Ouro Preto is a small, quaint town, seven hours north of Rio and two hours south of Belo Horizonte, which is now a Unesco World Heritage site. A former mining town (it’s name means black gold), it is one of the prettiest and best preserved colonial towns in Brazil and so, despite it’s small size and sleepy atmosphere, is a popular tourist destination.

 

Ouro Preto - Church beside hostel

As well as being extremely picturesque, it is also incredibly hilly. Luckily, our hostel was a mere 150 metres from the bus station. Unluckily, we took a wrong turning and before long we found ourselves on the wrong side of town, at the bottom of the hill, trying to decipher Portuguese directions to find the fastest and least steep route back to where we needed be. After an epic hike that was akin to climbing Everest, across cobbles so slippery (did I mention it was also raining) that I nearly fell flat on my face more than once, we finally arrived at the hostel.

View over Ouro Preto

There’s not a great deal to ‘do’ as such in Ouro Preto. The closest thing you’ll get to a tourist attraction is the old mine which More >