Culture, Leisure, Tourism, Gastronomy
A distinctive personality feature of the “mineiro” (as a native from Minas Gerais is called) is hospitality. It is a trait of character inherited from three centuries of history and that stems from singular factors in the construction of Minas Gerais, since when, in the late eighteenth century, the pioneer occupation of the countryside of Brazil-Colony began with the epic Gold Rush Cycle and the quick attraction of migratory flows.
In the territories of “mining Minas Gerais, we inherited the historic cities and their 18th Century Portuguese-Brazilian architectonic and urbanistic features, later on, with the exhaustion of gold and the exit from the mining territories, we sought after the most adequate land for agricultural use, thus creating the “generalist” “mineiro”. In both “mineiros”, the miner and the agriculturalist, historians point to hospitality as a striking feature of their cultural heritage, as a result of their struggle for affirmation and territorial domination, forcing cordial conduct, coexistence and solidarity as a means of survival.
Inland on the Brazilian and South American map, Minas Gerais is in a strategic central position near the main Brazilian urban centers of the Southeast, a differential condition of economic advantage and competitiveness. It is the ground for many paths and receives different cultural influences, which generate not only civilizational experience but also negotiation and survival skills, not to mention other components of the personality of the “mineiros”, who are lovers of a good conversation, of sociability; people inclined to understanding, to a certain sobriety and austerity, but always with a taste for culture and the arts, cultivators of history and of the past, with an elevation of spirit and indescribable love for their land and origin, dreamers who like politics, among other traits pointed out by several scholars of Regional Sociology.
Tradition and modernity can be found in Minas Gerais, in singular cultural and natural diversity. Extensive mining in the search for gold and stones and, later on, cattle raising in the North and coffee production in the South, generated intense occupation with hundreds of villages and small towns, diversifying cultural practices, syncretizing different origins and traditions, composing a rich collective imaginary. From miners to “sertanejos” (traditional countryside people), from the rural man to the urbanist and municipalist, Minas Gerais becomes “many” different places in itself where many human types and also cultural talents are mixed, as well as the “knowledge and actions” that are expressed in the practices of life, with intense creativity. Because of this, there are so many tourist destinations in Minas, providing unique experiences and making “dreams” come true in historic cities, on original farms, in the encounter with nature, prodigious in the offer of physical environment attractions, allowing the perception between past and contemporaneity, also generating economic opportunities and vocations in the many segments of “production linked to tourism and culture”.
The eighteenth century Minas Gerais, with its cultural effervescence, not only left us not only a formidable historical and artistic heritage, but made Minas Gerais the cradle of the movements for the independence from the Portuguese colonial regime, and also the birthplace of the Brazilian nationality. A pioneer in several important initiatives of national life, Minas Gerais is a “Synthesis State” of Brazil, as several studies characterizing the state and the local people point out from the various aspects of their life, social organization, economy and cultural contribution.
From this cultural phenomenon we inherited an exceptional set of buildings that feature history, art and architecture, which are our cultural heritage due to their singularity and exemplarity, which also moved UNESCO to include Ouro Preto, Diamantina and Aleijadinho’s Sculpture Ensemble, Antônio Francisco Lisboa, in Congonhas do Campo in their list of Cultural Heritage Sites. And, more recently, the Modernist Building Set of Pampulha, Oscar Niemeyer’s seminal work for Juscelino Kubistchek’s enterprising and visionary dream. Today, historians and sociologists recognize the specificity of the regional art, contained in the Baroque Colonial from Minas Gerais, which was “a style of art and life” and is not limited to architecture and ornamental carvings both sacred and profane. The artistic, cultural and intellectual outbreak of the 18th century is a phenomenon that is explained by a unique confluence of natural, geographical, ethnic and economic factors that, until today, shape and distinguish the personality of the natives.
In multiple aspects and needs of contemporary life, in the programs of economic development, in the growing search for leisure, rest, entertainment and cultural offerings, many are the vocations and business potential deriving from the cultural heritage of Minas Gerais and its modern socio-economic answer represented by tourism, with its current ramifications and entrepreneurship options.
Minas Gerais offers a huge list of opportunities in various segments interconnected with its cultural and natural diversity, which are increasing demands of modern quality life, whether it is Cultural Tourism, Rural Tourism, Adventure Tourism, lodging, transportation, food, receptive agencies and services, guidance, promotion and marketing and others. Opportunities open up in the increasing search for natural attractions, such as exploring nature, in its rivers, lakes, mountains, caves and rare geological formations, trails in ancient ways, experiencing rural life on farms and inns, typical, rich craftsmanship and more. Minas Gerais offers a huge network of hotels and inns and a road network that guarantees easy accessibility, a factor that has been stimulating a significant growth of the sector in its various segments.
