Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte

Etymology

The metropolis was once a small village, founded by João Leite da Silva Ortiz, a bandeirante explorer from São Paulo. The explorer settled in the region in 1701, leaving a gold rush expedition. He then established a farm called “Curral d’el Rey”, archaic Portuguese for the “King’s Corral”, which in modern Portuguese would be spelled Curral do Rei. The farm’s wealth and success encouraged people from surrounding places to move into the region, and Curral del Rey became a village surrounded by farms. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Belo Horizonte CakePHP Meetup – Grupo para pessoas interessadas no framework CakePHP, venha conhecer a comunidade deste framework. [meetup]

Belo Horizonte Green Drinks Meetup – Green Drinks’, which means’ Green Drinks’, is a relaxed Happy Hour event designed to bring together professionals and scholars on the subject of sustainability so that they can acquire new knowledge and expand their network of contacts. [meetup]

Belo Horizonte Voleibol Meetup – For volleyball lovers on duty! I’m creating this group in an attempt to play volleyball as much as I can here in BH. Please get in touch and let me know if you are interested. [meetup]

Go Skateboarding Belo Horizonte – Group dedicated to all skaters, fans or sympathizers for the world skate culture. In order to gather people for skateboarding in BH, skatetrips, DIY (do it yourself), championships and any other activity related to skateboard culture in Brazil and worldwide, we aim to bring the local skate scene closer to gain strength, recognition, Doing all of this ONLY BY SKATEBOARD. [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Badoo.com – Badoo is a third website for online dating in Brazil that you can try if you have found no luck at the sites above. To have any success on this site, you need to send out A LOT of messages as their filtering system for fake profiles is definitely not the strongest. [visa hunter]

BrazilCupid.com – BrazilCupid is a member of the prominent Cupid Media network that owns 30+ dating sites around the world. It is my favorite site in Brazil and just happens to be where I met my wife (who is a native of Brazil). [visa hunter]

ParPerfeito.com.br – I have had a decent amount of experience with ParPerfeito (“perfect partner” in Portuguese). I like the site but not as much as BrazilCupid. It is still a good second choice though. You might have seen their banners inside Metro stations if you have ever been to Rio De Janeiro. [visa hunter]

Romantico Brazil – Our site is for single heterosexual adults over eighteen years of age, who are looking for the partner of their dreams. [romantico brazil]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Brazil Bookers – Belo Horizonte, the capital of the State of Minas Gerais and the 3rd largest metropolitan area of Brazil, is a place of intensive cultural and economic activity. The city was specifically designed as a replacement capital for Ouro Preto and was originally modeled after Washington D.C. The city’s design was also largely influenced by famed architect Oscar Niemeyer who designed the Pampulha District. [brazil bookers]

Tours by Locals – Experience Belo Horizonte (or Beagá as the locals call it), Brazil’s 3rd largest city, with your own private tour guide. [tours by locals]

Walking Tours Belo Horizonte – Walking tours focused on architecture and belorizontinos lifestyle! Affordable and interesting tours focused on belorizontinian architecture and lifestyle! [facebook]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Mercado Central (Central Market) One of the liveliest and most colorful places in the city is the huge market building, where you’ll find everything from food to canaries in its 400-odd stalls. Vendors appear to be in perpetual motion as they hawk fruits and vegetables, cheese, sausages, religious items, herbal medicines, candy, drinks, meats, flowers, nuts, household utensils, prepared foods, pets, and handicrafts. Stop to watch as the fruit sellers peel and slice whole pineapples with a machete, and wait your turn for a seat in one of the tiny lunch stands to sample local dishes. The market is open daily, although only until 1 pm on Sundays and holidays. [planet ware]

Museu de Arte (Art Museum) – The first building designed and built by Oscar Niemeyer, in 1940, stands high above the lake in the suburb of Pampulha and, along with Niemeyer’s church of São Francisco de Assis, is surrounded by the Burle Marx Sculpture Gardens. The building was converted into the Museum of Arts in 1957 and displays paintings, graphics, sculptures, ceramics, and films. A café overlooks the grounds, where there are sculptures by José Pedrosa, August Zamoyski, and Alfredo Ceschiatti. [planet ware]

