One of my continual pet peeves when travel in Brazil is discussed is the constant focus on Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon region. I haven't been to the Amazon yet and agree that Rio is a worthwhile destination, but I was thrilled to see the main article by Seth Kugel in Sunday's Travel Section in the New York Times was on Minas Gerais.
I have visited all of the destinations described in the article and was thrilled to see some of the less obvious ones mentioned such as Catas Altas, where I spent a chilly August afternoon hiking in the area and refrshing myself with the city's spring water supply as it came down from the mountains as cold and refreshing as if it had been in a refrigerator.
A couple of areas that I believe Kugel left out and should have mentioned were the train in Tiradentes and some of the other historic cities like Sabara and Diamantina as well as Caraça, which is very near Catas Altas.
I don't want to seem unappreciative, however, and I do appreciate the attention Kugel has given to the region.
In fact, I want to praise the times for focusing the entire issue on the region. There's a fascinating article about a largely unexplored (by gringos, anyway) region of Colombia, a quick guide to Montevideo, and a profile of Santiago. While I'm sorry they wasted space on Rio's Barra da Tijuca, a place whose charm is in inverse proportion to the quality of its beaches (why go to Brazil to experience Miami), I do hope the article on bargains will result in more travel to the region, especially with a weakened dollar.