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Mountain Biking in Brazil's Minas Gerais

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ouro Preto, bike down mountain trails and experience modern art and sculpture at Inhotim. 3 days.

  • Brazil
  • June
  • Tancredo Neves International Airport, Belo Horizonte (CNF)

Wander the cobbled streets of Ouro Preto, the best-preserved colonial town in Brazil. Bike through forests, enjoy views over the entire region and then take in some culture at the Inhotim Institute, an open-air, interactive art gallery set in 500,000 acres of botanical gardens.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 2 nights accommodation
  • 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 snack
  • Experienced, English speaking guide
  • All mountain biking equipment
  • Entrance fees
  • Local transportation from Belo Horizonte

Perfect for: Travellers who want to experience a mix of everything the state of Minas Gerais has to offer, including views, culture and history.

Need To Know

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Tancredo Neves International Airport is 28 kilometres from Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais State. It is well served by flights from both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, which take around 1 hour and fifteen minutes from both, along with direct flights from most airports across Brazil.

The trip starts early on day one at 09:00, so you’ll either need to book a very early flight or arrive the day before. You’ll return to the airport or Belo Horizonte city at 17:00 on the final day of the trip, so book a late flight or again, stay another night.

From the UK you can fly via Lisbon with TAP or Paris with Air France directly into Belo Horizonte.

A filling breakfast will be provided in your guesthouse, typically eggs, bread, cheese or fruits. A lunch of local specialities cooked in a stone oven is included in Ouro Preto and a snack while mountain biking.

Dinner is not included, but Ouro Preto has a range of options in the evening.

We can cater to dietary requirements - please let us know at the time of booking.

The weather is hot all year round in this part of Brazil, with temperatures between 18°C and 30°C in the summer months of October to April. The rainfall is also highest in these months, however, so you should be prepared for showers, with November to February being the wettest.

Between May and September is the best time to travel, with lower rainfall and cooler temperatures of 15°C and 25°C.

You’ll need to pack:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Comfortable trainers or walking shoes
  • A hat
  • Comfortable clothes suitable for walking and mountain biking
  • A small backpack for carrying personal possessions and water

Absolutely! The trip runs with a minimum group of one and a maximum of fifteen, so you’ll be hiking with other like-minded travellers. Lot’s of people book our trips as a solo traveller - it’s a great way to meet people.

There’s no need to have any previous experience of mountain biking. Your guide will choose a trail and route suitable for the whole group, from 5km to 40km.

The only extra costs are:

  • Evening meals - there are plenty of local restaurants in Ouro Preto to choose from
  • Soft drinks or alcoholic drinks
  • Lunch at Inhotim Institute - there are plenty of snack bars and a cafe to choose from

Location

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Set in the Serra do Espinhaço mountains of Minas Gerais State, Ouro Preto is the best-preserved colonial town in Brazil, an important historic centre for gold mining (the name itself means Black Gold) and the stage for Brazil’s first independence movement. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ouro Preto has steep cobbled streets that wind past excellent examples of Baroque architecture, including numerous churches, bridges, fountains and shady plazas.

Itacolomi State Park is a protected mountainous reserve with dozens of trails for hiking and mountain biking and includes Itacolomi Peak, the highest point in the area with views over the entire region.

The Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim is a huge open-air, modern art and sculpture gallery set amongst 500,000 acres of botanical gardens. Home to more than 5000 plant species, it was founded by mining magnate Bernardo Paz in 2006 and designed by his friend, the late landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx. It features a wide range of work by both Brazilian and international artists.

Start point?

Your guide will collect you at around 09:00 from either your hotel in Belo Horizonte or Tancredo Neves Airport (formerly Confins airport.

Finish point?

You’ll return to Belo Horizonte at around 17:00 and can be dropped off at either Tancredo Neves Airport or a hotel in the city.

Getting there and away?

Tancredo Neves International Airport is 28 kilometres from Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais State. The airport is well connected and served by direct flights from both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, which take around 1 hour and fifteen minutes from both, as well as several other cities in Brazil.

What to Expect

Day 1: Baroque Architecture and Cobbled Streets

Meet your guide at your hotel in Belo Horizonte or Tancredo Neves Airport, then drive along the Estrada Real, or Royal Road, one of the oldest roads in Latin America.

Arrive in the lovely colonial town of Ouro Preto, a UNESCO world heritage site, nestled in the foothills of the Serra do Espinhaço mountains.

Explore the town’s steep cobbled streets and spectacular baroque churches, then stop for lunch cooked in a stone oven, a local speciality.

Take a short drive through the mountains to Mariana, another beautifully preserved colonial town. Visit the bright white Cathedral da Sé and take a break in a shady plaza.

Optional visit to an 18th-century gold mine this afternoon

Return to Ouro Preto and wander the town in the quiet of the evening, eating dinner in one of the local restaurants (additional cost – not included).

Day 2: Mountain Bike in Itacolomi State Park

Eat breakfast in your hotel before setting off for the Itacolomi State Park and a day of mountain biking, with dozens of trails to choose from.

Bike through a forest filled with clear streams, rivers and waterfalls, stopping to take in the views over the countryside and the little towns dotted across the mountains.

Take a break for a snack, before exploring the trails some more.

Return to Ouro Preto in time for dinner (additional cost – not included) and a good nights sleep.

The mountain biking can range from 5-40km. Your guide will choose the best route depending on the fitness and experience level of the group.

Day 3: Modern Art at Inhotim

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive for around two hours to the Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim, a contemporary art museum set in 500,000 acres of botanical gardens, with sculptures, art pavilions and interactive exhibitions.

Eat lunch at one of the many restaurants or snack bars found in the park (additional cost – not included), before returning to either Tancredo Neves International Airport or Belo Horizonte, where the tour will end.

Accommodation

You’ll stay in a centrally located guesthouse in the colonial town of Ouro Preto. Cosy and characterful, all rooms are en-suite double or twins.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Airport Transfers
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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