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Frequent buses connect Belo Horizonte with Rio (R$75–R$115; 7 hours), São Paulo (R$95–R$160; 8 hours), and Brasília (R$117–R$123; 12 hours). Most buses have air-conditioning. It's advisable to use leito services. These buses, with wide, reclinable seats, are the closest to a bed you can get for long journeys. Buy tickets in advance at holiday times. All buses arrive at and depart (punctually) from the Terminal Rodoviário Israel Pinheiro da Silva. Bus companies include Cometa, for Rio and São Paulo; Gontijo, for São Paulo; Itapemirim, for Brasília, Rio, and São Paulo; and Útil, for Rio.
The central and original section of Belo Horizonte, planned in the 19th century, is surrounded by Avenida do Contorno. The city's main attractions are downtown (the center) and in the southern zone. On a map the center looks easily walkable, but the blocks are a lot larger than they seem and sometimes taking a bus is advisable.
City buses in Belo Horizonte are safe and easy to use, though buses are crowded during rush hour. Bhtrans, the city's transit authority, has route information. Fares depend on the distance traveled but are always less than R$4.
BH Trans. The public transport authority of Belo Horizonte, offers information on bus timetables, maps, and traffic. Av. Eng. Carlos Goulart 900, Buritis, Belo Horizonte, 30455-902. 031/3429-0405. www.bhtrans.pbh.gov.br.
Terminal Rodoviário Governador Israel Pinheiro (Av. Afonso Pena at Praça Rio Branco s/n, Centro, Belo Horizonte, 30111-970. 031/3271–3000 or 031/3271–8933. www.pbh.gov.br/rodoviaria.)
Viação Cometa (031/3201–5520. www.viacaocometa.com.br.)
Viação Gontijo (031/2102–6000. www.gontijo.com.br.)
Viação Itapemirim (031/3429–2700. www.itapemirim.com.br.)
Viação Útil (031/3271–6115 or 031/3907–9000. www.util.com.br.)
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