When to Go
Time your visit to Mariana for the Friday (11am) or Sunday (12:15pm) concert, performed on the exquisite 18th-century organ at the Catedral da Sé.
Buses depart from Ouro Preto for Mariana daily every 30 minutes between 5:30am and 11:30pm from behind the Museu de Minas (Rua Barão Camargos). The trip costs R$2.20, takes approximately 30 minutes, and drops you in the center of Mariana. A much more scenic way to get to Mariana is by steam train. Originally built in 1883, the 18km (11 miles) of track that connect the two towns have recently been restored. The trip takes an hour; make sure you sit on the right-hand side as you leave Ouro Preto to get the best views of the landscape. Also, if you sit in the rear of the train you can take some great photos of the front carriages as the track curves. Departure Ouro Preto to Mariana Friday to Sunday at 11am and 4pm; return from Mariana to Ouro Preto only at 2pm. Visitors can return by bus or arrange a taxi. One-way fare: adults R$18, children 6 to 10 pay R$15; tel. 031/3551-7705.
Bring some information on Mariana from Ouro Preto's tourist information as the office here, at Praça Tancredo Neves s/n (tel. 031/3557-1158), is notoriously unreliable. It's supposed to be open daily 8am to 5pm, but don't count on it.
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.