The city that best embodies the Royal Road is Ouro Preto. During the height of gold
extraction, the city became one of the most populous in the Americas. It attracted not
just fortune seekers but, once established, saw the formation of a new mining elite
that imported goods from other colonies and sent their children to study in Portugal.
Due to its isolation, Minas Gerais developed its own culture in literature, music,
painting, and sculpture. This richness can be seen in museums, like the Inconfidente,
which tells an important part of Brazil's history, and in churches like the Pilar, with its
golden altars and frescoes on the ceiling. It's also evident in the curious architecture of
the Rosário Church and in the works of Master Aleijadinho on the façade of the São
Francisco Church, which made Brazilian Baroque art so precious that the historic
center is now protected as a World Heritage Site.
Our suggestion for those visiting Ouro Preto is to hire a guide on the first day to take a
complete walking tour of the city. The guide will point out details that often go
unnoticed by most visitors. On the following day, the visitors can continue exploring on
their own and revisit the places they liked the most.
Other tours from Ouro Preto include a visit to Mariana, where, on weekends, there is a
Maria Fumaça steam engine train linking the two cities. Visitor can go by train and
return in our vehicle, stopping at the Passagem Mine, a deactivated gold mine
accessed by a rail car! Surrounding Ouro Preto there are many beautiful natural sites
with waterfalls of the
, our savanna.