Alter do Chão

Alter do Chão, Pará

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alter do Chão is one of the administrative districts of the city of Santarém, in Pará state located on the right bank of the Tapajós. The distance to the city center about 37 kilometres across the highway Everaldo Martins (PA-457). It is the main tourist spot of Santarém, it houses the most beautiful freshwater beach in the world according to the British newspaper The Guardian, being popularly known as Brazilian Caribbean.


The origin of the name is a tribute to the Portuguese town of Alter do Chão.


Founded on March 6, 1626, by Portuguese Pedro Teixeira, was elevated to a town by Francisco Xavier de Mendonça Furtado (pt), governor of the State of Grão-Pará and Maranhão, during Colonial Brazil, on March 6, 1758.

Alter do Chão, during the 17th century and 18th century, received several religious missions, led by the Jesuits of the Franciscan order. The cult of Our Lady of Remedies was established. Became the patron saint this holy place.

Until the 18th century, the village was inhabited mostly by indigenous communities Boraris. Still has traces of the natives because of the existence of several sites with lots of pieces of pottery and pieces are often found in the form of head vulture circles with hole in the middle, pipes, and other plus with polished stone axes.

In the early 20th centurycentury, Alter do Chao was one of the transportation routes of latex extracted from rubber trees Belterra and Fordlandia. It was a short period of development for the town. But from the 1950s, was the decay of Amazonian extraction and the village was hit by the economic deficit. From the 1990s to the present day, the present district focus on tourism to evolve economically, which has achieved good results.



Coordinates2°31′S 54°57′W


Amazon River

Amazon River

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Amazon River (Amazonia)
Apurímac, Ene, Tambo, Ucayali, Amazonas, Solimões
Sunset on the Amazon (7613489930).jpg
Countries Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador
 - left Marañón, Japurá/Caquetá, Rio Negro/Guainía,Putumayo
 - right Ucayali, Purús, Madeira, Tapajós, Xingu
City Iquitos (Peru); Leticia (Colombia);
Tabatinga (Brazil); Tefé (Brazil);
Itacoatiara (Brazil) Parintins (Brazil);
Óbidos (Brazil); Santarém (Brazil);
Almeirim (Brazil); Macapá (Brazil); Manaus (Brazil)
Source Rio Mantaro
 - location HuancayoHuancayo ProvincePeru
 - elevation 5,220 m (17,126 ft)
 - coordinates 10°43′55″S 76°38′52″W
Mouth Atlantic Ocean
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates 0°42′28″N 50°5′22″WCoordinates0°42′28″N 50°5′22″W [1]
Length 6,992 km (4,345 mi) [2]
Basin 7,050,000 km2 (2,722,000 sq mi) [2]
 - average 209,000 m3/s (7,381,000 cu ft/s) [3]
Map showing the Amazon drainage basin with the Amazon River highlighted
Amazon relief map
Floating houses of LeticiaColombia

The Amazon River (US /ˈæməzɒn/ or UK /ˈæməzən/Spanish and PortugueseAmazonas) in South America is the largest river by discharge of water in the world, and according to some experts, the longest in length.

The headwaters of the Apurímac River on Nevado Mismi had been considered for nearly a century as the Amazon’s most distant source, until a 2014 study found it to be the Cordillera Rumi Cruz at the headwaters of the Mantaro River in Peru.[4] The Mantaro and Apurímac confluence, and with other tributaries form the Ucayali River, which in turn confluences with the Marañón River upstream of IquitosPeru, to form what countries other than Brazil consider to be the main stem of the Amazon. Brazilians call this section the Solimões River above its confluence with the Rio Negro[5] to form what Brazilians call the Amazon at the Meeting of Waters (PortugueseEncontro das Águas) at Manaus, the river's largest city.

