Poços de Caldas is about one hour's drive north of São João da Boa Vista and thus already in the State of Minas Gerais (MG). "Mineiros", how its inhabitants are called, are known for their open-heartedness and their hospitality. The "Cozinha Mineira" (kitchen of Minas) is typically solid and strong. Sweets are sweet (sweet.). Doce de leite ("the sweet of milk") for instance is condensed and caramelised milk. As a variation, plums can be stirred into it (doce de leite com ameixa).
"Minas Gerais" means "General Mines" and refers to the regional importance of mining. Nowadays, this is manifested by courses of studies like "mining engineer" or "mechanical engineer" that are offered on regional universities.
Poços is a touristic town in hilly landscape which has been moulded by volcanic activity. It has been founded in 1872 inside the crater of a huge extincted volcano. Its diameter is estimated to 35km - which explains that in the town centre nothing seems to indicate the eventful geologic history. Still, some streets at the borders of the town suddenly rise up steeply. Other geologic witnesses are the hot sulphurous sources and thermal bathes of the city.
A magnificent view on Poços and its beautiful hilly hinterland can be enjoyed from the statue of Cristo. A small chairlift takes the visitors for R$10 on the breezing height.
The enourmous sandwiches offered in numberous snackbars close to the town's main square are very popular amongst students. The most famous place is called "Vagão" (big waggon) - as it is being settled in a former wooden railway waggon. The sandwiches are cheap and in the same measure giantic : frango, milho, tomates, alface, bacon, queijo, ovos, catupiry (chicken, sweet corn, tomatoes, lettuce, bacon, cheese, eggs, soft cheese) - or shortly the all-included-model "x-tudo". During eating it surely is allowed to watch TV, for example the soccer match between Corinthians and Santos FC.
In the 60ies it has been fashioned for brazilian couples to spend their honey moon in Poços. Especially couples of São Paulo must have sat, holding arm in arm, at the romantic waterfall "Véu das Noivas" (bridal veil).