Located in Brumandinho, in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, Inhotim is an open-air art gallery in the midst of about 2000ha of botanic gardens, a two-hour drive from Belo Horizonte, which is a two-hour flight from Rio. Mining magnate Bernardo Paz transformed the former mine site into a lush, tropical garden with the help of his friend, late landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx. You'll find more than 500 contemporary artworks around the park, by Brazilian and international artists including Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Steve McQueen and Adriana Varejao, one of Paz's six ex-wives. You can make your way between them by foot or by golf kart, which are available to hire by the hour. Getting there from Belo Horizonte is pretty easy too - there's a direct daily bus from the main station, arriving early enough to spend the whole day among the park's tranquil surrounds, returning to Belo Horizonte in time for dinner. Visit on a Wednesday and admission is free.
2 NITEROI CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM
Worth a visit for the building alone, this Rio landmark was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, a prolific Brazilian architect best known for his visionary work redeveloping Brazil's capital, Brasilia. This spectacular building, often described as looking like a UFO, sits on a headland in Niteroi, a short ferry ride across the bay from Rio. The star attraction inside is the viewing gallery - from there you can look out to Guanabara Bay, the Rio de Janeiro skyline and Sugarloaf Mountain.
3 MUSEU DE ARTE DE SAO PAULO
This is another must-see building, thanks to the striking architecture from Italian-born Brazilian modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi, also famed for her furniture and jewellery designs. Founded in 1947 by Brazilian businessman Assis Chateaubriand as Brazil's first modern museum, MASP's collection today contains more than 8000 works from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Visit on a Sunday and you'll also be able to browse an antiques fair in the concourse outside the gallery.
4 MUSEO DE ARTE LATINOAMERICANO DE BUENOS AIRES (MALBA)
In the hip Palermo section of Buenos Aires, the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires was established in 2001 and has become one of this beautiful city's leading art attractions, with collections from the 20th century to present day. MALBA houses the private collection of real-estate tycoon Eduardo Costanini, including works from Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Antonio Berni, as well as regular special exhibitions. Everything seems to be an artwork here - even the benches have been turned into creeping branches that climb the walls of the light-filled atrium. Visit before October 31 this year and you can see Yoko Ono: Dream Come True - a collection of more than 80 of Ono's works produced from the early 60s until the present day.
5 MUSEO DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO DE SANTIAGO (MAC)
With two separate sites around Santiago, MAC - run by the University of Chile - is one of the country's best contemporary art museums. The Quinta Normal site, in the suburb of the same name, was the location of the first fine arts museum in Chile, before it moved to its new home in Parque Forestal, an urban park in the city's historical downtown district. MAC Parque Forestal is housed in the beautiful Palace of the Fine Arts building, along with the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts. Both sites are worth a visit, and with free admission, there's no excuse not to.