Spelunking

Gruta da Lapinha. This cave is 36 km (22 miles) north of BH, near the city of Lagoa Santa, on the road leading from Tancredo Neves airport. Eight of the various chambers are open for visitation, and the curious limestone formations inside (known as candelabra) are awe-inspiring. It is a medium-level walk into the caves, with a set of stairs and a system of artificial lighting. 031/3689–8422. R$10. Tues.–Sun. 8:30–4:30.

Gruta do Maquiné. The most popular cavern around Belo Horizonte, with six large chambers, the Gruta do Maquiné lies 113 km (70 miles) northwest of the capital, near Cordisburgo. Some of the spectacular water-sculpted formations resemble glimmering fairies, bears, and elephants. The large visitation area encompasses a set of sturdy walkways, and there are on-site guides. Village Alberto Ramos, Via Alberto Ramos, MG 231, Km 7, 031/3715–1425; www.grutadomaquine.tur.br. R$16. Daily 8–5.

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