Ouro Preto, Brazil
Ranked #1 in Best Places to Visit in Brazil
Ouro Preto was a Portuguese occupied town in colonial times. Today it is a city known for its European feel and well preserved architecture that looks like an interwoven lace of houses supporting each other on a hill top. Ouro Preto is popular among South American tourists much more than it is with international tourists, so a great place to mingle with Brazilians.
Ouro Preto Carnival(Carnaval)
While the Rio Carnival is what the world knows, it is the Ouro Preto Carnival (or Carnaval as they call it) that locals in & around the region look forward to. It kicks off around the same time as the one in Rio, so the Carnival usually takes place in February or March, depending on Lent that year. The Carnival has a host of local music band performances and shoes the flamboyance of colorfully dressed people ready to party all night long. Street parades include samba dancing and floats.
Ouro Preto still has a fair amount of mining activity and tours by some of the gold mining companies is a unique experience. There are many churches and museums that offer a glimpse of bygone days, beautiful architecture and age old artefacts. Popular churches are: Nossa Senhora do Carmo and São Francisco de Assis. Popular museum is: Museu da Inconfidência. Many small restaurants and cafe are scattered in the down town area, while Chalet dos Caldos offers fine dinning with a view of the city. Official tourism site is here for reference.
Getting to Ouro Preto
The nearest airport is in Belo Horizonte and from here you can take a bus or hire a car for a 100 kms ride. Its 400 kms from Rio and 680 kms from São Paulo.