The great Gold Rush did not take place in California, but almost two Centuries earlier in the hills of Minas Gerais, 500 kilometers northwest of Rio de Janeiro. Between the early 17th and the middle of the 19th Century, this area produced more than half of the Gold of the whole world!
Stunning colonial cities appeared during this period. Those gems are now highly touristy places, deservedly! The most famous one is Ouro Preto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the first Brazilian City to be listed in 1980). But with a few days at hand, there are many other places that truly deserve to be discovered, like Mariana, Tiradentes or Congonhas.