Capital of the state of Minas Gerais and is considered to be one of the cities with the best quality of life in Latin America. Belo Horizonte was founded in 1897 and is Brazil’s third largest city with a population of some 2.5 million inhabitants. The city of Belo Horizonte was especially designed to take the role as the capital of the state of Minas Gerais. It is one of the first modern Brazilian cities to spring from an architects drawing board with wide landscaped avenues and carefully planned residential suburbs.
Belo Horizonte is the distribution and processing center of a rich agricultural and mining region and the nucleus of a burgeoning industrial complex.
Its chief manufactures are steel, steel products, automobiles, and textiles while Gold, Manganese, and gem stones of the surrounding region are processed in the city.
The city is also a leading cultural center, with three universities, a historical museum, numerous libraries, and sports stadiums.
Belo Horizontes central location and proximity to some of the most important cidades históricas (Sabará is just outside the city, Ouro Preto and Mariana only two hours away by road) makes it a good base for exploring Minas Gerais.