At an average discharge of about 209,000 cubic metres per second (7,400,000 cu ft/s; 209,000,000 L/s; 55,000,000 USgal/s) — approximately 6,591 cubic kilometres per annum (1,581 cu mi/a), greater than the next seven largest independent rivers combined — the Amazon represents 20% of the global riverine discharge to the ocean.[6] The Amazon basin is the largest drainage basin in the world, with an area of approximately 7,050,000 square kilometres (2,720,000 sq mi). The portion of the river's drainage basin in Brazil alone is larger than any other river's basin. The Amazon enters Brazil with only one-fifth of the flow it finally discharges into the Atlantic Ocean, yet already has a greater flow at this point than the discharge of any other river.[7][8]




Precolonial civilization[edit]

During what many archaeologists call the formative period, Amazonian societies were deeply involved in the emergence of South America's highland agrarian systems. This possibly contributed to the social and religious institutions essential to the order of Andean civilization.

Early human settlements were typically based on low-lying hills or mounds.

Five types of archaeological mound have been noted in the Amazon region: shell refuse and artificial mounds, artificial earth platforms for entire villages, earth mounds and ridges for cultivation, causeways and canals, and figurative mounds, both geometric and biomorphic.[9]

Shell mounds were the earliest; they represent piles of human refuse and are mainly dated between 7500 and 4000 BP. They all represent pottery age cultures; no preceramic shell mounds have been documented so far by archaeologists.

The Jivaro people were famous for their head-hunting raids and shrinking the heads from these raids.

Artificial earth platforms for entire villages are the second type of mounds. They are best represented by the Marajoara culture.

Figurative mounds are the latest, chronologically.

There is ample evidence that the areas surrounding the Amazon River were home to complex and large-scale indigenous societies, mainly chiefdoms who developed large towns and cities. Archeologists estimate that by the time the Spanish conquistador Orellana journeyed across the Amazon in 1541, more than 3 million Indians lived around the Amazon.[10] These pre-Columbian settlements created highly developed civilizations. For instance, pre-Columbian indigenous people on the island of Marajó may have developed social stratification and supported a population of 100,000 people. In order to achieve this level of development, the Native Americans of the Amazon rain forest altered the forest’s ecology by selective cultivation and the use of fire. Scientists argue that by burning areas of the forest repetitiously, the indigenous people caused the soil to become rich in nutrients. This created dark soil areas known as terra preta de índio (Indian Dark Earth).[11] Because of the terra preta, indigenous communities were able to make land fertile and thus sustainable for the large-scale agriculture needed to support their large populations and complex social structures. Further research has hypothesized that this practice began around 11,000 years ago. Some say that its effects on forest ecology and regional climate explain the otherwise inexplicable band of lower rainfall through the Amazon basin.[12]

Many indigenous tribes engaged in constant warfare. James Stuart Olson wrote: "The Munduruku expansion dislocated and displaced the Kawahíb, breaking the tribe down into much smaller groups ... [Munduruku] first came to the attention of Europeans in 1770 when they began a series of widespread attacks on Brazilian settlements along the Amazon River."[13]

European discovery[edit]

Amazon tributaries near Manaus

In March 1500 Spanish conquistador Vicente Yáñez Pinzón was the first documented European to sail into the river.[14] Pinzón called the river flow Río Santa María del Mar Dulce, later shortened to Mar Dulce (literally, sweet sea, because of its fresh water pushing out into the ocean). Another Spanish explorer, Francisco de Orellana, was the first European man to travel from the founts situated in the Andes to the end of the river. In this travel, Orellana baptized some of the affluents of the amazonas like Rio NegroNapo or Jurua. The name Amazonas came from the native warriors that attacked this expedition, mostly women, that reminded Orellana of the woman warriors the Amazons from the Hellenic culture.


Gonzalo Pizarro set off in 1541 to explore east of Quito into the South American interior in search of El Dorado, the "city of gold" and La Canela, the "valley of cinnamon".[15] He was accompanied by his second-in-command Francisco de Orellana. After 170 km, the Coca River joined the Napo River (at a point now known as Puerto Francisco de Orellana); the party stopped for a few weeks to build a boat just upriver from this confluence. They continued downriver through an uninhabited area, where they could not find food. Orellana offered and was ordered to follow the Napo River, then known as Río de la Canela ("Cinnamon River") and return with food for the party. Based on intelligence received from a captive native chief named Delicola, they expected to find food within a few days downriver by ascending another river to the north.

