Known to the locals as Beagá (pronounced 'bay-ah-gah', Portuguese for BH), Belo Horizonte was named for its beautiful view of nearby mountains. Urban sprawl makes it harder to appreciate the natural setting nowadays, but Brazil’s third-largest city still has considerable charm.
Walk down the buzzing cosmopolitan streets of the Savassi neighborhood on a Saturday evening, eat at one of the fine restaurants in Lourdes, stroll through the densely packed stalls at Mercado Central, attend a weekend street fair or a concert at the Palácio das Artes, or visit the Inhotim art museum west of the city, and you’ll see that Belo Horizonte has countless dimensions. Add to all this the friendly, welcoming nature of Beagá’s people and you’ve got a winning combination. Stick around a few days – you might grow fond of the place.