With a little more than four thousand inhabitants, the quiet city of Carrancas is located in the region known as Campos das Vertentes, in the south of the State of Minas Gerais, being close to historical and university cities like Lavras, São João Del Rei, Tiradentes and distant approximately 285 kilometers from the capital Belo Horizonte. The name of the municipality is given by the mountains in its hills that were decharacterized in its vegetation due to the search for gold and precious stones and when sighted from afar and from the top they had the form of ugly faces.
Blessed by an exuberant nature and surrounded by springs, Carrancas is another lost paradise of the mountains of Minas Gerais where it is possible to forget daily routine and indulge in the delights of its waters and landscapes. The municipality has been highlighting recently with one of the newest poles of ecotourism in the State of Minas Gerais. They contribute to the traditional habits, customs and culture of its inhabitants and especially the wide range of natural attractions, such as mountains, caves, wells, waterfalls, camping areas, fauna and flora, etc. In addition, Carrancas offers perfect resources for lovers of adventure sports and ecotourism, such as paragliding, canyoning, rappelling, trekking, bike rides, horseback riding, 4x4 activities and motocross.
The State of Minas Gerais is naturally known for its cultural diversity considered one of the most important riches and patrimonies in Brazil. This recognition is given mainly because of its centennial cities that contain important material records that narrate important episodes of the history of Brazil besides being stage for diverse artistic manifestations. Carrancas is one of these cities and as in all others, its folk manifestations have their origins in the traditions, customs and customs of the Portuguese colonizers, with great influence of the indigenous and African cultures. All these characteristics can be found in handicrafts, cuisine, typical dances, music, literature, folklore and popular manifestations in the region.
One of the strongest characteristics of the local culture of Carrancas is the religiosity of its inhabitants. During the year, there are several religious and / or folk festivals that take place in the city such as Folia de Reis, Congada, São Sebastião feast of the Carrancas Station, feast of Our Lady of Good Death and feast of Our Lady of the Patron Saint Conception. In addition to the religious festivals, Carrancas also holds other events such as the carnival in advance, the Gastronomic Festival and the Agricultural Exhibition and Leiteiro Tournament.
Local handicrafts are a source of livelihood for several families. From art carved on wood, gourds and straw through crystals and cord handicraft, are various artistic manifestations interesting and little known in the rest of the country.
Considered one of the largest tourist circuits in Brazil, the Estrada Real has about 1600 km and began to be built in the 17th century to connect the coastal region to the gold producing regions of the interior of Minas Gerais. The route was used to transport gold and other cargoes from Ouro Preto to the Port of Paraty. At that time, its total route took about 60 days to be made due to the difficulties encountered in the route as the dirt road, the mountains and the distance. Along the way several villages and several stopping points were founded for the tropeiros, bandeirantes, miners and other travelers that made the route.
In the eighteenth century the need for a safer and faster route to the port caused the Crown to order the construction of another route known as the "new road". In this way, the old road became known as the "old road". Later, when precious stones were discovered in the region of the city of Serro, the road was extended there and Ouro Preto, then capital of Minas Gerais, became the site of convergence of the Estrada Real. The path to the diamond district became known as the Diamond Road.
Carrancas is located on the first route created for the Estrada Real and since 2007 is part of the route known as "Old Way", one of the three stages of the Royal Road that became a tourist route and connects the main cities in the interior of Minas . In Carrancas, the Estrada Real have in the history of the old bandeirantes and in its natural beauties its major attractions. It is still possible to cycle or horseback the old road, with its beautiful landscapes (and sometimes almost wild) or know the historical road by car.
The natural diversity reigns over the region of Carrancas. Half the territory of the municipality spreads over mountains up to one thousand meters of altitude. Four hills share this landscape: Chapada das Perdizes, Serra de Carrancas, Serra do Moleque and Serra das Bicas. These mountains are irrigated by the Upper Rio Grande basin, whose main tributaries are the Capivari River, the Pitangueiras River and the Ribeirao de Carrancas. The altitude of the place added to the humid and humid summers and also to the cold and dry winters, resulted in a flora that has characteristics of cerrado and Atlantic forest at the same time. The environment still conserves many significant remnants of native vegetation, both in clean fields and in forest forms, such as candeias, copaíbas oil, ipês amarelos, corticeiras, jequitibás, barbatimão, among others. With these characteristics, the region becomes the ideal setting for some species of bromeliads and orchids that sprout almost everywhere.
The fauna in the region of the city is also very rich. There are numerous species of reptiles, birds and mammals on the site. Today in the cerrado, 178 species are threatened with extinction.
This small town of 4 thousand inhabitants is proud to be the "land of waterfalls" in the south of Minas Gerais. More than 50 waterfalls have already been cataloged, and there are still many others that did not enter the official attraction map. They are formed by the waters of the Rio Grande basin, now dammed to form the Camargos reservoir.
Some of the points for bathing are close to the city, such as the Rapadura Strip-Prosa, only 10 minutes walk from the center. But it is with a little more physical disposition that one arrives at the coolest landscapes and the waterfalls that compose complexes like the one of the Zilda or the one of Smoke.
Carrancas is the true paradise for lovers of adventure sports - from the quietest to the most radical, there is room for all kinds of activities linked to nature. For those who like to enjoy the scenery without risking too much, the trails of Carrancas are the best way for a light trekking, for children and adults, and all lead to waterfalls and transparent wells that are worth any effort.
The taste of feeling free in the city is a full plate: from bike rides or horseback riding through the mountains to hiking, there is room for every practice.
On the slopes, vertical techniques divide space with free flight. On the ground, some old trails leading out of town are also great for those who enjoy 4x4 activities and motocross. Remember, your safety comes first, so always inquire about the places to be visited and seek the help of the city's specialized guides.