Ouro Preto.
Other beautiful colonial cities include Mariana, linked to Ouro Preto by a heritage steam locomotivecrossing the green and exuberant hills of Minas, the idyllic Tiradentes, where the whitewashed houses are distinguished by their colorful wooden doors and windows, and Diamondanother UNESCO-protected city resting on rugged, rocky terrain, it was once the diamond-mining capital of Brazil.
Wellness and spas
The city is also famous for its fast growing wellness scenewhich is home to numerous spa hotels and wellness retreats located in the surrounding mountains.
Called innsthese bucolic colonial properties offer guests an escape from the chaos of the modern world, with nightly rates for five-star accommodations starting at just US$118 in booking.com (August dates).
A short drive from Ouro Preto, tourists can visit the iconic Andorinhas Waterfall: the walking trail that leads to it is particularly beautiful, and the mountain waters will help you cool off from the tropical heat.
If you are a nature seeker then you have come to the right place. There are too many stunning natural sites and mountain ranges to list, but five of our favorites include:
- Inhotima nature reserve and research center where modern art meets within the lush green atlantic forest
- Serra do Caracaa mountainous region full of hiking trails, with an iconic 17th-century neo-Gothic church and its adjacent school
- The capitol cannonsa deep canyon flanked by jagged rock formations where the water is crystal clear and boating is common year-round
- Sao Thome das Letrasa typical interior miner city full of chalets, places for walks and panoramic views of the mountain
- Few of Caldasfamous for its therapeutic hot springs, untouched nature, and a well-developed spa scene
The non-stop route
The non-stop route to Minas Gerais is served by Azul Airlines, a Brazilian airline, with prices starting at US$739 one way.
Flights to Belo Horizonte departing from Fort Lauderdale are already operational, since at least June 23.
They will take off at 8:00 p.m. local time and land in Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, at 5:30 a.m. the next calendar day. there are flights available every monday, thursday and saturday.
On the way back, Americans returning to Fort Lauderdale take off from Belo Horizonte at 12:30 p.m. and arrive in the North American city at 8:00 p.m. These are available at Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Flights to Orlando launch later
Flights to Orlando will not start until September 24, although when they do, the frequency will be twice a week, every Friday and Sunday.
They are scheduled to leave Orlando International at 9:00 p.m. and land in Minas Gerais at 6:00 a.m. Return flights will operate on the same days, leaving Brazil at 9:30 a.m. and landing in Orlando at 5: 30 p.m.
It should be noted that, as of October, Americans will need tourist visas to enter Brazilin accordance with the country’s visa reciprocity policies.
Learn more about how the visa policy change affects you and what documents you are expected to provide by visiting this link.
traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com