Museu de Artes e Oficios (Arts and Crafts Museum) – The spacious Praça da Estacão is a venue for outdoor concerts and festivals, bounded on one side by the former rail station, now housing the Arts and Crafts Museum. The tools and arts of Brazil’s pre-industrial era are displayed and interpreted, including implements used for sewing, weaving, spinning, woodworking, building, and other trades and crafts. The station is an important landmark in Belo Horizonte’s history as the arrival point for all the materials required for building the new capital. [planet ware]

Museu de História Natural (Natural History Museum) and Jardim Botânico (Botanic Garden) – In the Santa Inàs district is the extensive Botanic Garden, where you’ll also find the Natural History Museum. The garden stretches over more than 6,000 square meters, with indigenous trees and plants. More botanical exhibits are in the museum, which also covers minerals and archaeology and includes interactive stations. Here, also, is the Presépio do Pipiripau, a nativity scene designed by Raimundo Machado de Azavedo in 1906 that shows 45 scenes from the life of Jesus with more than 580 figures. In the gardens is the former country house of the governors of Minas Gerais. [planet ware]

Museu de Mineralogia (Mineralogy Museum) – “Rainha da Sucata” – Queen of Scrap Iron – is the local nickname for the post-modern building intended to house the tourist office when it was built in the late 1980s. Today, it’s the home to the Museum of Mineralogy and holds a rich collection of nearly 3,000 minerals from the mines of Minas Gerais and elsewhere around the world. About 800 of these are on display, including gold and other precious metals, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, aquamarines, topazes, and amethysts. Along with the stones themselves, the museum explores their uses. [planet ware]

Palácio das Artes – On the south-western edge of the municipal park is the Palácio das Artes, a striking low white building designed by Oscar Niemeyer to house the Fundação Clóvis Salgado, one of Latin America’s most inclusive and active centers for the arts. Along with studios and practice rooms for artists and musicians, it houses several places of interest to tourists. Three galleries host a variety of art shows, and its three theaters have a busy schedule that can include concerts of classical and popular music, dance performances, theater, and operas. The outstanding Minas Gerais Craft Center is filled with the highest quality handiwork by contemporary craftsmen. You’ll find pottery, wood carving, fiber, and needle arts, sculpture in all media, hand weaving, glassware, and jewelry featuring the region’s abundance of stones. [planet ware]

Parque Mangabeiras – This large park at the edge of the city spreads across the steep slope of the Serra do Curral, where the source streams of the Rio das Velhas join. Within the park are a primeval forest, a lake, several springs, playing fields, children’s rides, walking and jogging paths, an open-air theater, and an amphitheater. Buses leave from the entrance to loop through the park, stopping at various attractions including the Mirante da Mata, where there is a sweeping view of Belo Horizonte. Praça do Papa, from which there is also a good city view, was named for Pope John Paul II, who conducted a mass here during his visit to Brazil in 1980. Guides love to point out Rua do Amendoim, where an optical illusion makes cars appear to defy gravity by rolling uphill. [planet ware]

Parque Municipal (City Park) – On the north side of the city center, the large Parque Municipal is a green space with dozens of century-old shade trees, a lake with boat rides, several gardens, children’s playgrounds, tennis courts, aviaries, and a theater. An Orchidarium has greenhouses filled with rare orchid varieties. From May through September, the Orchestra of Minas Gerais performs a Concerto no Parque every Sunday morning. The park is a lovely place to stroll or picnic, close to the main attractions of the city. [planet ware]

Praça da Liberdade (Freedom Square) – The large park-filled plaza in the city center was designed to be the hub of state administration and power, with the Palácio do Governo (Government Building) and the public library. The Art Deco style Palácio Cristo Rio was built in the 1940s, and towering above the square is Edificio Niemeyer, a sinuously curved apartment building that is one of his most famous early works. [planet ware]

