Situated in the South of Minas Gerais, close to the famous Serra da Canastra, Capitlio is the unusual destination nature loving travelers might be looking for. Home to stunning lakes, waterfalls and trails, the beach city of Minas, as it is popularly called, is the perfect destination to enjoy the rest of summer in Brazils Southeast.
Capitlio owes its beach city fame to Lago de Furnas, one of the worlds biggest artificial lakes, with 1,406,26 square kilometers. Considered Minas sea and the citys greatest attraction, Lago de Furnas is also the largest water extension in the state.
The Minas sea was born from the construction of Furnas hydro-power plant, the first high capacity one in Brazil, inaugurated in 1963. Today, the lake attracts tourists from Brazil and abroad for boat trips and water sports.
Those interested in enjoying Lago de Furnas by boat can contact one of the local tourism agencies (like VIP Passeios or Catamar Escarpas), which offer barge and motorboat trips for groups. Visitors can find from two-hour to full-day trips; itinerary and prices might vary according to the agency.
Apart from the diverse cascades and falls visitors will have the opportunity to appreciate, like Cascata, Vale dos Tucanos and Lagoa Azul, one of the favorite attractions of the trip is Furnas canyons, the over twenty-meter high gorges that surround the lake.
In order to get a perspective of the canyons from the top, one must take the road MG-050 and drive about 30 kilometers off of Capitlio. The trail that leads to the canyons starts approximately one kilometer after Lagoa Azul restaurant.
A place worth visiting for travelers who are into trekking is Trilha do Sol. Located on the MG-050 road (Km 304), this natural area and lodge concentrates three falls: Do Grito, with a high cascade and a pool; Poo Dourado, where the sun reflection makes the fishes scales golden; and No Limite, where visitors will find a natural water slide.
For a breathtaking view of Lago de Furnas, one must check Morro do Chapu, a 1,293 meter-high hill, located about 12 kilometers away from Capitlio. There, it is possible to contemplate the fauna and flora of cerrado, biome from Brazils dry country side. Lucky visitors might get the chance to spot a tamandu, one of cerrados typical animals.
When it comes to culinary, Capitlios great specialty are the lake fishes. For fresh traras and tilapias, one must try Do Turvo restaurant, situated at the MG-050 road (Km 306), or Skina Bar, in Capitlios downtown. For homemade traditional Minas cheese and sausages, one can check Queijos Califrnia, at MG-050 road (Km 290).
Among the available accommodation options, one can find diverse pousadas (small lodges), like Trilha do Sol, close to the canyons; Cachoeira do Lobo, close to the namesake waterfall; Cascata Eco Parque, which offers more complete infrastructure; and Obb Coema, with a resort like atmosphere. Those looking for a cheaper option should consider camping at Paraso Perdido.
It takes approximately 630 kilometers to go to Capitlio from Rio de Janeiro, and there are two different paths one can take: via Terespolis, through roads BR-040, BR-265 and MG-050; or via Resende, through roads BR-354 and MG-050. Since both trips can be quite exhausting (6 to 10 hour drive), an alternative is taking a flight to Belo Horizonte and renting a car from this city to Capitlio (approximately three hour drive).

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