Surrounded by rolling mountains and natural parks, the city of Belo Horizonte is the capital of the Minas Gerais state in Brazil. Founded by Portuguese explorers, the city developed into a rich hub of agricultural, mining and industrial activities. Today, it is a trendsetter in the arts, science and food industries, with major festivals and a mix of classic and contemporary landmarks drawing tourists to the city. Take a walk through Pampulha, a 1940s neighbourhood showcasing some architectural highlights of modern-day Brazil, including the Sao Francisco de Assis Church. The famed Tenis Club and Mangabeiras Park are not to be missed, while the Museum of Arts and Crafts houses interesting collections. See the historic State Government Building and other 19th century buildings in Prace da Liberade. The city boasts spectacular panoramic views from the Alta Vila Tower, where the rolling hills and mountains stretch far back into the horizon.
Parque Municipal is a green oasis, complete with lagoons where you can rent a boat and cruise along the water. Museu de Ciencias Naturais displays exhibits of whales, molluscs and other forest animals.
Shopaholics will love BH Shopping, one of the oldest shopping centres in town. For a more traditional experience, head to Mercado Central, where you can pick up fresh cheeses, meats, souvenirs and more.