This "Igreja de Pedra" (Church of Stone) is cool!! "    

São Thomé is on top of a hill which altitude varies between 870 and 1430 meters. So, get ready to face a lot of ascents and descents and some cold. It is in the south of Minas and borders Três Corações, Luminária, Cruzília, Baependi and Conceição do Rio Verde.  

"I'm going to visit Sobradinho grotto."  

There are about 6000 inhabitants. When it is holiday, 6000 more arrive, transforming the city into a party.  


There is this legend in São Thomé. It tells that a slave called João Antão, who scaped from the farm where he lived and went to live alone in a grotto. One day, he was in the grotto and suddenly appeared a man all dressed in white. That man told João that he would write a letter asking for Alfenas Baron liberated him from his situation.  

"'Pirâmide' (pyramid) has an awesome view... "  

The Baron received the letter and he liked it a lot, because on that time little people knew how to write. The Baron then, started to look for who had that beautiful handwritting. When he arrived at the grotto, instead of finding the dressed in white, he found a statue of São Thomé, sculpted on wood. The Baron then, ordered that a Church was built beside the grotto and in 1740 some houses began to appear around the Church, becoming a small town that little by little grew and became the city that today is São Thomé das Letras.  

"... oh yeah... "  

Tourist points: 

"Paraíso" (PARADISE) Waterfall - this is close to "Véu da Noiva" (Bride's Veil), with a small beach and a trail that takes to "Bosque das Ninfas" (Forest of the Nymphs).  

"Cacheira do Feijão" (BEAN Waterfall) - that waterfall is 6 Km by the path that takes to Sobradinho 

"People wait for the sunrise here, at "Cruzeiro" (Cross)."  

São Thomé Grotto - it is the grotto of the legend. It is at Baron de Alfenas square, where it is also the Church.  

"Igreja de Pedra" (Church OF STONE) - it is "Nossa Senhora do Rosário" Church. It is a classic exemple of the architecture of the city, where most of the houses is built with stones.  

EUBIOSE Waterfall - it is about 4 km from the city, proceeding by Baependi road.  

"The Bride's Veil is one of the most beautiful waterfalls."  

FLÁVIO Waterfall - it is located at about 8 km from the city, proceeding by Baependi road. 

"Cachoeira Véu da Noiva" (BRIDE'S VEIL Waterfall) - this waterfall is at about 12 km from the city, follwoing Baependi road.  

"Cachoeira das Bruxas" (WITCHES Waterfall) - it is an almost ignored Waterfall, that is after the rural neighborhood of Sobradinho. "  

Towards São Bento Abade, you find "Vale das Borboletas" (Butterflies Valley), "Corredeira das Ninfas" (Rapid of the Nymphs) and "Corredeira Shangri-lá" (Shangri-lá Rapid). 

"The water here is crystal clear... "  

"Gruta das Bruxas" (WITCHES Grotto) - 5 km from Sobradinho, this is a grotto with several bifurcations. 

SOBRADINHO Grotto - close to the neighborhood of Sobradinho. It is very good. After you enter it, walk 200 meters inside of the grotto and leave for other entrance. 

"Gruta Do CARIMBADO" (Grotto Of the STAMPED) - There is a legend that says this grotto ends in Machu Pichu, but I believe there are easier and more guaranteed ways to get to Peru. You will get all dirty of mud, so use some clothes that can get dirty, all stamped of mud. Don't try to get to the end of this grotto, because nobody knows if it even has an end.  


"Get out of there, you freak! "  

"Cruzeiro" (Cross) - it is the highest place of the city, it has a great view. It is where the nightlife happens when the city is full. The Pyramid is there, an abandoned construction where people climb to the roof to enjoy the view. A crowd waits for the sunrise, and when the first sunbeam appears, everybody scream. 

"The night is at the ascent to the Cross, where people drink wine, cobered by blankets."  




1. The ideal is to go by car, because the places are far one from the other.  

2. Besides the lodgings, there are campings and you can rent the residents' houses also. 

3. It's very cold there, so take thick coats. 

4. If you stay in a camping, take a padlock to lock your tent, somebody could enter and steal some stuff of yours. 

5. Take a flashlight to walk in the grottos. 

6. there are little guides that take you to the places. Some places, such as Shangrilá, Gruta das Bruxas that are difficult to reach, because there are no signs and several bifurcations exist. They help, but they are not essential. 