Samuel Fritz's 1707 map showing the Amazon and the Orinoco

Orellana took about 57 men, the boat, and some canoes and left Pizarro's party on 26 December 1541. However, Orellana apparently missed the confluence (probably with the Aguarico) where he was to look for food. By the time he and his men reached another village many of them were sick from hunger and eating "noxious plants", and near death. Seven men died at that village. His men threatened to mutiny if he followed his orders and the expedition turned back to join Pizarro's larger party. He accepted to change the purpose of the expedition to discover new lands in the name of the King of Spain, and the men built a larger boat in which to navigate downstream. After a journey of 600 km down the Napo River they reached a further major confluence, at a point near modern Iquitos, and then followed the upper Amazon, now known as the Solimões, for a further 1,200 km to its confluence with the Rio Negro (near modern Manaus), which they reached on 3 June 1542. On the Nhamunda River, a tributary of the Amazon downstream from Manaus, Orellana's party had a fierce battle with warriors who, they reported, were led by fierce female warriors who beat the men to death with clubs if they tried to retreat.[citation needed] Orellana's men began referring to the women as Amazons, a reference to the women of Greek Mythology. The river was initially known as the Marañón (the name by which the Peruvian part of the river is still known today) or Rio de Orellana. It later became known as the Rio Amazonas, the name by which it is still known in both Spanish and Portuguese.

Regarding the initial mission of finding cinnamon, Pizarro reported to the King that they had found cinnamon trees, but that they could not be profitably harvested. In fact, true cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) is not native to South America. Other related cinnamon-containing plants (of the family Lauraceae) are fairly common in that part of the Amazon and Pizarro probably saw some of these. The expedition reached the mouth of the Amazon on 24 August 1542, demonstrating the practical navigability of the Great River.

Mundurukú Indians. Painted by Hercules Florence

In 1560 another Spanish conquistadorLope de Aguirre, may have made the second descent of the Amazon. Historians are uncertain whether the river he descended was the Amazon or the Orinoco River, which runs more or less parallel to the Amazon further north.

Portuguese explorer Pedro Teixeira was the first European to travel up the entire river. He arrived in Quito in 1637, and then returned via the same route.[16]

From 1648 to 1652 Portuguese Brazilian bandeirante António Raposo Tavares led an expedition from São Paulo overland to the mouth of the Amazon, investigating many of its tributaries, including the Rio Negro, and covering a distance of more than 10,000 km (6,214 mi).

In what is currently Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela, a number of colonial and religious settlements were established along the banks of primary rivers and tributaries for the purpose of trade, slaving and evangelization among the indigenous peoples of the vast rainforest, such as the Urarina. In the late 1600s Spanish Jesuit Father Samuel Fritz, apostle of the Omaguas, established some forty mission villages.

Scientific exploration[edit]

Henry Walter Bates was most famous for his expedition to the Amazon (1848–1859).

Early scientific, zoological and botanical exploration of the Amazon River and basin occurred in the second half of 18th century through the first half of the 19th century.

Post-colonial exploitation and settlement[edit]

The Cabanagem revolt (1835–1840) was directed against the white ruling class. It is estimated that from 30 to 40% of the population of Grão-Pará, estimated at 100,000 people, died.[18]

The total population of the Brazilian portion of the Amazon basin in 1850 was perhaps 300,000, of whom about two-thirds were Europeans and slaves, the slaves amounting to about 25,000. The Brazilian Amazon's principal commercial city, Pará (now Belém), had from 10,000 to 12,000 inhabitants, including slaves. The town of Manáos, now Manaus, at the mouth of the Rio Negro, had a population between 1,000 and 1,500. All the remaining villages, as far up as Tabatinga, on the Brazilian frontier of Peru, were relatively small.

