Belo Horizonte is the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, in Brazil, located in the southeast part of the country.
Founded in Dec 12th, 1897, Belo Horizonte was a city designed specificaly to be the capial of the state.
Some extra data and statistics:
Population (last counting in 1996): 2.091.371
Total area: 9179.08 Km2
Mayor: Célio de Castro (2000 - 2004)
PIB (Internal Brute Product) 2000: R$ 21.243.167.000,00
Major sector contributing to the PIB (2000): Commerce (28,95%)
Major airports: 3 (1 international, 2 local)
Distance from some other major cities in Brazil:
São Paulo: 489,10 Km
Rio de Janeiro: 338,70 Km
Brasília: 623,70 Km
While visiting Belo Horizonte, one feels the need to try some regional food ("Comida Mineira". One of the best restaurants you can find, regarding food quality, location and price, is Dona Lucinha. Fixed price, you can eat all you want (read: able to), including desserts and some spirits (drinks not included).
The "Parque das Mangabeiras" (one of the municipal parks), is a must go for anyone who likes to enjoy the nature, without having to take long trips for it. There, you can see several wonderful speciment of the local plant life, as well as some animal. It's also a lovely place for walking and breathing some fresh air.
The night life of Belo Horizonte is well known all over the country. It's considered the national bar ("buteco") capital.
All in all, it's a nice place to be, where you can have all the facilities one would find in cities like São Paulo, without the same level of violence or all that day long rushing.