Overview

The open, rolling hills in the historically important state of Minas Gerais, north of Rio, are dotted with delightful colonial towns, founded to service the mining of gold, precious stones and latterly iron. Nowadays they enchant those visitors with an interest in colonial culture and history: the region is the birthplace of Brazilian independence. The university town and arts centre of Ouro Prêto is the best known, with 23 baroque churches crowning the hills. Other historic towns of interest are the less-developed but equally lovely Diamantina, Mariana and arty Tiradentes with its horse-drawn carriages and little steam train.

Minas Gerais embraces 21st century Brazil with equal enthusiasm: its capital Belo Horizonte is a regional powerhouse with a thriving cultural scene. Nearby is the vast open-air contemporary art museum and botanical park of Inhotim, unique in Brazil.

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Where to go when - our guide to Ouro Preto and Minas Gerais

Ouro Preto

The weather in Ouro Preto and Minas Gerais is wide and varied

The birthplace of Brazilian independence, the state of Minas Gerais, offers open, rolling hills dotted with delightful colonial towns. With a fresher climate than the coast, here there are pleasant summer temperatures and little rainfall in the Brazilian winter. The summer, December - March, is not unduly hot but some rainfall is possible almost every day. The festivals of Carnival and Easter are celebrated with parades.

View our Ouro Preto and Minas Gerais weather guide

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Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Sallly
    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

  • Sophie
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

  • Mary
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Juliet
    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

  • Alex Walker
    Alex Walker - Travel Expert

    A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.

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