Fazenda do Engenho is the main farmhouse on Comuna do Ititipoca, a 5,000 hectare estate, or comuna, in Minas Gerais province, about a three and a half hour drive or short helicopter ride north of the capital. The estate, previously known as Ibitipoca Reserve, has been created to show how humans can live in harmony with nature, and the whole community is involved through education and empowerment programmes.
Guests are welcome to share in this venture and participate in a variety of activities that concentrate on nature and the community. Guided tours take you out into the comuna which includes caves, waterfalls and natural pools. You can also explore by bike, with e-bikes available for ease, and on horseback, and take to the water on a stand-up paddle board. Yoga classes are offered to help you relax and de-stress, and staff at the spa provide a range of health-bestowing treatments. Activities can be tailored to individual guests, forming a personalised programme.
Accommodation is in the fazenda and in a handful of other buildings at varying distances from the farmhouse. The fazenda, which dates from the 18th century and was remodelled in 2008, has eight suites, each individually decorated and with a king size bed and a bathroom with underfloor heating and a bathtub. Casa Carlinho is 100 metres away and contains three suites, all very spacious, and makes good accommodation for families and groups of friends. Humboldt Loft is located in Mogol village about 9kms from Engenho, perfect for those who want to experience life in a local village. Isgone and Areiao house are both in remote settings. Guests staying here have meals served nearby.
Guests staying at the fazenda and Casa Carlinho have access to the dining room, TV room, the lounge which includes a library and a piano and a courtyard. The spa with its treatment rooms, yoga space, gym and outdoor jacuzzi is a short walk from the fazenda. Meals are made using ingredients grown on the estate and surrounding farms. The cuisine is based on traditional Minas fare with added flair and attention to presentation. As an alternative to the main restaurant you can walk to Odette's Health Bistro 800 metres away to enjoy nutritious vegetarian meals, and travel to Mogol village to eat at Yucca in the village or Grotao's Farm nearby. Meals at locations other than the main farmhouse need to be booked in advance.
Open: Fazenda do Engenho is open all year.
Location: Fazenda do Engenho (also known as Engenho Lodge) is the main house at Ibitipoca estate (formerly called Ibitipoca Reserve) in Minas Gerais state, southeast Brazil. It covers over 5,000 hectares and adjoins Ibitipoca State Park. The fazenda is a three and a half hour drive from Rio de Janeiro.
Rooms: There are eight suites in the fazenda, the main farmhouse, comprising six engenho suites (40sqm), one reserva suite (40sqm) and one gran reserve suite (50sqm). All have an en-suite bathroom with a bathtub, underfloor heating and a heated towel rail. There is Wi-Fi internet access. There are three more suites in an additional building, Casa de Carlinhos, near the fazenda There is more at Humboldt Loft in Mogol village, Isogne and Areiao House which are in remote rural locations on the estate.
Activities: You can go walking, horse riding, mountain biking (with e-bikes available), stand-up paddle boarding and bird watching. There is a two hour walking trail which takes in art installations and is led by a guide. Guided walks are offered free of charge and other activities can be booked and paid for locally. The spa is set in a separate building near the main farmhouse. where yoga sessions are offered free of charge and there are facilities for massage, a jacuzzi and a dry sauna. Spa treatments need to be booked in advance.
Facilities: The fazenda is set in extensive grounds with gardens and orchards. The lodge has its own stable of horses. There is a restaurant (more details below), a lounge with a library and a piano, a TV room and a courtyard.
Dining: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and non alcoholic drinks are included in your stay and served in the fazenda restaurant. Breakfast and lunch are buffets and dinner is an a la carte meal. The fazenda specialises in Minas cuisine, much of it made from ingredients grown in the gardens. Odette’s Health Bistro is 800 metres from the main house and serves simple vegetarian meals. Guest at the fazenda can book meals here if they wish.
Children: Children aged eight years and over are welcome at the fazenda. There is no minimum age limit at the other accommodations.
Health: This is not a malarial area.
Communication: There is Wi-Fi internet access. Mobile phone reception is limited and should not be relied upon.
Notes: There is a minimum stay requirement of two nights.
The comuna works with the local community in ensuring that humans can live in harmony with other species and with the environment. Tourism is part of this aim, with guests contributing to the local economy and seeing the comuna's ecological principles in action. Through inspiring people to become the best version of themselves they hope to make the world a better place for us all.