Araxá - Minas Gerais
Located in the West of the state of Minas Gerais, Araxá is a town that has some of the most relaxing tourist attractions in Brazil. It is there that we find the famous thermal and sulfurous springs, whose waters fill the many pools where we can take baths in therapeutic waters. The so-called Termas de Araxá are located in the town’s outskirts, and they may be reached from the Tropical Grande Hotel through a suspended gallery, approximately 100 meters (109.36 yards) long. The view from there is simply unforgettable.
The hotel was built in 1944, and it was one of the greatest symbols of the town’s economic development. Details from that time can be seen in the finely worked mirrors, in the Carrara marble floors, and in the majestic chandeliers that embellish the ballrooms. The gorgeous gardens were planned by the famous landscaper Burle Marx.
The town is also famous for having been where lived Dona Beja, a daring courtesan, greatly respected in the town. The stories of that exuberant and luxurious inhabitant are still alive in Araxá. Dona Beja’s old big house was transformed into a museum by the journalist and communications tycoon Assis Chateaubriand, and nowadays displays some articles that belonged to Beja, who used to bathe in one of the towns fountains. Besides the natural beauties, the town of Araxá is a destination that offers many museums and old churches, mostly built in the nineteenth century.
The Chapel of São Sebastião (Saint Sebastian's Chapel), built in colonial style, is an example. The place also houses a sacred art museum. Those who visit the town also get to see the most beautiful women craft pieces made in looms, and the delicacies of the cuisine of the state of Minas Gerais, such as compote candy and cookies. As a natural frame for the cozy streets of Araxá we see the beauty of the Bocaina Mountain Ridge, whose peaks reach 300 meters (984.25 ft) of height. The weather and the relief are perfect for the practice of adventure sports, such as hang-gliding.
Located at six kilometers (3.73 mi.) from the center of Araxá, the Complex of the Barreiro district is one of the most visited places of the town. It is there that we find the famous radioactive and sulfurous mineral water springs. The architectural group of the place, which includes the Grande Hotel e Termas de Araxá, has been listed as a landmark by the government of the state of Minas Gerais and has great historical, cultural, and artistic value for Brazil. In the Complex visitors can also stroll around woods, lakes, squares, and it is possibly to walk around the gardens that were especially projected by the landscaper Burle Marx.
Ruin of the Hotel Rádio and Cascatinha Woods (Little Cascade Woods)
The place where the oldest hotel of the Barreio district was built in 1919 is today a beautiful park for leisure and fun. It has walking trails and cycling lanes, promenades and orchards, with much varied fauna and flora. From there, it is possible to get to the Cascatinha Woos, an ecological sanctuary in the area. The hotel became famous because Alberto Santos Dumont, the father of the aviation, stayed there many times.
A gorgeous waterfall, with a fall of 40 meters (131.23 ft.), formed with the water of the São João River. To get there we have to take the Sacramento road, in the town of Ibiá, and we need to be escorted by a local guide.
Andrade Júnior Spring
The fame of the healing powers of the waters that come from that spring has been known since the nineteenth century. Those waters are indicated for the treatment of diabetes, obesity, gastric, rheumatologic, urologic, and hepatic problems, among many others.
Dona Beja Spring
That place became famous because Dona Beja used to bathe naked there. The spring is in a rock, and its waters have radioactive properties.
Dona Beja Museum
The big house, built in the beginning of the nineteenth century, was one of Dona Beja's residences and has house, since 1965, a museum and a cafeteria. It is a cozy place for a coffee break and a chat with friends.
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Araxá - Minas Gerais