INHOTIM- Introducing God’s and Other Artists’ Creations

God’s artistic creations – such as flowers and trees – are of genuine, pure beauty, indeed. But in combination with creations by earthly visual artists, they become just marvelous.

Dan Graham’s Bisected Triangle in the backdrop of the lush greeneries. At Inhotim, God’s creations and the other artists’ works go together just so well.

Bernardo Paz, the founder of Inhotim in the outskirts of Brumadinho, is not the first impresario to recognize that.
I’ve been to a couple of other fantastic combinations of Godly and artistic creations, brought together by some wealthy impresarios like Henry E. Huntington’s Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino/Pasadena and Knud W. Jensen’s Louisiana North of Copenhagen. I assure you none of these can compete with Inhotim.


The venue, officially called Instituto De Arte Contemporânea E Jardim Botânico, is located prima facie unexpectedly in the outskirts of Brumadinho, a village in Brazil’s federal state of Minas Gerais amidst a depressing minors’ region. It is located about 60 km / 37 miles from Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state of Minas Gerais.

Despite its isolated location, it attracts art aficionados from around the world – who are willing to undertake the trip from Belo Horizonte; by car, public bus or organized by a shuttle.

Green, green grass of….Brumadinho.

The district of Brumadinho – this name derives from bruma which translates to mist – was founded in 1923 and populated by miners and their families.
The founder of Inhomit, Bernardo Paz de Mello, was born in 1949 in the very district of Minas Gerais and made his fortune here, Being very attached to this region, he bought land here where he not only installed his ambitious art venue, but also made his home.

Brumadinho and its approximately 20,000 inhabitants gained notoriety this year on 25 January when a tailings dam collapsed which led to a mudflow that buried houses in a rural area near the city. About 186 people were killed.


Inhotim – what an unusual name, right?! It is said, that the land that Bernardo Paz began to buy up once belonged to an Englishman the locals referred to as ’inho Tim – Mister Tim.

The entire complex of Inhotim, so the botanic garden including all the galleries, is spread over more than 20 square kilometers/ about 5,000 acres located in the northern outskirts of Brumadinho. If you are not exactly gimpy, it’s easy to walk there, however, there is also a local bus between the village center and the gardens.

It is a garden Eden with an indescribable variety of different species of extraordinary plants. The number of different palm trees alone…I think there is no plant on earth that’s not represented in Inhotim. Actually, they were even imported from different places in Asia.

Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Just look at all these different palm trees. The colorful concrete blocks are one of the most photographed work: Invenção da cor, Penetrável Magic Square # 5, De Luxe by Hélio Oiticica

No wonder it is so beautiful since Bernardo Paz got help from the famous landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx to design the premises.

The gardens, too, are meticulously designed: Between around 5,000 species of plants rivers lakes were dug out and creeks are flowing.

This paradisiac plantation alone would make every trip to Inhotim worth the effort. However, the lush gardens are just a rich setting for amazing architecture housing large galleries and white cubes. There are two dozens pavilions with lots of space even for humongous pieces.

So inside and out, there is an exquisite collection of the most outstanding modern art on display: about 500 works by Brazilian and international artists like Yayoi Kusama, Anish Kapoor, or Olafur Eliasson are being shown.

Paz’ complete collection, however, consists of more than 1.300 works.

Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
That’s how it all started: Deleite by Tunga

Bernardo Paz started buying the land and building his home that he filled with art in the 1980s. He started buying Brazilian modernist art, but only in 1995, he became serious about it – also inspired and motivated by Brazilian contemporary artist Tunga.

Tunga - Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
View across one of the beautiful lakes at the Galeria True Rouge where one of the strongest works by Brazilian artist Tunga is exhibited.

Slowly but surely Paz extended his activities until in 2002, he founded Inhotim. However, initially, the institution opened its gates exclusively to certain groups. Only in 2006, it was made accessible to the general public and has since then been visited by about 3 million guests.

