After Carnaval, prices dip, the intense heat subsides and the crowds dissipate, particularly in the north and northeast (when heavy rains continue through June). In Minas Gerais, however, Holy Week festivals keep things lively.

Semana Santa

In Ouro Preto, Holy Week (the week before Easter) is a colorful event of processions and streets ‘painted’ with flowers. São João del Rei's Holy Week features parades accompanied by fabulous traditional orchestras. Other well-known Holy Weeks happen in Congonhas and Cidade de Goiás.

Festa do Divino Espírito Santo

Popularly known as Cavalhadas, this old-fashioned folk festival in Pirenópolis comprises medieval tournaments, dances and festivities, including mock battles between Moors and Christians. It takes place over three weeks around Pentecost, 50 days after Easter (May or June).

Comida di Buteco

If you're around Belo Horizonte from mid-April to mid-May be sure to sample the creative cooking at the city's countless bars; all compete to earn top honors at this annual culinary festival.