CNF - Confins - Belo Horizonte
By Ricardo Freire
Belo Horizonte now rates as it never has before, featured in the travel section of the New York Times no less. BH (Belo Horizonte) has twice been mentioned in that newspaper in the last few years. First, it piggy-backed on the a piece about the Instituto Inhotim (Inhotim Institue), one of the world’s most exciting cultural centers, located in neighboring Brumadinho; and later it was mentioned because of its bars. The city is a citizen of the world, without losing its regional touch.
The truth is that Belo Horizonte was modern from its inception. It was the first planned Brazilian city at the turn of the 19th century, and it became a metropolis while keeping its small town appeal.
The mountains surrounding the city hold natural and artistic treasures, in addition to environmental reserves, mountain resorts, and great proximity to the most beautiful collection of historical cities in the country.
The basic Belo Horizonte circuit includes visits to the Praça da Liberdade (Liberty Square), the Museu de Artes e Oficios (Museum of Arts and Trades), the Central Market, and the Pampulha Complex where the genius of Oscar Niemeyer was first expressed.
In Bramudinho (60 km / 37 mi to the west), the celebrated Inhotim Institute exhibits contemporary Brazilian art in a dozen galleries. There is a bus that leaves platform F2 of the Belo Horizonte bus station on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays at 9AM and it will take you there.
Sabará (25 km / 15 mi to the east) is the closest historical city. Ouro Preto is 110 km / 68 mi to the south and can be visited in a day; but Tiradentes (200 km / 124 mi to the south), and Diamantina (300 km/ 186 mi to the north), for example, require an overnight stay.