São Lourenço (Saint Lawrence) is a Brazilian town in the southern part of the state of Minas Gerais, in the Southeast of the country. It is one of the smallest Brazilian municipalities, with only 57.2 km² (22.1 sq. mi), and it is well known nationwide for its natural beauty and healing mineral waters. It is conveniently located at an equal distance - approximately 3.5h - from two major cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
São Lourenço has a yearly mean temperature of 18°C. In the winter the lows can reach 0°C, sometimes with heavy frost.
The region has occasionally been affected by flooding; the most severe occurred in 1940, 1986, 1990 and 2000. In January 2000, heavy storms caused the waters of Rio Verde to rise more than 4.5m, leaving parts of the city underwater, including the city centre and the municipal park where the mineral water fountains are located. The resilience and strength of is citizens has brought the city back to its former charm and their warm welcome continues to entice visitors from near and far.
Tourism is the main economic activity of the city although it has also become the regional hub for shopping, medical care, banking, etc.
Throughout the year, several outstanding events take place in Sao Lourenço. They include the International Choir Festival, Cachaça Festival - cachaça is a hard liquor distilled from sugar cane juice, Winter Festival, Street Carnaval, Orchid Exhibits, Megacycle (a motorcyclists gathering), Vintage/Classic Cars Expo, a Hot Air Balloonists gathering, as well as several conferences of major Brazilian organizations.
During the Winter - when schools in Brazil enjoy a four-week break - the city offers several especial events that attract a large number of tourits as well as being well attended by locals. In the beginning of August, the city celebrates its patron saint, Saint Lawrence, with a ten-day festival that includes live music, traditional food, and fireworks.
The city was classified by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics)as the second better HDI (Human Development Index) of Minas Gerais and it receives around 600.000 visitors annually. Sao Lourenço boasts of more than 50 hotels, that can suit any budget, and many offer special packages for families and recreational activities for children. Most hotels are all inclusive, offering buffet-style meals that can amaze your senses with the fascinating cuisine of Minas Gerais.