We are here for you: +1-646-9806560
Brazil | Rio de Janeiro, Sao Joao del Rei, Tiradentes, Ouro Preto, Belo Horizonte
Road Trip from Rio de Janeiro to Belo Horizonte 5 Days of Culture, History, and Nature

Travel Number: 67360

Road Trip from Rio de Janeiro to Belo Horizonte 5 Days of Culture, History, and Nature Brazil | Rio de Janeiro, Sao Joao del Rei, Ouro Preto, Belo Horizonte

Discover on this self drive tour the unique states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, from the city of Rio to Belo Horizonte, on your own with a rental car. Let the lush green vegetation between imposing mountain ranges and colonial cities take you under the spell of this area steeped in history. Discover a unique local culture, which is still strongly influenced by the business of mineral resources and huge mines.



  • Experience the exciting history of Brazil
  • Stroll through historic alleys
  • Marvel at colonial and modern art
  • Immerse yourself in local culture


Day 1: Drive from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Joao del Rei

Included: Rental Car

Rio de Janeiro to Sao Joao del Rei: 200 miles (320 km)

Upon arrival to Rio de Janeiro, you will receive your rental car directly at the airport. Then the self drive tour can begin. Your day's destination is the enchanting city of Sao Joao del Rei, where you can admire various churches and testimonies of the Brazilian Baroque. The center is still partly paved with original cobblestone and there are old bridges and villas from the 18th century to visit. The journey alone is an experience in itself. Throughout the breathtaking landscape of Minas Gerais you will find hills, colonial towns, waterfalls, and colorful rocks. If you want, you can make a stop in the former imperial city of Petropolis on the way to Sao Joao del Rei. The Museu Imperial would be worth a visit. The 14 halls in the interior used to be the summer residence of the imperial family and are almost completely preserved.

Overnight: Pousada Beco do Bispo, Deluxe room

Day 2: Tiradentes and Surroundings

Included: Rental car | Breakfast

Today is a free day for your own activities. We recommend a short drive of 7 miles (11 kilometers) to enjoy the flair of Tiradentes and marvel at the numerous carefully restored buildings which have often served as backdrops for series and historical films. The horse-drawn carriages are omnipresent and can be used to explore the small town, like the lords of the manor in past centuries. Many stores with handicrafts invite you to buy a souvenir. There are also various churches, historic houses, and squares to admire. In recent years, the city has also made a name for itself as a gourmet temple and numerous restaurants and cafes offer local delicacies, such as the regional dish Tutu à Mineira.

Overnight: Pousada Beco do Bispo, Deluxe room

Day 3: The Mountains of Minas Gerais

Included: Rental car | Breakfast

Sao Joao del Rei to Ouro Preto: 100 miles (160 km)

After breakfast the journey continues to Ouro Preto. On the way, there are always fantastic photo opportunities that will make you stop more than once. In addition, Ouro Branco and Congonhas are worth a detour. Congonhas is one of the main tourist attractions in the area, especially because on a hill close to the city center, the most impressive works of the artist Aleijadinho, the most important builder and sculptor of the Brazilian Baroque, can be found. Moreover, visitors are rewarded on the hill with a fantastic view. Arriving in Ouro Preto, you can end the evening in a relaxed manner and reflect on the many impressions of the day.

Overnight: Pousada Solar da Opera, Deluxe room

Day 4: Discover Ouro Preto and Surroundings

Included: Rental car | Breakfast

Today you can explore the historic town of Ouro Preto on your own. Until the end of the 19th century, Ouro Preto was the capital of the state of Minas Gerais. The baroque old town is unique and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. Ouro Preto is especially known for its large number of baroque churches from the colonial period, which are architecturally among the most valuable specimens Brazil has to offer. The handwriting of Aleijadinho is recognizable in many of them. Let yourself be enchanted by the atmosphere of days gone by as you stroll through the romantic, narrow alleys past stately and picturesque colonial houses. Ouro Preto has managed to preserve its historical charm in a wonderful way, yet still become a colorful and modern city. If you want to see even more, you have the option to drive to Mariana, the very first capital of Minas Gerais, 17 miles (27 kilometers) away. Mariana was also the first city ever in the region where people settled. Unlike other cities in the area, you won't find small enchanted alleys here, but large squares and wide streets. Since 2006, traveling between Ouro Preto and Mariana has been accessible via the historic steam locomotive Maria Fumaca.

