June 9, 2023

Biking adventures abound along Brazil’s long and winding Royal Road

Travelers along Brazil\’s Estrada Real (Royal Road) should stop in Mariana, one of the most charming towns along the route.
The Estrada Real, or Royal Road, in Brazil dates back more than 300 years to when it was constructed by slaves to link colonial towns with the port of Paratay. Today, the historical trail is one of the top things to do in Brazil, as it traverses some 199 municipalities and offers a bevy of sightseeing and adventure opportunities for travelers.

One of the best ways to take in the Royal Road is on a bike trip. Active travelers can take in the road’s rich history, culture, natural scenery, and charming towns as they bike along the route. A few trails along the way offer different opportunities for a Brazilian biking adventure.

Caminho Velho (Old Trail)
This trail was the first path opened by Portugal for the transport of gold to the Rio de Janeiro coast. The 441-mile road connects Ouro Preto and Paratay, offering the scenery of Serra da Mantiqueira and cities along the Circuito das Aguas. Other charming sites along the way include colonial era churches and buildings.

Caminho dos Diamantes (Diamond Trail)
The name of this trail came from its main use: transporting diamonds in the early 18th century. Connecting Ouro Preto to Diamantina, this 245-mile route brings bikers along Serra do Espinhaco, a nature reserve full of breathtaking scenery. It usually takes about 7 to 10 days to complete this route, with its combination of paved roads and trails and varying slopes.

Caminho Novo (New Trail)
When biking this trail from Ouro Preto to Rio de Jainero, travelers can visit ranches and towns from the 18th and 19th centuries and get a taste of the country’s mining era. The 320 miles along this route offer three centuries of history, as well as opportunities to learn about local customs and architecture.

Caminho dos Sabarabucu (Sabarabucu Trail)
At 100 miles, this trail may be shorter than the rest – but it’s more challenging. The connection between the towns of Cocais and Ouro Preto is full of steep slopes that make it a tough ride. Luckily, travelers have the beautiful scenery of the Das Velhas River and the Piedade Mountains to keep them company along the way.

Ready to see Brazil attractions on a bike? Click here to begin planning your trip.

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