The best places to visit in Sao Thome das Letras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

The myth:

The name of the city comes from the myth of a slave called João Antão that tired of the mistreatment of his master escaped and took refuge in a grotto on the top of a mountain. One day a gentleman in white robes appeared to him and said that if he delivered a note to his captain he would be forgiven. The captain picked up the ticket and went to the grotto to find an image of São Tomé carved in wood, as a deeply religious man took the image to his home, but it disappeared and reappeared in the cave, for several times. In addition to the image of the saint, several rock inscriptions were found at the entrance of the cave, it is not known whether they were made bycataguases indigenous, former population of the region, or if they are words left by the saint.

Some people believe that São Tomé is one of the seven energetic points on Earth, so it is known as the “Mystic City”.

Itinerary idea:

Day 1 – Labirinto Grotto, Blue Lake and Witch’s Cave

Day 2 – Waterfall of the Moon and Sobradinho

Day 3 – Hill: Ladeira do Amendoim, Sao Thome Waterfall, Garganta do Diabo Waterfall  and Valley of Butterflies


It was in this grotto, which is next to the Mother Church, that originated the history of the city, where the slave João Antão hid from his master when the saint Saint Thomé appeared to him and left the rock writings and paintings as the mark of his visit , originating the name of the city: São Thomé das Letras.

Ps: The cool part is at the top of the cave, from where you can see the whole city. You will find the way to the top next to the exit of the cave, from the left, by a ladder.


The city’s landmark, called the pyramid by the architectural format adopted in its construction, no one defines for sure the reasons that led to the construction of a project so modern and bold in that place and why the place was abandoned, but we can say that the view yields great photographic records. The place is also used for meditation practice, mental exercises and alternative therapies, and there are several reports of people claiming to have seen UFOs and extraterrestrial beings on the spot.

Ps: That’s the best sunset in the city, it’s offers a 360º view of the region.


It is a rock formation that resembles a witch’s face.
One must be very careful when climbing, and even on its top because it’s very windy. But it has a view of the city altogether, plus seeing the sunset and sunrise from there is phenomenal.


The falls hight is approximately 8 meters and with a good depth which allows jumps of several points. Besides there is a natural swimming pool perfect for bathing. There is also a small beach in the middle of the rocks.

Location: 12 km from the city on the road that goes to Baependi


The access to the waterfalls is done through a cave that already leaves directly in one of the first falls of the waterfall.
The falls are small but it is a very beautiful space, formed by 3 main falls and small lakes where you can take bath and relax. There is also a restaurant at the place beside other attractions.

To get there: Entrance at km 16 of the road to Sobradinho, about 10km from the city

Value: R$ 15,00 for preservation of the site


It is the largest and fastest river of Sao Thomé das Letras, and has a set of small waterfalls ideal for bathing.

Access: about 4 km from the city with access is by the road to Três Corações (18 km).


To this day, no one has reached the end of the cave, but the first 150m of the course is accessible. The trail to the place is about an hour.
There is a legend that the cave goes to Machu Picchu and to the Inca people of Peru, and that there is the possibility of an intra-terrestrial civilization with access by the cave.

The mystics say that the cave can be a portal to other dimensions, this place being a point of strong telluric energies.

I strongly recommend going with a guide as there are several stories of people getting lost. Either they were abducted, it depends on the interpretation.

Access: by the road to Três Corações.


It is the closest attraction to the city, and has a beautiful waterfall. Being a little strong in times of rain but in other times it is like a natural shower. The lake formed under the waterfall is sand and rocks, and it is possible to swim in the upper part

Activities: trail and waterfalls

Access: It is on the 2.5 km of the road to Três Corações and then with a short walk


The city’s famous waterfall, great for going with the family, is not too deep and this is only 2.5 km away from the city.
It is named after the Brazilian Society of Eubiose, which owns the area around it.


Also known as the “Waterfall of Conquest” this is a little further from town, but worth it. At the top of the waterfall has another beautiful fall and a nice place to stay. It is a good place to enjoy and have a nice and invigorating shower.

Access: 15km from the city on a detour from the road that leads to Conceição do Rio Verde.


It is a waterfall to go with the family because the wells are shallow and the water is clear and calm where you can take a shower and relax.
Easy access, ideal for children and elderly people.


It has this name due to the reflection that the full moon has on the stones and the water which leaves the place more than enchanted.
The place is great for swimming and its depth allows you to jump from the trees and from a rope installed on the spot.

Access: 7km from the city of São Thomé das Letras, on the way to Sobradinho.


It is most visited by locals, and has great space for swimming and cross-surfing. Great to spend the day.

Activities: boiacross


With 7 entrances, the Cave has a circular shape, but the 7 entrances and the path can be a bit confusing but nothing too difficult.
It has several cracks, rock formations and small halls.
Worth trying to find all the exits of the cave and then back through the entrance, some of the exits are practically a hole in the ground.

Access: by the Sobradinho road follow the road until you find the signs for the Grotto of the Labyrinth.


Just on the side of the labyrinth grotto you find the lake. It is about 15m deep, but with the edges surrounded by rocks, it is also great for jump dives in some places straight into the middle of the lake.


It has a more difficult access, to get to the place it is necessary to do a small climb and walk in the middle of the river, but relax that is not very difficult. This is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the whole region with approximately 30 meters of fall. And stay next to the Butterfly Valley.

Activities: trail, easy level climb, waterfall

Access: leaving the city and following the signs of Três Corações, you must follow for another 2 km and stay tuned the signs and enter the place indicated on your left.


Located farther from the center of the city, we can divide into two caves, the first, which should be done with a guide, it is only for the adventurers, since already at the entrance of the cave you must do a rapel in the  dark, and continue walking and crawling through tunnels and passages until they exit.

Near this cave there is a waterfall that has a quieter entrance, and having fewer visitors is also very well preserved.

Activities: trail, rappel. waterfalls


Built around 1785 replacing the small cape built on the occasion of the episode that gave rise to the city. On the outside, it carries the baroque style of Minas Gerais. Its interior is ornamented in rococó style, with evangelical themes enriched with angelic motifs. The highlight goes to its central nave, whose fresco depicts Jesus Christ surrounded by the apostles, with St. Thomas kneeling at his feet, the work of the artist Joaquim José da Natividade. The Church is listed as state historical patrimony.


Also known as Stone Church, it does not have much historical data. Started in the eighteenth century by the slaves, it remained for a long unfinished period. Its interior presents no artistic work, but its architecture, with stones superimposed one by one, is typical of São Thomé das Letras. In October of 1995, it was finally delivered to the public and today it is registered as state historical patrimony

Now you are ready to go!
But check my trip before 🙂

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