7. Watch the sunrise at the Cross, the first sunbeam on the horizon is great. 

8. If you don't like crowds, don't choose the long holidays. That place empty is very good

9. "Near there, it is "Baependi", that is other good option, with beautiful places, hospitable people and a dance at night that it is worthwhile to go, right in front of São Miguel lodging. And the city is at 10 minutes from Caxambu, but take care with the driving, when you get back, because it is a steep mountain with curves and fog. " tip from Salvador Borriello (lover of the beautiful things of Minas Gerais) 

10. "bikers, take care! In São Thomé das Letras, the bridges are dangerous for you. They have an immense central gap. " tip from Reinaldo  

11. "Save one day to visit Shangri-lá. The place is wonderful to relax. But go without worrying with time, because you will want to stay there forever... A detail: there is a military base of the army very close, and if you come across some soldiers once in a while walking there, don't worry. Don't get scared, just enjoy!!! " tip from Ed from Espírito Santo  

12. "The good tip is: If possible, take a bicycle to travel the trails."  tip from Rogério Novais, Belo Horizonte/MG  

13. "At night, luau happens at the Cross and at the Pyramid, where people want to see dawn. As it is very cold, they go wrapped in a blanket and it is also good to take flashlight... " tip from Léo - Arujá SP   

14. "For who likes peace, prefer the campings out of the city; a good option is Cleto's camping, it is at the road to Sobradinho, about 6 Km from the city. The place is surrounded by the forest and very calm.... " tip from Wilson - Poços de Caldas/MG  

15. "Don't forget to visit "Ladeira do Amendoim" (peanut slope)! Where nothing goes down the slope but up!! You have to see it to believe! " tip from Marcelo Assim Pereira  

16. "Don't forget about the yellowish water, rich in minerals, good for rheumatic treatment."  

17. "Hi people, I've been to São Thomé on this last holiday and the city great!!!! As I read on your site, you don't mention Poço da Esmeralda" (emerald well), it is the most beautiful place that I've ever seen... the water is clear and you can see the bottom and it is really deep! Go when the sun shines on it, so the water is clearer." tip from Aline  

18. "After a day of walk, grottos, waterfalls etc, you have to eat a good meal; choose a self-service restaurant (there are several) "tip from Wilson - Poços de Caldas/MG  

19. "For the Rappel lovers, go to "Cachoeira da Chuva" (Waterfall of the Rain) (2nd fall). Just a warning: the water is too cold!!! after one full day of walks, grottos, waterfalls, what about a pleasant lunch at Sinhá's restaurant . The food of there is very good, typical. These are my tips. São Thomé das Letras is the best place of the world! " tip from Jeferson Soares - Nova Lima / MG  

20. "We've been in the carnival to this paradise. In spite of the rain that impeded us to visit the waterfalls, we enjoyed the city a lot. It is ideal to relax and you eat very well for an excellent price. For who prefers a little more comfort, there are also nice lodgings with good prices; if you like to buy souvenirs for everybody, in São Thomé you can do that calmly and the craft from there is wonderful. Definitively, it is one of the best places to stay with who you like. Just don't get scared if you get approached in the city by the local police, they are rude. Another tip is that if you want to flee from the rain, go in the winter, because a resident of the area told me it doesn't rain at this time of the year. That's why I'll be back there in September. "tip from Márcio Lattari RJ 

21. "Places I liked: Ufologia, Eubiose and the grotto of the Stamped. They say the army already tried to get to its end, they entered for 3 and a half days. The food and water ended, then they had to return. For who likes mysticism, nature and adventure... São  Thomé is extraordinary!!! "tip from Felipe F. Alves - Angra of Reis/RJ  

22. "Make a visit (guided) to "Fundação Harmonia" (Harmonmy Foundation), an ecumenical community at the road to Sobradinho. There are some temples, some statues and very odd gardens. The Foundation receives the visitor very well, from 11 to 14 o'clock. It has a lodging relatively cheap, with good infrastructure and a  vegetarian restaurant, besides kiosks with some tidbits, coffee and craft." tip from André Cachorrão - Motomorfose Motoclube  

23. "To eat in São Thomé, the best place we found was Fazenda Boa Vista, beside the Butterflies Valley, on the highway São Thomé/Três Corações. The typical dishes cost from R$12,00 to R$18,00 and they are full, enough for three people, in spite of what the menu says, that they are for two." tip from André Cachorrão & Diego Pardal Motomorfose Motoclube  

