Looking for a cultural tour through the central region of Brazil which pleases adults and children? How about three days touring around Brasilia, Pirenópolis and Goiás Velho (Cidade de Goiás), alternating between their important buildings, amazing museums and fantastic nature?
Blending history, culture and fun, we offer a 3-day trip through these cities, in a tour that is tailor-made for families. If you don't have a car, we recommend you rent one, because the destinations are far away from each other, as some of their attractions.
The capital of the Country has many attractions. Among them, no doubt, is its modernist architecture, that fascinates both tourists as the inhabitants of the city. Its central area, the "body of the plane" in the design of Lucio Costa, is where some of its most important buildings are concentrated, such as Praça dos Três Poderes, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the TV Tower, also designed by Costa.
At the Tower, there is no shortage of activities. Start with the food and crafts fair, where you can find flavors and objects originated from all regions of the Country. Then, get on the viewing spot which has 75m in height. From there, you may have a panoramic view of Brasília. Take the opportunity to teach the children about the architecture and the organization of the city, built in record time and inaugurated in 1960, by Juscelino Kubitschek.
Then, go by foot to Parque da Cidade Dona Sarah Kubitschek, named after the former first lady. In its 4.2 km², there are bike lanes, gym equipment, barbecue grills, sports courts, artificial lake and several playgrounds for children, one of them with paid rides. The Ana Lídia Park, and its famous space rocket, has free access and has been entertaining children since its inauguration in 1971.
To conclude the first day, the best option is a visit to Catetinho, the first official presidential residence of Brasília. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer when the city was still an immense construction site, it is also known as Palácio de Tábuas (Boards Palace), because it was entirely built in wood. There, amid the nature of the region, one can see the modest rooms occupied by Juscelino and some of his closest advisors. In the nearby woods, the fountain that inspired the song "Água de Beber", composed by Vinícius de Moraes and Tom Jobim in a visit to the then future capital of the country, may be found.
Just over 150 km from Brasília, Pirenópolis is one of the historical cities of the State of Goiás. Founded in 1731, it grew fast due to the many gold mines in the region. Thanks to its big houses and buildings from that time, such as the colonial Mother Church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário, it was landmarked as architectural, urban, scenic and historic heritage by Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional, Iphan. And as if its urban beauty wasn't enough, it is surrounded by beautiful nature, full of waterfalls and rivers.
Cachoeira do Lázaro is one of the best known waterfalls and a favorite of tourists, for being easily accessible and revealing to visitors the great diversity of the Cerrado biome, such as its medicinal plants, fruit trees, giant anteaters and pampas deer. In front of the waterfall, natural pools which are perfect for swimming with children are formed.
Close to the center, the Vagafogo Sanctuary was created to disseminate ecotourism, environmental education and sustainable food production. The little ones love the place, its trails, natural swimming holes and the extreme (and safe!) sports that can be practiced there, such as abseiling, canopy touring and zip-lining.
At night, be sure to walk down Rua do Rosário and taste the local food and ice cream. Just choose one of the many restaurants and delight yourself. Oh, if you happen to taste pequi, a fruit typical of the region, remember: you can't bite it, because it is full of thorns inside. The right way to taste it is gnawing its external pulp.
Former capital of the State of Goiás, also known as Goiás Velho, Cidade de Goiás is 170 km from Pirenópolis, an about 2-hour trip by car. Visiting it and walking between its big houses is learning a little about the past of the State.
Start with Museu Casa de Cora Coralina, created in honor of one of the most important Brazilian writers, who was born and raised there, and who there produced most of her poems and short stories. The tour interests adults for the works and the trajectory of this fascinating woman, who was also a professional baker, and who released her first book with 75 years of age. And it also interests children, who can visit an ancient house which is over 200 years old, very well preserved, and learn a little more about the way of life of a small town in the countryside of Brazil.
From there, go for a swim in Cachoeiras das Andorinhas, 8 km from the historic center. The tour is worth it for cooling off, because it's very hot there, and for the scenery, since the waterfall is beautifully nestled amid the sandstone rocks and soapstones. There are also wells for children to play amid various fish, such as lobós and lambaris.