São Francisco de Assis – The first of architect Oscar Niemeyer’s major works stands above a lake in the park-filled suburb of Pampulha. The parabolic curves of the church’s roof seem to anticipate architectural forms he later used in Brasília. The exterior is covered in azulejo tile panels by Cândido Portinari, and more of his work decorates the interior. The building’s design caused such a furor in the church hierarchy that, although it was completed several decades earlier, it was not consecrated until 1969. The surrounding gardens were designed by preeminent landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Walk around the lake to admire the church’s silhouette mirrored in the lake and to see the curved Casa do Baile, scene of fashionable parties and dances in the 1940s. [planet ware]

Festivals

Festivals

Comida di Buteco Festival – If you’re visiting in mid-April to mid-May, check out the Comida di Buteco festival, in which dozens of neighborhood bars compete to see who makes the best bar food. [lonely planet]

Savassi Festival – Brings live jazz to eight different stages around the city. [lonely planet]

Public Transit

Public Transit

By bus – BH is well served by buses. The SC buses circulate through the downtown; others serve outlying neighborhoods. [wikitravel]

By taxi – Belo Horizonte relies on a big and reliable taxi fleet – one of the best in Latin America. The service is also relatively inexpensive – a trip accross downtown costs around R$15 – ranking number 10 among the major Brazilian capitals The official color is white. Below is the fare table as of March 2013. [wikitravel]

By train – The Metrô. snakes through the city, from Eldorado northeast to Vilarinho, tangential to the north side of downtown. Lagoinha Station is near the rodoviária (bus station), Gameleira Station is near the ExpoMinas Convention Center and Minas Shopping Station is near the Mall of the same name and Ouro Minas Palace Hotel. [wikitravel]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Belo Horizonte Lean Startup Circle – This circle is intended to assist San Pedro Valley entrepreneurs looking for spaces to discuss how to accelerate their business through the principles of Lean Startup (aka startup lean). We hope to form an active community so that together we can share experiences, ideas and explore LS interpretations and applications, both in Startups and in corporate environments. [meetup]

Belo Horizonte Python User Group – Meeting point of the Pythonists of Belo Horizonte and region. The purpose of this meetup is to provide periodic encounters with the BH Python community. [meetup]

Belo Horizonte Salesforce Developer Group – Connect with local developers building on the Salesforce Platform. [meetup]

Developers BH – Group for software developers of São Pedro Valley and region. All experience levels are welcome. We will organize hackathons, happy hours and other events to exchange experiences and feedback. [meetup]

FirefoxOS Belo Horizonte – This group is intended for designers, developers and all those who have curiosity / interest in developing for the new mobile platform, the Exceptional FirefoxOS! With an incredible ease of development (HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript – yes, that’s it!) We will have encounters to solve doubts, promote hackatons (with prizes!) And more! Do not waste time, come to the community and have a chance to change the world! [meetup]

GBG Belo Horizonte – Google Business Group is a worldwide network of professionals who want to learn, teach and exchange business experiences. It’s a group to discuss Google’s business, trends, and business platforms. [meetup]

Google Developer Groups (GDG) Belo Horizonte – Google Developer Groups (GDG) Belo Horizonte is a group for passionate developers using Google technologies like Android, Google APIs, GWT, App Engine, among others. We have formed a community of developers to share knowledge and create interesting projects in the open source concept and public APIs. [meetup]

Meetup de Profissionais da saúde Belo Horizonte – Meeting among professionals in the health area to discuss the challenges faced in the treatment of obesity. Exchange of experiences, search for new methodologies and professional practices. [meetup]

Word Press Belo Horizonte – Group created for all interested and amateurs in CMS WordPress, simply to spread and share knowledge around all potent that WordPress offers to be used in various areas of development and digital communication. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Belo Horizonte English as a Second Language Meetup – people who have common interests in practicing English as a second language and need people who have common interest. [meetup]

Belo Horizonte Spanish lessons Meetup – This is a group for all those interested in learning Spanish, talking a little, knowing more about the Latin American culture of which Brazil is also part, etc, for any level. [meetup]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

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