24. "My tip is for people who has no money and nowhere to sleep. Look for the little chapels that are "hidden" in the city. One is behind the mother church, the other is on of Broad´uai(boteco) street ! A hug." tip from Bruno Pazetti  

25. "'Cachoeira da Conquista' (waterfall of the Conquest): little known, but a very beautiful place. Before getting to the Bride's Veil waterfall, take the path to the right. Then it is about 6 km till an "entrance to the left" (if you gets lost, ask about ANTARES (it is a  camping that existed at the place). Taking this "entrance", about 50 m ahead there is a gate (cross it) and after more 100 m you arrives at a house, where the road ends. Then you take the trail that goes down (about 200 m) until the waterfall. Follow the sound of the waters. The waterfall (about 30 m of height) forms a swimming pool". tip from Geraldo Evandro Papa - Santo André  

26. "Get to know "bar do 2", that is at the pyramid and also the legendary composer Ventania and maybe buying a cd from him". tip from Aislan Diorato, Belo Horizonte  

27. "That place is magic, if you go to São Thomé, don't miss going to the Butterflies Valley, Sobradinho waterfall. Tip: don't go on the carnival holiday, it rains a lot..., go out of season, the price of the lodgings is almost the same value of the camping. And it doesn't rain. Hugs". tip from Carina Pontin - Monte Mor/SP  

28. " Even on holidays like the carnival, the city preserves the bucolic mood, the whole esoteric stuff exists but it nothing else than marketing to attract tourists, the good of the city besides - of course - the geography in general, are the native residents, people of an infinite kindness, simplicity and receptivity. It is worthwhile to check out the "Lázaro's camping" known by the campers as "São Lázaro", he keeps in his property the best camping of the city, great location, nice prices... For any information, our email: " tip from Carolina Andrade 

29. "Another tip is to avoid too low cars, because the streets are of stone and dirt, whichmakes the access difficult.. " tip from Guilherme de Ilicínea - MG 

30. "I went for the first time by chance and fell in love. Don't miss savoring the most varied "cachaças" that are served at jonny's bar, which is at Eubiose waterfall! And the one with honey is the best!  Don't miss going to "bar do 2" at night, and to watch shows of crazy guys, like Bill, Ventania, Mésio and etc...... " tip from Mari Cobain 

31. "I spent only 03 dias, but it would need about 30 to get to know that whole paradise!!! I stayed at the lodging....... "Reis", in front of the church of stone, receptivity and accommodation 100%... " tip from Viviane Coelho 

32 "It is a magic place... it is good for the soul! The trails are perfect!!! The grottos, waterfalls!!!! Incredible!!! Two tips: During the day it is very hot, but at night it is very cold!!!! take a lot, a lot of coats and wine... AND watch the Sunrise from the Cross.... it is a unique view, unforgettable!!!! " tip from Andressa - Alfenas/MG 

33. "Hello guys, congratulations for the site, people's tips who have already been to the cities are great. Sites like this are very important for the tourist to get to know more and more about our country. Me and my wife went to São Thomé das Letras on 2003/2004 New Years's Eve. The tips that I found in this site were very good, for that we decided to give our collaboration. The city is really interesting, excellent for who likes rock (the music) and nature. The only bad thing we found was the amount of children who work selling little stone houses in the city. We know that Brazil is a poor country, and we may witness the infantile work everywhere, but I became really upset, therefore a great tip is: Don't buy memories from the children, you will be motivating the infantile work. Now changing for a more pleasant subject: a guided visit to the Harmony Foundation is very interesting, the visitors are really welcome. Go by car, because the waterfalls and the grottos are very distant, otherwise you will depend on rides. The pyramid is an interesting place in the daytime and at night, because during the day you have a view of the whole city, and during the night, people meet at some bars with live music, the best is "Bar do 2". There are several places with good food, but the best ones are, with no doubt, Alquimia, Fornalha and Massaroca. Most of the commercial establishments is controlled by the own family, and that makes the professionalism of the service a bit low. Despite those, the city is very cool, and you will hardly find a city with so much stone". tip from Darcir Bortolini Júnior and Mônica de Lima Campos Sorocaba/SP

CLICK HERE to send your tip