Estrada Real

Situated in Southeast Brazil, the Estrada Real is one of the oldest roads in the Americas. Cutting through the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo to the port cities of Paraty and Rio de Janeiro, the “Royal Road” thrived during the diamond and gold-digging years of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, linking many of the most historically important towns in the region. With a grim past marked by the slave trade, the purpose of the road was to transport these precious minerals from the interior to the coast and then onward to Lisbon, Portugal.

Originally published in the special 10th edition of Bikepacking Journal, 2023.

Using Format