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Getting There

By Plane -- Azul (tel. 031/3003-2985; www.voeazul.com.br), Gol (tel. 0300/115-2121; www.voegol.com.br), Ocean Air (tel. 031/4004-4040; www.oceanair.com.br), TAM (tel. 031/4002-5700; www.tam.com.br), TRIP (tel. 031/3003-8747; www.voetrip.com.br), and Webjet (tel. 0300/210-1234; www.webjet.com.br ) have daily flights to most major cities in Brazil.

Most flights arrive at Aeroporto Internacional Tancredo Neves-Confins, Rodovia MG-10 (tel. 031/3689-2700), a new airport inconveniently located some 40km (25 miles) from the city center. A taxi from here to the city center costs about R$80. A cheaper alternative, Shuttle Minas (tel. 031/2526-2857; www.shuttleminas.com.br), operates a minivan shuttle between Confins and the hotels in the Centro and Savassi/Afonso Pena neighborhoods. You can also call to request a pickup. The shuttle departs at approximately hourly intervals, from 6am to 6pm. Cost is R$20, one bag free, R$5 for each extra bag. If you can, book a flight that lands at Pampulha Airport, Praça Bagatella 204 (tel. 031/3490-2001), the older, smaller airport next to the artificial lake near the center of the city.

By Bus -- Long-distance buses arrive at the Terminal Rodoviaria Gov. Israel Pinheiro da Silva, Praça Rio Branco 100, Centro (tel. 031/3271-3000; www.rodoviariabelohorizonte.com.br). To/from Rio de Janeiro, Util (tel. 021/3907-3900; www.util.com.br) has seven daily departures, the first at 8am and the last at 12:30am. The trip takes 7 hours, and costs R$67 to R$95. To/from São Paulo, Cometa (tel. 031/4004-9600; www.viacometa.com.br) has 11 daily departures, the first at 9am and the last at 11:45pm. Cost is R$75 to R$135, and the trip takes 7 hours.

Getting Around

On Foot -- Downtown BH is pleasant and walkable by day and into the evening. Later in the evening it may be advisable to take a taxi.

By Bus -- The three types of buses in BH are coded by color. Yellow buses, called circulares, stick to the Contorno, the ring road around BH's center, and cost R$1.65. Short-distance city buses are blue, and cost R$2.40. Longer-distance city buses, for travel from the city to far-off suburbs, are red and cost R$3.

By Taxi -- Taxis can be hailed in the street almost anywhere. To order a taxi, call Coomotaxi (tel. 031/3419-2020) or Coopertaxi (tel. 031/3421-2424).

By Car -- Navigating Belo Horizonte's inner city is extraordinarily difficult, due to the complicated street pattern and the shortage of parking. However, to explore the countryside and reach the historical cities, a car is ideal.

Visitor Information

The city's official tourism agency, Belotur (tel. 031/3277-9777; www.belohorizonte.mg.gov.br), has tourism information centers at Confins airport (tel. 031/3689-2557); at the bus station (tel. 031/3277-6907); and in Centro at the Mercado das Flores, Av. Afonso Pena 1055 (tel. 031/3277-7666). All are open daily 8am to 6pm. There's also a tourist hot line, Alô Turismo at tel. 031/3220-1310.

Fast Facts

Car Rental Localiza (tel. 0800/979-2000); Avis (tel. 0800/725-2847); Unidas (tel. 0800/121-121); and Hertz (tel. 0800/701-7300). Rates start at R$100 per day for a compact car with air-conditioning and unlimited mileage. Insurance adds R$30 per day.

Currency Exchange Banco do Brasil, Av. Amazonas 303, Centro (near Praça 7 de Setembro; tel. 031/3218-2300; Mon-Fri 10am-4pm) has an ATM. Action S/A, Confins Airport (tel. 031/3689-2861; daily 5am-10pm). Minas Cambio Turismo, Av. Amazonas 507, Centro (tel. 031/3201-4515; Mon-Fri 9am-6pm).

Hospital Hospital da Clinicas, Av. Prof. Alfreda Balena 110, Santa Efigênia (tel. 031/3248-9300).

Internet Access Internet Club Café, Rua Fernandes Tourinho 385, Savassi (tel. 031/3282-3132; www.internetclubcafe.com.br; daily 9am-10pm), charges R$4 per hour.

Weather Located on an interior plateau, Belo Horizonte is similar in climate to São Paulo. December through March is hot and humid. Temperatures rise to the mid-30s Celsius (high 90s Fahrenheit). June through August, it can cool off to a minimum of 15°C (59°F), but during the day temperatures can sometimes rise to the 20s Celsius (70s or mid-80s Fahrenheit). Between May and September it can be quite cool in the evenings; bring some cool-weather clothes. Most rain tends to fall in the summer (Dec-Feb); January is especially wet.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.