On 6 September 1850 Emperor Pedro II of Brazil sanctioned a law authorizing steam navigation on the Amazon and gave the Viscount of Mauá (Irineu Evangelista de Sousa) the task of putting it into effect. He organized the "Companhia de Navegação e Comércio do Amazonas" in Rio de Janeiro in 1852; in the following year it commenced operations with four small steamers, the Monarca ('Monarch'), the Cametá, the Marajó and the Rio Negro.[19]

Amazonas state

At first, navigation was principally confined to the main river; and even in 1857 a modification of the government contract only obliged the company to a monthly service between Pará and Manaus, with steamers of 200 tons cargo capacity, a second line to make six round voyages a year between Manaus and Tabatinga, and a third, two trips a month between Pará and Cametá. This was the first step in opening up the vast interior.

The success of the venture called attention to the opportunities for economic exploitation of the Amazon, and a second company soon opened commerce on the Madeira, Purús and Negro; a third established a line between Pará and Manaus; and a fourth found it profitable to navigate some of the smaller streams. In that same period, the Amazonas Company was increasing its fleet. Meanwhile, private individuals were building and running small steam craft of their own on the main river as well as on many of its tributaries.

On 31 July 1867 the government of Brazil, constantly pressed by the maritime powers and by the countries encircling the upper Amazon basin, especially Peru, decreed the opening of the Amazon to all countries, but they limited this to certain defined points: Tabatinga – on the Amazon; Cametá – on the Tocantins; Santarém – on the Tapajós; Borba – on the Madeira, and Manaus – on the Rio Negro. The Brazilian decree took effect on 7 September 1867.

Amazon Theatre opera house in Manaus built in 1896 during the rubber boom

Thanks in part to the mercantile development associated with steamboat navigation coupled with the internationally driven demand for natural rubber, the Peruvian city of Iquitos became a thriving, cosmopolitan center of commerce. Foreign companies settled in Iquitos, from whence they controlled the extraction of rubber. In 1851 Iquitos had a population of 200, and by 1900 its population reached 20,000. In the 1860s, approximately 3,000 tons of rubber was being exported annually, and by 1911 annual exports had grown to 44,000 tons, representing 9.3% of Peru's exports.[20] During the rubber boom it is estimated that diseases brought by immigrants, such as typhus and malaria, killed 40,000 native Amazonians.[21]

The first direct foreign trade with Manaus commenced around 1874. Local trade along the river was carried on by the English successors to the Amazonas Company—the Amazon Steam Navigation Company—as well as numerous small steamboats, belonging to companies and firms engaged in the rubber trade, navigating the Negro, Madeira, Purús and many other tributaries, such as the Marañón, to ports as distant as Nauta, Peru.

By the turn of the 20th century, the exports of the Amazon basin were India-rubbercacao beansBrazil nuts and a few other products of minor importance, such as pelts and exotic forest produce (resins, barks, woven hammocks, prized bird feathers, live animals) and extracted goods, such as lumber and gold.

20th-century development[edit]

Manaus, the largest city in Amazonas, as seen from a NASAsatellite image, surrounded by the dark Rio Negro and the muddy Amazon River

Since colonial times, the Portuguese portion of the Amazon basin has remained a land largely undeveloped by agriculture and occupied by indigenous people who survived the arrival of European diseases.

Four centuries after the European discovery of the Amazon river, the total cultivated area in its basin was probably less than 65 square kilometres (25 sq mi), excluding the limited and crudely cultivated areas among the mountains at its extreme headwaters. This situation changed dramatically during the 20th century.

Wary of foreign exploitation of the nation's resources, Brazilian governments in the 1940s set out to develop the interior, away from the seaboard where foreigners owned large tracts of land. The original architect of this expansion was President Getúlio Vargas, with the demand for rubber from the Allied forces in World War II providing funding for the drive.

