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Brazil: The Route of Gold image

Brazil: The Route of Gold

a journey through Brazil's colonial heartlands

This 10 day itinerary explores the Brazilian states of Bahia and Minas Gerais, visiting charming colonial towns, gold mines, and the caves and mountains of the Chapada Diamantina National Park, followed by a visit to Brazil’s original capital, Salvador.

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Itinerary summary

Days 1-3: The Gold Mines of Ouro Preto

Arrive in Belo Horizonte and driven two hours to colonial Ouro Preto for a three night stay. Once an influential gold mining town and the country's largest city, today it is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil, known for its many churches and chapels and Baroque architecture. Included is a visit to the nearby town of Mariana, the oldest in Minas Gerais, for a tour of its narrow cobbled streets and soapstone mansions. Between these two towns is the Mina da Passagem gold mine, the largest mine in the world that is open to the public, where you will be taken down by mine cart to learn how the gold was extracted here to generate immense wealth in the region.

Days 4-7: The Chapada Diamantina

Fly from Belo Horizonte to Lençóis and stay four nights in this quaint town of one storey terracotta houses in the heart of Bahia state. Lençóis, meaning bedsheets, takes its name from the makeshift tents that the crowds of prospectors set up when they arrived here to seek a share of the fortune from newly discovered diamond deposits in the 19th century. Today, the town acts as a gateway to the vast Chapada Diamantina National Park. Here you will spend your days hiking the park's flat-topped mountains and forested valleys. The Chapada Diamantina has an abundance of wildlife, and is home to many fascinating landscapes, cave systems, waterfalls and natural pools.

Days 8-10: Colonial Salvador

After a short flight to Salvador, spend two nights in this historical city which is a former capital of Brazil. Founded in 1549, Salvador rose to prominence alongside the thriving sugar trade on Brazil's coast and the Atlantic slave trade, and it was the last Portuguese stronghold during the Brazilian war for independence. Have a guided tour of the Pelourinho, the colonial centre of Salvador, which has the largest collection of colonial buildings in Latin America and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. On the final day transfer to the airport for flights home or onward connections.

Enlarge Map Enlarge map

Accommodation options

In the following section you will see our suggested options for possible accommodation.

The estimated flight cost included in this itinerary (assuming international flights from the UK plus any internal flights that are necessary) is 1,425 per person.

Standard - 4,585

  • Villa Bahia image
    Villa Bahia - At the heart of the Pelourinho in Salvador, themed on the Portuguese spice route and with an excellent restaurant.

Price and validity notes

We have tried to give you as accurate an idea of prices as possible, including meals where appropriate (but not when there are good local options so you don't pay for a meal that you might not want), accommodation, transfers, and any tours we have included.

All prices are per person based on two people sharing a room and are intended as a guide (local high or low seasons can cause some variation). All prices were correct when published but may vary with exchange rate fluctuations, fuel surcharges, or changes in the general economic situation.

As a fully bonded and very experienced Tour Operator, we can help you plan and book your perfect trip to Brazil.

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