São João del Rei

São João del Rei is the largest of the colonial mining towns in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Old bridge in São João del Rey


While lacking the stunning geographical setting and plethora of churches that Ouro Preto has, São João del Rei is quite pleasant and a good place for a few days of relaxing. The town is also known as the birthplace of Tancredo Neves, whose election as president in 1985 (he died before taking office) brought an end to Brazil's military rule.

Get in

By car

SJDR is best reached using the BR-040 highway, which connects Belo Horizonte to Rio de Janeiro. Coming from either end, exit the highway at Congonhas and access the BR-383.

By bus

São João del Rei is four hours by bus from Belo Horizonte, eight from São Paulo.



One of the most entertaining things to do in São João del Rei is to get out of town, on the 1920s vintage steam locomotive to the nearby town of Tiradentes. It runs only Friday through Sunday, with two round trip runs per day. Tickets can be bought (no reservations needed) at the train station in the center of town.



Go next

There are buses departing from São João del Rei to major Brazilian cities, usually twice a day. The bus station is simple but provides luggage storage, showers and internet connection.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, July 31, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.