Today, everything there is special and beautiful and caring and welcoming: whether it’s the repellent that every visitor can use for free or the little cars that take guests from gallery to gallery.

Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Usually, I don’t tend to take pictures of repellent, but I think it’s such a great service to offer it to the visitors.

Of course, there is free WiFi, but what’s as important and convenient is the high number of sockets you find all over the place to recharge your phone or camera whenever you need it.

There are water faucets at the visitor’s disposal and many clean bathrooms – smelling of lemongrass!

Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Some of the water faucets might be already occupied, but don’t worry, the next one won’t be far.

They have a rather fancy restaurant serving an excellent all you can eat buffet for 20 bucks and a cheaper, also buffet style restaurants that’s also good, but more like a cafeteria.

Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Even the cheaper cafeteria is set up really nicely and with the vertical blades, it’s like outdoor eating with a great view.

In addition, there are a couple of snack and fast food stands. Some shady places – and at a botanic garden like this you find a lot of shady places – are equipped with extraordinary seats made of raw wood.

Of course, there is a gift shop where you can stock up on original souvenirs.

Perfect place for a short – or longer – break: A bench, carved from a huge tree trunk, placed under…a huge tree.
(Photo: Otávio Nogueira from Fortaleza, BR, Inhotim (26164690911), CC BY 2.0)

You can easily spend the entire day there. And that’s what I did without any symptoms of museum fatigue.

Thinking Big and Falling Deep

So yes, the place has a size of 5,000 acres, the collection consists of 1,300 works – think big is definitely Bernardo Paz’ motto. The mining magnate likes to emphasize that he was planning the museum for the next 1,000 years. Well, living in Germany, I must say that people here would get very suspicious hearing this: In the last century, Europe’s experience with over-ambitious men planning for 1,000 years was quite unpleasant

But his over the top gigantomania is not the impresario’s biggest flaw.

Sadly, he doesn’t seem to always live up to his ideals: The man who became a billionaire through a network of mining and steel companies has been accused of breaking a series of environmental laws. Furthermore, he benefited from child labor and according to governmental investigations of ‘slave-like’ working conditions in one of his plants.

Finally, in 2017, Paz was convicted of money laundering and sentenced to nine years of jail.

To keep Inhotim’s name clean, Paz stood down from his position as a chairman of the board of directors.

So while the fact that he’s being convicted of money laundry is even a tad bit funny since it’s such a Latinamerican cliché, the accusations of having damaged the environment – which had a terrible impact on people’s living conditions – and abused his workers are more than disappointing.

Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Somehow this work created by Adriana Varejão, Paz’ fifth wife, is a great metaphor: As you break the white tiled wall, you discover all the ugly intestines.

Although I still think that Inhotim is a fantastic project, the allegations against Paz do give it a negative connotation. It’s a bit like when you find out that a singer of beautiful, soulful love songs is a child molester – things get tainted.

My eight favorite galleries

But like I said – heaven is a place on earth, and this place goes by the name of Inhotim.

Obviously, I cannot introduce all of the 500 pieces. And to cherish them, you have to see them in person, anyway. So I show you some of my favorite pieces – and hope you like them so that you put Inhotim on your list when visiting Brazil.

Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
At Adriana Varejão’s pavilion, it’s all about tiles – and be prepared for some bloody disturbing sights.
Together with eight of his friends, the artist Jarbas Lopes traveled in the three cars of his work Troca-troca from Rio de Janeiro to the Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Paraná in Curitiba.
Tunga - Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
True Rouge looks like an assembly of giant hearts – and not the Valentine-kind of hearts.

Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
The installation of sculptures called The Sleeping City looks like a three-dimensional painting by Joan Miró. It has been created by Czech artist Dominik Lang who uses parts of his father’s work, the sculptor father Jirí Lang, referring to the history of Czechoslovakia under Soviet occupation.

Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
It’s not by accident that Swiss-born photographer Claudia Andujar has one of the largest galleries all to herself: Although her photographs are less flashy and spectacular than some of the other works, her pictures of the Yanomami Indios are extremely powerful.

Yes, exactly, there are no intestines, no blood, sweat, nor tears, there are just sumptuous gardens in natural colors, combined in an untamed way – these are the painting by Luiz Zerbini. This one is called High Definition and I like it a lot since it is like a portrait of the plants at Inhotim gardens.
Cildo Meireles’ installation Através is the perfect example for why extremely spacious galleries might be needed: The dimensions are  600 x 1500 x 1500 cm – or more than 236 x 590 x 590 inches; nuff said?!

The installation I am not me, the horse is not mine by South African artist William Kentridge consists of eight film projections which were completed as the artist’s preparatory work for a production of Dmitry Shostakovich’s satirical opera The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

My eight favorite sculptures and installations

The pavilions are spacious so that even gigantic artifacts can be exhibited. However, there are pieces so humongous and heavy that they have to be outdoors. 
Here are my favorite outdoor sculptures and installations.
 Invenção da cor, Penetrável Magic Square # 5, De Luxe by Hélio Oiticica
Bernadete Amado, InhotimPorBernadeteAmado, CC BY 3.0
Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden consisting of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres, was also exhibited at London and New York in 2018.
Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Outdoorsy art by Edgard De Souza – being untitled gives it a pretty long title: Sem título, 2000; Sem título, 2002; Sem título (Bronze 5)
Zhang Huan
Gui Tuo Bei
Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Jorge Macchi’s Piscina ran out of Ns.
The pools – this one outdoors and the indoor pool at Galeria Cosmococa – can be actually used by the visitors.
Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
“Wait”, the weather god said “Chris Burdon’s Beam Drop Inhotim looks even more dramatic in the backdrop of dark clouds.” This sculpture is made of 72 steel beams dropped 45 meters from 150-foot-high cranes into a pit filled with wet cement.
The admirer reflected in the admired: Taking a picture of Cristina Iglesias’ open-air gallery Vegetation Room
Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
And another artsy selfie: Standing in Dan Graham’s Bisected Triangle taking a picture of my reflection and the incredible view. 

How to get there

By public bus: A one-way ticket from the central bus station in Belo Horizonte to the town center of Brumadinho costs R$ 22,15. There are buses at 7 a. m., 11 a. m.  – on Sundays, this bus leaves already at 10 a. m.! – and 3 p. m.  The ride takes about 90 minutes and you can buy your ticket also in advance through the Saritur website.

John Ahearn’s sculptural murals are showing you where to arrive: At the Rodoviária de Brumadinho, the bus station of Brumadinho

Once you arrive at Brumadinho, you can either take a cab, a local bus, or you just walk. From the village center, it’s about 20 to 30 minutes.

On weekends and holidays, Saritur offers a shuttle service from Belo Horizonte and back. It leaves at 8:15 a. m. from the central bus station and gets to Inhotim at 10 a. m. The fare is 41 R$. In the afternoon, the coach leaves Inhotim at 5:30 p. m. and arrives in Belo Horizonte at 19:25 p. m. – this trip costs – for what reason ever – only 37 R$.

There is also a shuttle service organized by the Inhotim people that theoretically serves the venue every day except Mondays. However, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays, there have to be at least four passengers. You can make reservation sending your name and phone to
or through the website If you have questions or want to make sure that the service is available, you can call + 55 – 31 – 32 90 91 80.
Generally, the coach leaves Belo Horizonte at 8:30 a. m. and goes back depending on the closing hours, i. e. 4:30 p. m. on weekdays and 5:30 p. m. on weekends and holidays.

Roundtrip costs 66 R$, only return 35 R$.

Only return has to be bought at Inhotim and is, obviously, subject to availability.

Opening Hours and Admission

The gardens and galleries are open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 a. m. to 4:30 p. m. – Saturdays, Sundays and holidays to 5:30 p. m.

