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Historical Minas Gerais:

Estrada Real in detail

Leonor Macedo

Gui Machado, Getty Images

Walking around Minas Gerais historical cities and chatting with locals are the best ways to learn about life in the Brazil of yore

 

Time traveling does not require superpowers or challenging the laws of physics. All you need is... traveling! In Brazil, all you've got to do is head to Belo Horizonte and take a bus or drive for 87 miles [140 km] southeast. Arriving in Ouro Preto, you'll notice that you've gone back over 300 years.

 

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That’s the starting point for the Minas Gerais historical cities route, comprised of dozens of towns that maintain structures and monuments from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Streets are still cobblestoned; hotels and restaurants are installed in colonial houses; museums and churches showcase period artworks and memorabilia.

 

The discovery that Minas Gerais mountains hid gold and gemstones, by the end of the 1600s, changed the region. Estrada Real was built to connect Ouro Preto and Paraty, on the coast of Rio de Janeiro, and along the way, small towns popped up with a lot of stories to tell.

 

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13 can’t-miss activities in the historical cities in Minas Gerais

Click here to know what you can not miss.

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Where to eat in the historical cities in Minas Gerais

Gastronomic enthusiast? See these tips.

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6 characters from the historical cities in Minas Gerais that represent the local spirit

People you should know.

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5 traditional Minas Gerais items to take home

The souvenirs to buy.