on January 28, 2005
Covering 2.3 million square miles, Parque das Mangabeiras is one of the largest urban parks in Brazil. Most of its area is covered by natural forests, but there are several walks cut into it with viewing platforms and dining areas along the way. There are also several little shacks at strategic locations where you can purchase an ice-cold beer or Coke and shelter from the heat. The park is worth visiting, both for the nature you’ll encounter in the form of vegetation, animals, and five-foot anthills, and the exceptional views of Belo Horizonte and the park itself. There’s a bus right to the entrance, plenty of parking if you go by car, and a visitors centre where you can obtain details of the walks available. Beside the car park is an open-air theatre, which often has something playing on a Sunday afternoon and is particularly good fun if you take kids with you. Don’t forget to take a camera, and the use of sun cream is advisable, since you will be exposed to the sun for extended periods. Incidentally, to get to the park, you have to pass through one of the wealthiest areas of Belo Horizonte. It's always interesting to see how the other half lives, and judging by the size and location of the houses, they live very well indeed.
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