Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Belo Horizonte: Vacations and travel info
Belo Horizonte (meaning "Beautiful Horizon" in Portuguese) is a unique metropolis situated in Brazil's southeastern region. Encircled by the Serra do Curral Mountains, this city is known as the "garden city" and is recognized for its unique architecture, booming economy, colorful culture, stunning mountain views, delicious local cuisine, vibrant bar scene and fascinating historic surroundings.
The capital of the state of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte has the third highest population in Brazil, with a total of more than 2.4 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area alone. Despite its immense size and warm culture, the city remains relatively unknown as a tourist destination on an international level due to its ability to maintain itself as a primarily commercial city. Visitors to this area are free to explore its amazing sights and surrounding regions without the hassle of pushy salespeople and massive tour groups.
Belo Horizonte, also known as simply "Belo" or "Beaga" by locals, is the perfect destination for experiencing true Brazilian culture at your own pace.
Belo is filled with wide avenues, beautiful plazas and charming wooded areas, maintaining the original designs of its streets from over 100 years ago. Modern business buildings are mixed in among historical buildings, traditional restaurants and thousands of bars, with contemporary architecture shown throughout the city's cathedrals, museums, stadiums and universities.
Belo's metropolitan area is located within the Avenida do Contorno beltway. The grid-patterned streets with diagonal avenues offer easy navigating on foot, all situated around the main avenue, Avenida Afonso Pena. The downtown area is made up of a variety of chic neighborhoods, including Centro, Savassi, Lourdes and Santo Antonio.
The city offers two airports, a regional one in the nearby residential neighborhood of Pampulha, and the Tancredo Neves International Airport, just 25 miles from downtown. Each receives direct national flights from important Brazilian cities, and Tancredo Neves also receives a variety of international flights.
Belo's tropical climate combined with a high altitude (2,795 feet) provide for beautiful weather throughout the entire year. The city's average temperature is between 64 degrees and 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm, rainy summers begin in September, giving way to dry, cool winters beginning in March.
The story of Belo Horizonte began in 1701, when explorer Joao Leite da Silva Ortiz from Sao Paulo settled the region, drawn in by its excellent weather, beautiful landscape and good farming soil. Establishing a farm called "Curral d'el Rey", this area soon became a small farming village under the same name. When Brazil became a republic in 1889, it was decided that the capital of the state of Minas Gerais should be moved from Ouro Preto to a new city. Curral d'el Rey was elected by the governor as the site for the state's new economic center in 1893. Urban designer Aarao Reis was designed to plan this new city, named Belo Horizonte, and inauguration took place as soon as 1897. Since then, the city has seen much commercial and economic growth, with an intense rise in population in recent decades.
As the heart of Brazil's economy and a popular site for commercial investment, Belo is home to a variety of multinational and Brazilian companies. The area's most important industries include information technology, biotechnology, minerals, textiles, communications, and steel production. Belo houses Google's Latin American headquarters as well as the headquarters for Oi, Brazil's main telephone company.
The city has made many recent investments in the business tourism industry. Modern spaces have been designed to host the more than 3,000 events, conferences and fairs that are held each year. Belo offers excellent hotel accommodations along with convenient transportation, high end restaurants, great nightlife, modern facilities and cultural resources.
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