Entrance fee for adults is R$ 44.00 (13 US$), kids from 6 to 12 have to pay half price and if they are younger than 6, entrance is free; and so is the entrance for everyone else on Wednesdays (except for holidays).

Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
If you are ambitious to learn more about all the exotic plants, just let an expert guide you through this Garden Eden.

If you want to use the shuttle carts, you have to pay an extra 30 R$. Especially if you have only one day, you might want to save time by taking advantage of this service.

Charter of a private cart for up to 5 people 500 R$ (150 US$) per day or 200 R$ (60 US$) per hour.

Since Summer 2018, you do not need to have proof of yellow fever vaccination to visit Inhotim. However, to save yourself from disappointment, you might want to check their website or inquire directly regarding the status quo short before visiting.

Rua B, 20
Phone: + 55 – 31 – 35 71 97 00

Where to spend the night

Honestly, there is no reason to spend the night at Brumadinho since there are all these convenient options to get to Inhotim just for the day. However, if you prefer to book accommodation there than in Belo Horizonte, I can recommend Hostel Hari due to its proximity to the venue: A ten minutes walk, and you’re there.
Another upside of this place is that the hosts are very kind. They have rooms of different sizes, but the bathroom always has to be shared with other guests.
Nonetheless, it won’t be the poshest place you’ve ever stayed at.

Check out Hostel Hari’s availability and rates*

Wanna read more about great places and impressive art in Brazil? Then quickly go to this post and take your pick!

If you choose to pin this post, please use one of these pictures:

Disclaimer: I appreciate that Inhotim did support me by granting free entrance and use of the shuttle carts. However, all opinions on these services are mine and weren’t by any means influenced by my cooperation partner. 

*This is an affiliate link. If you book through this page, not only do you get the best deal, I also get a small commission that helps me run this blog. Thank you so much for supporting me!


(Updated February 2019)

While studying Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro, I thought it might be a good idea to take a trip to Belo Horizonte at the weekend; mostly because I wanted to see Inhotim, a botanic garden full of contemporary art.

Belo Horizonte / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Young Belo Horizontians drumming with vigor.

Turns out, Inhotim was the only spot worth the travel. But so worth it!

Belo Horizonte

Still let me tell you a bit about Belo Horizonte, although I would never recommend to actually plan a trip there. If you happen to pass through, make sure you don’t miss going to see Inhotim – but we get to that later.

Going to Belo Horizonte by bus from Rio de Janeiro takes about six hours which I find a bit too long for a weekend trip. I was lucky to get really cheap tickets for about 70 US$ round trip – I booked about six weeks ahead.

Belo Horizonte / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Going to Belo Horizonte, the views of Minas Gerais from way up high was the most alluring sight of the day.

Like many other Brazilian cities, Belo Horizonte has two airports, one close to the city and about 30 km / 19 mi north. Hence, here comes my first advice: Don’t take the bus that goes to the bus terminal. I thought it would be a good idea since ‘bus terminal’ sounds centrally located. Well, it is, but it is also located in a very bad area. Plus the bus that goes there is the cheap bus for the poorer crowd and it stops at every corner and it takes forever to finally arrive at this shady area.
It’s far better to take the airport shuttle – that costs next to nothing more – and go to Connection Airport Terminal at Av. Álvares Cabral 387, that’s a bit less depressing and dangerous.

Belo Horizonte / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
A young street vendor selling flip flops on a sidewalk in Belo Horizonte.

Belo Horizonte’s artery is the Avenida Afonso Pena where you find many stores and restaurants. It’s central point is the Praça Sete de Setembro, honoring the centenary of Brazil’s independence. While the square is just an obelisk marking the city’s zero point.

Igreja São José

One bloc down south you’ll see to your right the unusually colored Igreja São José, St. Joseph’s Chruch, founded in 1904 and finished in 1912. At the next bloc to your left already begins the quite nice Parque Municipal Américo Renné Giannetti, the central park.

