is a young and
exciting city. Planned a little more than a century ago to be the
capital of the state of Minas Gerais, it is today one of the poles
of national development in service, culture, and business tourism
Belo Horizonte is the third city in the country in population coming
Sao Paulo and
Rio de Janeiro.
It has been considered the metropolis with the best quality of life
in Latin America by the United Nations. An "Environmental Model
City”, it is one of the most arborous capitals of the country, with
approximately 560 thousand trees – a number that increases for 2
million, when we consider the parks and preservation areas.
Surrounded by the magnificent Serra do Curral, the city has
wonderful landscapes that mix the urban aspect with nature. Besides,
it is near historical cities like Ouro Preto and Tiradentes, as well
as natural paradises like Serra do Cipó and Caraça.
The city is located at about 2/3
of the way from
Brasilia to Rio and 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.
Founded in 1897, Belo Horizonte has now a population of some 2.5 million inhabitants and over 5.1
million inhabitants in its metropolitan area. The city is also a
leading cultural center, with more than three universities, a
historical museum, numerous libraries, and sports stadiums.
Belo Horizonte is built on several hills and completely surrounded
by mountains. 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 end of the century buildings
around the Praca da Liberdade and the market on Av. Afonso Pena,
Located about 100 kilometers 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.