You get a better idea of a place when your drive. I have flown across Mina Gerais many times, but driving gives you a better feel for the place and for its size. Western Minas is not very different from neighboring areas of Goiás. There is a lot of space w/o very many people. We drove through the cerrado biome most of the way. As you get near Belo, it becomes lusher and hillier. This is mountain vegetation, with overtones of the Mata Atlântica
BR 040 is easy to find out of Brasilia and is basically a good road, although it is only two lane most of the way and it encumbered with slow-moving trucks; the only thing worse than a slow moving truck is a fast-moving truck, BTW, especially when they are coming around a bend going barreling on in the opposite direction. BR 040 does not have shoulders and/or not ones that are that you could rely on. They tend to be a half a foot lower than the adjacent road, not good when you are nervous about the oncoming truck and squeezing as far away as you can. On two occasions, on coming trucks in our lane just flashed their lights on us and we chose to move onto the low shoulder as the better part of valour.
The cerrado landscape is fairly uniform most of the way. Everything is bright green during the rainy season. But it is a long drive. It is worth doing, but maybe not more than once until they get a divided highway.