In 1960 the construction of the new capital city of Brasília in the interior also contributed to the opening up of the Amazon basin. A large-scale colonization program saw families from northeastern Brazil relocated to the forests, encouraged by promises of cheap land. Many settlements grew along the road from Brasília to Belém, but rainforest soil proved difficult to cultivate.

Still, long-term development plans continued. Roads were cut through the forests, and in 1970, the work on the Trans-Amazonian Highway (Transamazônica) network began. The network's three pioneering highways were completed within ten years but never fulfilled their promise. Large portions of the Trans-Amazonian and its accessory roads, such as BR-319 (Manaus-Porto Velho), are derelict and impassable in the rainy season. Small towns and villages are scattered across the forest, and because its vegetation is so dense, some remote areas are still unexplored.

With a population of 1.9 million people in 2014, Manaus is the largest city on the Amazon. Manaus alone makes up approximately 50% of the population of the largest Brazilian state of Amazonas. The racial makeup of the city is 64% Pardo (Mulatto and mestizo) and 32% White.[22]

Although the Amazon river remains largely undammed, around 412 dams are in operation in the Amazon’s tributary rivers. From these 412 dams, 151 are constructed over six of the main tributary rivers that drain into the Amazon.[23] Since only four percent of the Amazon’s hydropower potential has been developed in countries like Brazil,[24] more damming projects are underway and hundreds more are planned.[25] After witnessing the negative effects of environmental degradation, sedimentation, navigation and flood control caused by the Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze River,[26] scientists are worried that constructing more dams in the Amazon will harm its biodiversity in the same way by “blocking-fish spawning runs, reducing the flows of vital oil nutrients and clearing forests”.[25] Damming the Amazon River could potentially bring about the “end of free flowing rivers” and contribute to an “ecosystem collapse” that will cause major social problems [23]



The Amazon was thought to originate from the Apacheta cliff in Arequipa at the Nevado Mismi, marked only by a wooden cross.
Source of the Amazon
Marañón River in Peru

The most distant source of the Amazon was thought to be in the Apurímac river drainage for nearly a century. Such studies continued to be published even recently, such as in 1996,[27]2001,[28] 2007,[29] and 2008,[30] where various authors identified the snowcapped 5,597 m (18,363 ft) Nevado Mismi peak, located roughly 160 km (99 mi) west of Lake Titicaca and 700 km (430 mi) southeast of Lima, as the most distant source of the river. From that point, Quebrada Carhuasanta emerges from Nevado Mismi, joins Quebrada Apacheta and soon forms Río Lloqueta which becomes Río Hornillos and eventually joins the Río Apurímac.

A 2014 study by Americans James Contos and Nicolas Tripcevich in Area, a peer-reviewed journal of the Royal Geographic Society, however, identifies the most distant source of the Amazon as actually being in the Río Mantaro drainage.[4] A variety of methods were used to compare the lengths of the Mantaro river vs. the Apurímac river from their most distant source points to their confluence, showing the longer length of the Mantaro. Then distances from Lago Junín to several potential source points in the uppermost Mantaro river were measured, which enabled them to determine that the Cordillera Rumi Cruz was the most distant source of water in the Mantaro basin (and therefore in the entire Amazon basin). The most accurate measurement method was direct GPS measurement obtained by kayak descent of each of the rivers from their source points to their confluence (performed by Contos). Obtaining these measurements was difficult given the class IV–V nature of each of these rivers, especially in their lower "Abyss" sections. Ultimately, they determined that the most distant point in the Mantaro drainage is nearly 80 km farther upstream compared to Mt. Mismi in the Apurímac drainage, and thus the maximal length of the Amazon river is about 80 km longer than previously thought. Contos continued downstream to the ocean and finished the first complete descent of the Amazon river from its newly identified source (finishing November 2012), a journey repeated by two groups after the news spread.[31]

After about 700 km (430 mi), the Apurímac then joins Río Mantaro to form the Ene, which joins the Perene to form the Tambo, which joins the Urubamba to form the Ucayali. After the confluence of Apurímac and Ucayali, the river leaves Andean terrain and is surrounded by floodplain. From this point to the confluence of the Ucayali and the Marañón, some 1,600 km (990 mi), the forested banks are just above the water and are inundated long before the river attains its maximum flood stage. The low river banks are interrupted by only a few hills, and the river enters the enormous Amazon rainforest.

