At Inhotim, the rainforest IS the gallery.
This utopia destination in Brumadinho, Brazil is a massive contemporary art paradise tucked away in the lush Minas Gerais region. Presenting world class contemporary art by artists such as Tunga, Yayoi Kusama, and Robert Irwin, Inhotim is a sight like no other. Truly a must-see if you want to learn more about Brazilian art through its unique environment.
HOW TO GET THERE
If you want to spend more than one day at Inhotim, renting a car is likely your best bet since Inhotim is located an hour and a half outside of Belo Horizonte. There are also two different shuttles from Belo Horizonte to Inhotim that cost approximately 66 reais roundtrip. One shuttle departs from a Holiday Inn and the other from Rodoviária: Belo Horizonte’s central bus station.
The closest option for lodging would be to stay in Brumadinho. There are almost 500+ works of art and over 14 pavilions so spending more than a day at Inhotim is highly recommended. Unfortunately, Brumadinho suffered from a huge mining disaster last year where over 250+ people were killed. The town itself is intact, but the tragedy’s impact on the people of Brumadinho still lingers. Support the local economy and look for pousadas which are smaller family-run hotels. Another option for lodging would be to stay in the bustling city of Belo Horizonte where there are a lot more nightlife and restaurant options. In the near future, Inhotim is also planning on getting its own hotel.
Inhotim is packed with masterpieces from all around the world that rely heavily on the interaction of light and space. The 14+ pavilions themselves are architectural wonders and a true display of Brazilian brutalism. To get to the pavillions with the best 360 views, get a golf cart wrist band for 30 reais per person and start at the top of the mountain with Robert Irwin’s Untitled work or Doug Atkin’s pavilion and work your way down. The founder Bernando Paz was inspired to create Inhotim because of Brazilian artist, Tunga, so be sure to check out his two solo pavilions. Two other major pioneers in the Brazilian art world, Lygia Pape and Hélio Oiticica, are also major highlights of Inhotim. Oiticica’s Cosmococas are very trippy and will take you back to the 1960s Tropicália scene of Brazil. Take your time exploring all that the pavilions have to offer as well as the many curated gardens that have over 4000 different plant species from around the world!
Inhotim has several upscale fine dining options as well as a couple cafes and a hamburgueria. At Restaurante Tamboril you should order a passion fruit (maracujá) caipirinha along side the buffet, a very common dining style in Brazil. At Café das Flores, closer to the entrance, order an artisanal Wäls beer (cerveja) with some cheese bread (pão de queijo) for a light pick me up before trekking to the top of the park or taking the long shuttle ride home.
Spruce up some of your Portuguese, put on your walking shoes, and open your curious mind. That is all you will need to fully appreciate the wonders of Inhotim!