Overnight: Pousada Solar da Opera, Deluxe room


  • 2 nights at Pousada Beco do Bispo, Deluxe room
  • 2 nights at Pousada Solar da Opera, Deluxe room
  • 4 breakfasts
  • Rental car for 4x 24h from Rio de Janeiro to Belo Horizonte in the selected car category (unlimited mileage)
  • Rental car information sheet
  • One-way fees
  • Collision damage waiver and loss damage waiver (“risk coverage for the car”), and third-party liability cover (“risk coverage for third parties”)

Not included are airfare, fuel, optional additional coverage, additional driver, entrance fees, beverages, meals not indicated in the itinerary, tips, and personal expenses.


  • All tours can be customized, shortened, or extended depending on your interests.
  • In case of very early departures or late arrivals, meals may be omitted.
  • Alternatively, the itinerary of this rental car tour can be done in reverse order and end in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Information on distances and travel times are approximate.
  • During the week the panorama train does not run between Ouro Preto and Mariana.
  • Many churches and museums are closed on Mondays.
  • Optionally, you can extend the rental car tour by one day and spend the first day, including overnight stay, at the Hotel Casablanca Imperial in the former imperial city of Petropolis, also called the "Versailles of the Tropics."
  • The 3 day-package Eco Lodge Itororo for Nature Lovers offers another possibility to extend the tour. You will experience exciting excursions such as a rainforest tour and a hike on the Porcelet with a view of the nature reserve and fantastic mountain scenery.
  • The renter must be 21 years of age or older, have a valid driver's license issued no less than 2 years before the date of rental.

Here you will find further information and details about car rental categories and insurance.

from USD 4910
10 Days of Culture, Wildlife, and Nature
Brazil | Rio de Janeiro, Foz do Iguacu, Manaus, Amazon

This journey will take you to the most beautiful places in Brazil: the tropical metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, the spectacular waterfalls of Foz do Iguacu and the exceptional nature of the Amazon Rainforest. Many different and individual day trips and excursions are on the program. You will gain distinct impressions of Brazil's diversity, visit the most famous sights, and get to know the breathtaking variety of animals and plants of the jungle. Our local English-speaking guides will make sure that you have a great time and show you the best of Brazil.

10 Days of Nature, Adventure, and Wildlife Observation
Brazil | Manaus, Amazon, Pantanal

Experience the unique and breathtaking nature and amazing variety of flora and fauna in the Amazon and the Pantanal in Brazil. On many different excursions you will explore the equatorial rainforest and one of the largest wetlands on earth by boat, jeep, and on foot. On this tour, wildlife observation and the experience of nature are in the foreground. Apart from exotic plants and giant trees, you will have the chance to see countless bird species, different monkeys, caimans, anteaters, tapirs, and even jaguars. Immerse yourself in the dense foliage of the Amazon Rainforest, explore the waterways of the Pantanal, and let yourself be enchanted by the wonders of Brazil's nature.

from USD 2090
7 Days of Culture, Hiking, and Beaches
Brazil | Salvador da Bahia, Chapada Diamantina, Praia do Forte

This journey will expose you to the wide diversity of Bahia: the famous historical center of Salvador, adventurous tours in Chapada Diamantina National Park, and palm-lined dream beaches. Colorful little streets, waterfalls, caves, table mountains, tropical culinary specialties, and much more await you on this tour to the most beautiful places in Bahia.