The Upper Amazon or Solimões[edit]

Amazon River near Iquitos, Peru

Although the Ucayali–Marañón confluence is the point at which most geographers place the beginning of the Amazon River proper, in Brazil the river is known at this point as the Solimões das Águas. The river systems and flood plains in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela, whose waters drain into the Solimões and its tributaries, are called the "Upper Amazon".

The Amazon proper runs mostly through Brazil and Peru, and is part of the border between Colombia and Perú. It has a series of major tributaries in ColombiaEcuador and Peru, some of which flow into the Marañón and Ucayali, and others directly into the Amazon proper. These include rivers PutumayoCaquetáVaupésGuainíaMoronaPastaza, Nucuray, Urituyacu, ChambiraTigreNanayNapo, and Huallaga.

At some points the river divides into anabranches, or multiple channels, often very long, with inland and lateral channels, all connected by a complicated system of natural canals, cutting the low, flat igapó lands, which are never more than 5 metres (16 ft) above low river, into many islands.

From the town of Canaria at the great bend of the Amazon to the Negro, vast areas of land are submerged at high water, above which only the upper part of the trees of the sombre forests appear. Near the mouth of the Rio Negro to Serpa, nearly opposite the river Madeira, the banks of the Amazon are low, until approaching Manaus, they rise to become rolling hills.

The Lower Amazon[edit]

Meeting of Waters is the confluenceof the Rio Negro (black) and the Rio Amazonas (sandy) near Manaus, Brazil.
Water samples of the Rio Solimões(left) and the Rio Negro (right)

The Lower Amazon begins where the darkly colored waters of the Rio Negro meet the sandy colored Rio Solimões, and for over 6 km (4 mi) these waters run side by side without mixing.

At Óbidos, a bluff 17 m (56 ft) above the river is backed by low hills. The lower Amazon seems to have once been a gulf of the Atlantic Ocean, the waters of which washed the cliffs near Óbidos.

Only about ten percent of the Amazon's water enters downstream of Óbidos, very little of which is from the northern slope of the valley. The drainage area of the Amazon basin above Óbidos city is about 5,000,000 square kilometres (1,900,000 sq mi), and, below, only about 1,000,000 square kilometres (390,000 sq mi) (around 20%), exclusive of the 1,400,000 square kilometres (540,000 sq mi) of the Tocantins basin. The Tocantins River enters the southern portion of the Amazon delta.

In the lower reaches of the river, the north bank consists of a series of steep, table-topped hills extending for about 240 kilometres (150 mi) from opposite the mouth of the Xingu as far as Monte Alegre. These hills are cut down to a kind of terrace which lies between them and the river.

On the south bank, above the Xingu, a line of low bluffs bordering the floodplain extends nearly to Santarém in a series of gentle curves before they bend to the southwest, and, abutting upon the lower Tapajós, merge into the bluffs which form the terrace margin of the Tapajós river valley.


A satellite image of the mouth of the Amazon River, from the north looking south

Belém is the major city and port at the mouth of the river at the Atlantic Ocean. The definition of where exactly the mouth of the Amazon is located, and how wide it is, is a matter of dispute, because of the area's peculiar geography. The Pará and the Amazon are connected by a series of river channels called furos near the town of Breves; between them lies Marajó, the world's largest combined river/sea island.

If the Pará river and the Marajó island ocean frontage are included, the Amazon estuary is some 325 kilometres (202 mi) wide.[32] In this case, the width of the mouth of the river is usually measured from Cabo Norte, the cape located straight east of Pracuúba in the Brazilian state of Amapá, to Ponta da Tijoca near the town of Curuçá, in the state of Pará.

