Imagine just this combination: Brazilian food + waterfalls + art + trails + amazing hotel + good people! Then add it all up, multiply it by three and you’ll fall straight into the Ibitipoca Reserve. Located where? In Minas Gerais, Brazil. Land of our diva Camila.
This is one of those hidden treasure hotels in a rural town of Brazil, where a colonial house from the 18th century – former headquarters of Fazenda do Engenho – was restored by none other than the renowned architect Helio Pellegrino with refinement and respect for tradition. The result is a super exclusive farm-hotel with only 8 suites in the headquarters and 3 in an attached house, with concept that mixes simplicity and sophistication to the exact measure. Do you know where the spa is? In an old warehouse. A luxury!
Now let’s go to the kitchen. Food from Minas is already a temptation. But if it’s made on a wooden stove and with the guidance of chef Claude Troisgros … it gets an extra special touch. In addition, the vegetables are planted on the farm and the dairy products are made daily there or by the local community. Now, think of the best cheese bread in the world !!! You can already understand how the days start, right?
Ibitipoca Reserve is next to the Ibitipoca State Park. The trails that lead to the waterfalls, natural pools, caves and lookouts are spectacular. You can go by bike, on foot, in a ATV or on horseback. You choose!
On one of the trails you come across seven gigantic sculptures that are impressive! Some of them weigh more than 6 tons and are 12 meters high. They are works of Karen Cusolito made with industrial scrap for the Burning Man Festival and brought from there to Brazil. The postures of reverence, prayer, humility, joy, enlightenment, rapture and peace, represented in the statues, are impressive and have a mystical aura. That alone is worth the trip!
Another trail I loved was the Circuito das Águas, in Ibitipoca State Park, which is less than 10 kilometers from the hotel. The course of the trail has 5 kilometers and passes through many waterfalls and natural pools of Coca-Cola color. Among them: Prainha, Lago dos Espelhos, Ducha, Lago Negro, Cachoeira dos Macacos, Cachoeira da Ponte de Pedra, Lago das Miragens, Gruta do Monge. To enter the park you need to buy a ticket worth 20 reais (Brazilian money) per person and on weekends they run out quickly because the number of visitors is limited. I advise you to visit the State Park during the week and enjoy the trails of the hotel on the weekend.
The closest airport to the Ibitipoca Reserve is Juiz de Fora, 90 kilometers away. From Rio de Janeiro and Belho Horizonte the car journey takes around four hours. The hotel has airstrip for small airplanes and heliport. A dream place. I guarantee you will love it!
XoXo and see you all next week.