Museu Mineiro 

There are a couple of interesting exhibitions, especially regarding the history of the miners: Belo Horizonte is the capital of the federal state of Minas Gerais, translated as general mines. As a matter of fact, in Minas Gerais – a territory as large as France – you can find a large variety of different mines and extraction fields.

Museu Mineiro
Avenida João Pinheiro 342
Belo Horizonte
Phone: + 55 – 31 – 32 69 11 03

The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10 a. m. to 7 p. m., weekends from noon and Thursday from noon to 9 p. m.

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

Another nice place worth visiting is the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, a cultural center financed by the oldest and largest Brazilian Bank. They run cultural centers in various Brazilian cities, and in Belo Horizonte the elegant building alone is worth a visit.

Of course you feel welcome at this grand hall.
(Photo: Vagner Costa/CCBB)

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Belo Horizonte
Praça da Liberdade 450
Belo Horizonte
Phone: + 55 – 31 – 34 31 94 00

The center is open from Wednesday to Monday from 10 a. m. to 10 p. m.

Feira de Arte e Artesanato da Avenida Afonso Pena

What I’ve liked best in Belo Horizonte was the Feira de Arte e Artesanato da Avenida Afonso Pena, an arts and crafts fair that takes place every Sunday from 8 a. m. to 1 p. m. on the Avenida Afonso Pena between Rua da Bahia and Rua dos Guajajaras. It’s not touristy at all, you can buy literally everything you might need in your house – and the best part are the food stands selling really good Brazilian street food.

Belo Horizonte / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
The market on Avenida Afonso Pena is one of very few treats Belo Horizonte holds for its visitors.

So yes, there are certainly some things to do, but I’ve found the city extremely run down and depressing. The number of obviously deranged, intoxicated people squatting and camping in the streets was overwhelming. I didn’t feel comfortable at all.

I spent one night and took the bus to Brumadinho the next morning.

I don’t know how many buses are actually going from Belo Horizonte to Brumadinho since it’s really not that far. Since I had to make sure to catch my plane the next day, I made reservation online and went with Saritur.
It’s also possible to book a day tour from Belo Horizonte straight to Inhotim and back in one day, but I wasn’t so crazy about getting back the same day…


As I learned from my friendly, hippie-ish landlord, ‘bruma’ is the coal dust – and that’s where the town of Brumadinho got his name from – must be something like ‘Little Coaldust’…

Brumadinho, a friendly little town – about an hour by bus from Belo Horizonte.

I didn’t get to see much of the town itself since I was rushing more or less straight to Inhotim, but what I saw looked tranquil and nice and if I ever come back, I will skip Belo Horizonte and go straight to this cute little place.

I managed to get a room at a guesthouse within walking distance to Inhotim, so that was a plus. The hostel is cute and the hosts get out of their way to make you feel welcome, but unfortunately I must say that it’s not very comfortable: There is only one bathroom for up to eight people, the walls and doors are paper thin so when people are talking or watching TV in the communal area, it’s like you are sitting right next to them. This would be fine and dandy for a hostel-price, but not for the 120 R$ (36 US$) they charged. The night before I paid less in Belo Horizonte for an executive room with all the hotel standards (private bathroom, A/C, TV, fridge etc.).

INHOTIM / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
One of the venue’s best views: Groups of different palm trees and one of Inhotim’s most famous outdoor sculpture,  “Invenção da cor, Penetrável Magic Square # 5, De Luxe” by Hélio Oiticica 

Anyway, I wasn’t there to hang out at the hostel, I was there so Inhotim could kill me softly with its beauty. And it did, my gosh, how it did!


It all started in the mid 1980 when Bernardo de Mello Paz, one of the few people who could actually say ‘yes’ if rhetorically asked whether he owns a mine, began to establish on his huge piece of land outside of Brumadinho an exquisite botanic garden containing rare and precious species of plants, beautifully arranged on hills and around ponds.

