SABARÁ is strung out over a series of hills, wound around the Rio das Velhas. Many of its cobbled streets are so steep they have to be taken slowly, but ascents are rewarded with gorgeous churches that are austere on the outside and choked with ornamentation inside. Sabará’s proximity to Belo Horizonte makes it a feasible base for seeing the metropolis, but its accommodation is both limited and unexciting. Fortunately, the frequency of the bus link (every 15min from 4am to midnight) makes it an easy day-trip from Belo Horizonte: catch the red #5509 bus on Rua dos Caetés one block up from Avenida Afonso Pena. Start early and avoid visiting on Monday when most sights are closed.

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