To reach Ouro Preto , you'll first have to get to Belo Horizonte. It takes less than one hour to fly to Belo Horizonte from major cities like São Paulo orRio de Janeiro. From here, a bus or car trip to Ouro Preto takes less than two hours. Here's a sample of distances between Ouro Preto and various access points:
Our Ouro Preto Transportation Guide below will tell you all you need to know about getting to and around Ouro Preto. The ideal way of getting around and seeing the sights is by joining one of our Ouro Preto tours. Our Brazil Transportation Guide gives details for getting to and around Brazil.
Ouro Preto Transportation Guide
Travellers who are rushed for time have the option of flying either to Pampulha, Belo Horizonte's domestic airport or to the Confins International Airport. Pampulha is approximately 40 km (25 miles) nearer to Ouro Preto than Confins. You can fly by Varig, Gol and Tam from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other cities to Belo Horizonte.
From the airport we offer a transfer service which can be booked online or otherwise hire a taxi to drive you directly to Ouro Preto at a pre-negotiated fare. Alternatively, you can travel by bus.
For transport from the airport to the city (or from the city to the airport), we recommend Green Path Transfers, who offer eco-friendly airport transfers in hundreds of destinations around the world.
Buses arrive at Ouro Preto's rodoviária (bus station). From here, it's easy to walk downhill to the historic town centre. It's best to buy tickets one day ahead during peak season. There are three bus companies operating services from here:
Viação Pássaro Verde (Ph: (31) 3551-1081)
10 daily services to Belo Horizonte from 07:00 hrs to 21:30 hrs - R$19,35, 2 hours
1 daily service to Brasilia at 19:20 hrs - R$115,08, 11 ½ hours
1 daily service from Brasilia at 19:15 hrs (on Sundays at 16:00) - R$111,57, 11 ½ hours
Vale do Ouro
2 daily services to Santa Bárbara at 8:05 hrs and 14:20 hrs - $19, 2 ½ hours
Viação Útil (Ph: (31) 3551 3166)
2 daily services to São Paulo at 06:20 hrs and 18:30 hrs - R$105, 11 ½ hours.
1 daily service from São Paulo at 19:45 hrs - R$101, 11 ½ hours.
1 daily service to Rio de Janeiro at 22:00 hrs - R$68,50, 8 ½ hours
1 daily service from Rio de Janeiro at 23:30 hrs - R$72,00 8 hours
From Belo Horizonte to Ouro Preto
Distance: 95 km
Duration: 1hr 45 min
Daily: 6:00 hrs to 23:00 hrs - R$20,25
Some additional information on bus services operating from Ouro Preto:
Ouro Preto Bus Station: Terminal Rodoviário 8 de Julho
Address: Rua Padre Rolim, 661 - São Cristóvão
Phone: 55(31) 3559-3252
Open daily from 05:00 hrs to 23:00 hrs
* Prices are subject to change. Please contact the bus companies to check.
Ouro Preto is located on BR-356, approximately 90 km south-east ofBelo Horizonte and around 18 km to the west of Mariana. It takes less than one hour to fly to Belo Horizonte from major cities like São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. From here, a bus or car trip to Ouro Preto takes less than two hours.
If you are coming from Belo Horizonte take BR-040 to Rio de Janeiro, then get BR-356 and keep on going until you get to Ouro Preto.
Take BR-040 to Conselheiro Lafaiete if you are driving in from Rio de Janeiro in the south, then get on to the Ouro Branco Highway and keep going until you reach the state highway, MG-443. Transfer to the highway and drive for another 12 km until you reach Ouro Preto.
If you're driving from São Paulo, take BR-381 to Lavras and then BR-265 to Barbacena. From Barbacena, follow BR-040 towards Belo Horizonte.
From Ouro Preto's town centre, driving distances to other cities are: Belo Horizonte - 90 km, Brasilia - 860 km, São Paulo - 745 km, Rio de Janeiro - 417 km and Salvador - 1468 km.
Ouro Preto's quaintly convoluted tangle of streets that change names whenever they turn corners are actually quite simple to negotiate, and it's unlikely that you will ever get lost. Every street is on a slope; this means that you can easily spot your destination whether it's a square, museum or church, located either uphill or below you and figure out the way there. Walking is the most convenient way to get around the town's small area and sharp inclines. Equip yourself with a sturdy pair of walking shoes. You could well get out of breath as you spend time negotiating the steep, narrow cobbled streets on hills. If your mobility is impaired, walking may not be an advisable option. It is possible however, to hire a taxi from the main square.
Taxis can be hired from some designated places in Ouro Preto.There is also another service called the ‘Taxi Lotação' which runs along some selected routes and has fixed fares.
If you're visiting neighbouring districts or nearby towns like Mariana, take a city bus. There are two district lines operating from Ouro Preto.
Transcotta (Ph: (31) 3551-2385, 3551-2991 and 3551-6096) operates buses to Lavras Novas , Santo Antônio do Salto, Cachoeira do Campo, São Bartolomeu, Glaura, Santo Antônio do Leite , Rodrigo Silva and Amarantina .
There are local travel companies and rental agencies if you wish to hire a car in Ouro Preto, (though it's difficult driving around the narrow, winding streets of the old town). You can also rent cars in Belo Horizonte or its airport to get around the various attractions in the region. According to Brazilian law, you must be over 21 years and should have possessed a driving license for a minimum of 2 years. You will also need to produce a valid passport and a Portuguese translation of your driver's license. Outside of the big cities and major highways, roads in Brazil are generally in poor condition and it's not advisable to drive at night. Do remember that in Brazil you drive on the right hand side of the road.
Among Ouro Preto's neighbouring districts, the nearest is Lavras Novas , 13 km away. Then comes Cachoeira do Campo (18 km), Santo Antônio do Leite and Amarantina (25 km, both), Glaura (26 km) and Santa Rita de Ouro Preto (30 km).
During the heady days of the gold rush, the precious metal was transported from the mountainous region of Ouro Preto to the sea by the Estrada Real (Royal Road). It appears anything but royal, since it's mostly a dirt road, except when it enters villages and towns, where it is cobblestoned. The Estrada Real is symbolic of another Brazil, far removed from the country's better known attractions - soccer, the Carnaval, beaches and bossa nova. This less travelled path leads you through Brazil's colonial history and gives you an authentic taste of its culture, ecology and cuisine.