INHOTIM / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
The gardens alone are worth the trip to Inhotim.

This man has a very good taste. In plants, but also in art. Therefore he arranged his art collection, one of the most significant collections of contemporary art in the world, on these premises.

INHOTIM / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
“Deleite” by Brazilian sculptor Tunga was one of the first pieces in Bernardo de Mello Paz’ collection.

There are about 500 works by Brazilian and international artists from about 30 different countries on display; in the gardens and in special galleries.

INHOTIM / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
In 2009, international super star of dots, Yayoi Kusama, contributed her work ‘Narcissus Garden’ that was nominated for the First Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, granted by the Illinois Institute of Technology.

There are huge sculptures and installations that would never fit in a gallery.

INHOTIM / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Where else could Chris Burdon show his “Beam Drop Inhotim”, made of some not exactly delicate steel beams? At Inhotim, there’s enough space even for the largest sculptures.
When the dark clouds approached, the installation looked even more dramatic.

There are huge sculptures and installations that do fit in a gallery as long as they can fill the whole room undisturbed.

INHOTIM / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Another one of Tunga’s quirky installations: “True Rouge”. At Inhotim, they reserved an entire gallery building for this sculpture.

There are sculptures and installations that form a nice, almost symbiotic togetherness.

INHOTIM / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Symbiosis of nature and art and the visitor – all in one single selfie (in case you wonder:  I’m standing in Dan Graham’s “Bisected Triangle” – made of glass and steel – taking a picture of my reflection and the incredible view behind; no filters, no editing involved!)

At Inhotim, there is room for all of this. Since there is space, lots and lots of space.

Yes, you have to do a lot of walking, but if you get too tired, there are lovely young people driving you around in little carts.

Anyway, Inhotim is good to you: there are sockets to recharge your phone or your camera, there is free WiFi. There are many clean bathrooms and many water faucets so that visitors do not necessarily have to buy overpriced drinks; which aren’t overpriced at all, anyway.

INHOTIM / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Even from the cheaper cafeteria you can enjoy good food – and of course the great view.

There are two restaurants, on more upscale (whereby you get an excellent buffet for about 20 US$ which you’d never get at this price in Europe or in the US) and one more a cafeteria. In addition there are snack bars and ice cream parlors. And lots of shady spots to relax for a while – some equipped with wooden deck chairs or cute lounge chairs, others with extraordinary seats carved in raw wood.

INHOTIM / bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
A huge bench made of a humongous tree trunk in front of a…humongous tree trunk.

I’ve been to Louisiana north of Copenhagen – and it was really nice.
I’ve been to Huntington Garden and Library at San Marino in the outskirts of Los Angeles – and it was really very nice.
But none of these places can compare to Inhotim.


Rua B, 20
Phone: + 55 – 31 – 35 71 97 00

Open Tuesday to Friday from 9.30 a. m. to 4.30 p. m., weekends and holidays till 5.30 p. m.

Entrance fee is 44 R$ (13 US$), use of the carts an additional 30 R$  (9 US$) (highly recommended) Charter of a private cart for up to 5 people 500 R$ (150 US$) per day or 200 R$ (60 US$) per hour.

Important: You cannot visit the premises without proof of yellow fever vaccination!

Update: Since Summer 2018, you do not need to have proof of yellow fever vaccination to visit Inhotim. However, to save yourself from disappointment, you might want to check their website or inquire directly regarding the status quo short before visiting.

Wanna know how I perceived Belo Horizonte, Brumadinho, and Inhotim the day I got there? Check out this lesson of my Class of Brazil series:

Class of Brazil – 3rd Lesson: It is a Hellish Path to a Heavenly Place

Do you want to read about all the other cool places I’ve visited in Brazil? 
Then go to the main post and take your pick!

If you choose to pin this post, please use this picture:

Here are more pins from Brazil for you  

going up!|