There is neither region nor a single place in Minas Gerais with no cultural practices, be them the civic and historical parties of the calendar of the community, the religious festivals that, mainly in Historical Cities, are still preserved traditions, regional festivals, linked to agricultural production and diverse sectors of food, entertainment or folk industry, almost always remembering old customs or spreading local gastronomy. With 853 municipalities, the cultural diversity is immense, that is fed not only by the inheritance of three centuries of active history but by the multiplicity of influences, coming from the multiracial origins of the local culture, and also from the influence of sharing frontiers with other states, a characteristic very typical of inland regions and which, geographically, constitute territories of passage and cultural coexistence. The human, geographic and cultural heritage of Minas Gerais, which has in its diversity its main characteristic, creating business opportunities, already makes the State a prominent destination in the Brazilian context.
Minas Gerais of many museums
Foto: CCBB / Créditos: Hugo Cordeiro.
Minas Gerais is the 3rd State of Brazil in number of museums, housing 429 of the 3,790 museums registered in the country – 11% of the museums in Brazil – 74 of them in Belo Horizonte, the state capital. Museums for all subjects: art, history, science and technology, ethnography, eco-museum, military.
The museums of Minas Gerais, cultural facilities that generate transformation and qualification of spaces – attract world attention and cultural tourism and move an extensive production chain of the creative industry, involving souvenir shops and local commerce.
Learn more at the Brazilian Institute of Museums, IBRAM
Unique because it transforms
Chosen as one of the 20 best museums in the world (Trip Advisor)
Open to the public in 2006, Inhotim Institute is a space that uniquely combines contemporary art, botanical garden and human development. Located in Brumadinho / MG, 60 km from the capital Belo Horizonte, it is an innovative and creative environment that invites visitors to relate to the world in a more sustainable, conscious and transforming way.
The structure and organization of space guarantee a place to be revisited constantly. In addition to breaking with the architecture and exhibition mode associated with conventional museums, the contact with the culture and beauty of the landscapes creates a unique experience to the public.
One of the most sought after destinations in the state, Inhotim also cares about the community in which it operates. In Brumadinho and region, it carries out socio-educational projects of appreciation of the local culture, of economic development, besides the rescue of the memory of the municipality.
Photo: Inhotim / Credits: Eduardo Eckenfels
Get to know, Do business and Set up events in Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is changing more and more into an international destination for business tourism and events.
It is estimated that in the year 2016 the flow of tourists left, directly, an approximate value of R$ 17.2 billion in the state economy, which represents an increase of around 8% in relation to the year 2015.
Minas Gerais has all-set structures for its events and business, and therefore has been attracting more and more tourists from all over the world.
Aerial view of Expominas, one of the largest and most important convention centers in Brazil, located in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.
Photo: Expominas / Credits: SETUR – Pedro Paulo da Luz.
- “Hydromineral” resort in tourism in Minas Gerais.
- The region accounts for 80% of global niobium, as well as hosting major fertilizer producing companies.
- Capital of the state, fashion, gastronomy and Information Technology pole.
- The Biotechnology and Life Sciences Park of the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte (RMBH) brings together more than 200 Biotechnology companies.
- Recognized for its tradition in the extraction of rare minerals.
- It hosts the Brazilian Paragliding Championship at Ibituruna Peak.
- Business Pole in Mata Mineira Area, it has one of the best quality of life indexes.
- It houses an important beer Local Productive Arrangement (APL, ).
- The cultural heritage, coupled with the dynamics of the educational sector and mining make the city an important state destination.
- The first Brazilian city to receive the title of Cultural Heritage of Humanity from UNESCO, it houses an incomparable architectural ensemble that attracts tourists from all over the world.
- Full of natural tourist attractions, such as its fountains and hot springs.
- World capital of precious stones, main stoning and commercialization center of gemstones of Brazil.
- Focused on the largest gemological province on the planet, this destination attracts numerous buyers, traders, collectors and admirers of its mineral beauties.
- World capital of Zebu cattle, breeding center, genetic development and commercialization of the species.
- It houses one of the 100 best industrial centers in Brazil, in which companies of the furniture, food, footwear and chemical sectors stand out.
- It is an important agribusiness hub – its agro-industries beneficiate soybean, corn, sugarcane, milk, meats – and also an important hub in the services sector, with an advanced biotechnology park and a call center that is a national reference in Information Technology.
Minas Gerais Hospitality
Highlights of our gastronomy and hospitality
Minas Gerais knows how to welcome its visitors and has special spaces to welcome the various international communities.
Get to know some references of our gastronomy and hotels, participants in the EU PARTICIPO (I TAKE PART) network of the Projeto Internacionaliza BH (Internationalize BH Project). Places and initiatives that know how to welcome the foreigners who visit Belo Horizonte and region with special affection.