The train ride between Tiradentes and São João del Rei is a fun program for families. Due to an absence of interactive activities for little ones, it might be best suited for older kids, who can also appreciate the historical aspect of the ride.
Part of the Estrada de Ferro Oeste de Minas (West Minas Railway), created in 1878, the railway complex which includes the Tiradentes–São João Del Rei stretch and stations is also the oldest in Brazil still in activity.
The 35-minute ride covers about 13 kilometers. If you're staying in a hotel in central Tiradentes, the 1881 station is just a short walk away. At both stations, exhibits featuring vintage train cars, photos and railway gear offer visitors a glimpse into the olden days of Minas Gerais train travel.
If you take the train in Tiradentes, try to sit to the right (seats are not assigned) for some of the best views as the train chugs along the Mortes River and the São José mountain range unfolds in the background.
When the engine arrives in Tiradentes, stay to see it get ready for the trip back, slowly and noisily turning on the old turntable.
The 1pm departure from Tiradentes is ideal: it gives you time for a tour of the railway museum in São João del Rei and for a visit to the nearby Church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Minas Gerais.
Bring snacks and drinks for the kids, especially if you ride the train on a Sunday, when few shops open in São João del Rei.
R$ 22 round trip (check daily US dollar-Brazil real exchange rate)
Tiradentes Station:See number 23 on the interactive map of Tiradentes.
Tiradentes Departure Times
Fri, Sat, Sun and holidays at 1p and 5p
São João del Rei Station Address:
Avenida Hermílio Alves 366
Tiradentes - MG
São João del Rei Departure Times
Fri, Sat, Sun and holidays at 10a and 3p