The tourist attractions at Ouro Preto are extensive and diverse. In fact, the whole colonial town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The town is situated 100 km from Belo Horizonte. It is 680 kilometers from Sao Paulo and 400 km away from Rio de Janeiro. The Belo Horizonte airport is the nearest. Once you land, you can drive to the town via car.
If driving by car from Rio de Janeiro, take the BR-040 going to Conselheiro Lafaiete. Take Ouro Branco Highway. At the last 12 km go to state highway MG-443.
What to See
One of the main tourist attractions at Ouro Preto is the Itacolomi State Park. It is a good place to hike and examine different types of flora and fauna. The Casa Bandeirista da Fazenda Sao Jose do Manso is the first public building in the town.
Other attractions include the Museu do Cha and the Praca Tiradentes. The Praca Tiradentes is the town center. The Museu da Inconfidencia is at its south and to the north is Escolas de Minas. There is also the Teatro Municipal and the Casa dos Contos museum.
The name of the town is translated as black gold. The town was established in 1698. It rapidly became the focal point of the gold rush. By the mid 1750s, the population of the town had grown to over 100,000. In 1822, Brazil finally obtained its independence.
The next year the town was accorded the title Imperial City. It was also here where the first pharmacy in Latin America was established. By the 19th century, the gold was running out and the population dwindled. Because there was no new construction, the area was preserved over well. It was in the 1950s when the site became popular.
The entry fee to the Museu da Inconfidencia is R$2. The admission fee to the Museu de Mineralogia is R$5.
Other sightseeing spots in town include the Casa Guignard. It houses a collection of paintings by Alberto da Veiga Guignard. You can also visit the Museu de Arte Sacra and the Museu do Oratorio. There are 300 oratories here.
Churches are among the top tourist attractions at Ouro Preto. Among them are the Capela do Padre Faria, Igreja do Bom Jesus do Matosinhos and the Igreja da Nossa Senhora do Carmo. Its mines are also worth visiting. These include the Mina Chico Rei and the Mina Fonte Meu Bem Querer.