A more conservative measurement excluding the Pará river estuary, from the mouth of the Araguari River to Ponta do Navio on the northern coast of Marajó, would still give the mouth of the Amazon a width of over 180 kilometres (110 mi). If only the river's main channel is considered, between the islands of Curuá (state of Amapá) and Jurupari (state of Pará), the width falls to about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi).

The plume generated by the river's discharge covers up to 1.3 million square kilometers and is responsible for muddy bottoms influencing a wide area of the tropical North Atlantic in terms of salinity, pH, light penetration, and sedimentation.[6]

Dispute regarding length[edit]

While debate as to whether the Amazon or the Nile is the world's longest river has gone on for many years, the historic consensus of geographic authorities has been to regard the Amazon as the second longest river in the world, with the Nile being the longest. However, the Amazon has been measured by different geographers as being anywhere between 6,259 and 6,992 kilometres (3,889 and 4,345 mi) long. It is often said to be "at least" 6,400 kilometres (4,000 mi) long.[33] The Nile is reported to be anywhere from 5,499 to 6,690 kilometres (3,417 to 4,157 mi). Often it is said to be "about" 6,650 kilometres (4,130 mi) long.[34] There are many factors that can affect these measurements.

River taxi in Peru

A study by Brazilian scientists concluded that the Amazon is actually longer than the Nile. Using Nevado Mismi, which in 2001 was labeled by the National Geographic Society as the Amazon's source, these scientists made new calculations of the Amazon's length. They calculated the Amazon's length as 6,992 kilometres (4,345 mi). Using the same techniques, they calculated the length of the Nile as 6,853 kilometres (4,258 mi), which is longer than previous estimates but still shorter than the Amazon. They made it possible by measuring the Amazon downstream to the beginning of the tidal estuary of Canal do Sul and then, after a sharp turn back, following tidal canals surrounding the isle of Marajó and finally including the marine waters of the Río Pará bay in its entire length.[30][35] Guido Gelli, director of science at the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), told the Brazilian TV network Globo in June 2007 that it could be considered as a fact that the Amazon was the longest river in the world. However, other geographers have had access to the same data since 2001, and a consensus has yet to emerge to support the claims of these Brazilian scientists. The length of both the Amazon and the Nile remains open to interpretation and continued debate.[33]


Main article: Amazon basin

The Amazon basin, the largest in the world, covers about 40% of South America, an area of approximately 7,050,000 square kilometres (2,722,020 sq mi). It drains from west to east, from Iquitos in Peru, across Brazil to the Atlantic. It gathers its waters from 5 degrees north latitude to 20 degrees south latitude. Its most remote sources are found on the inter-Andean plateau, just a short distance from the Pacific Ocean. The locals often refer to it as "El Jefe Negro", referring to an ancient god of fertility.

The Amazon River and its tributaries are characterized by extensive forested areas that become flooded every rainy season. Every year, the river rises more than 9 metres (30 ft), flooding the surrounding forests, known as várzea ("flooded forests"). The Amazon's flooded forests are the most extensive example of this habitat type in the world.[36] In an average dry season, 110,000 square kilometres (42,000 sq mi) of land are water-covered, while in the wet season, the flooded area of the Amazon basin rises to 350,000 square kilometres (140,000 sq mi).[32]

The quantity of water released by the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean is enormous: up to 300,000 cubic metres per second (11,000,000 cu ft/s) in the rainy season, with an average of 209,000 cubic metres per second (7,400,000 cu ft/s) from 1973 to 1990.[37] The Amazon is responsible for about 20% of the Earth's fresh water entering the ocean.[36] The river pushes a vast plume of fresh water into the ocean. The plume is about 400 kilometres (250 mi) long and between 100 and 200 kilometres (62 and 124 mi) wide. The fresh water, being lighter, flows on top of the seawater, diluting the salinity and altering the color of the ocean surface over an area up to 2,500,000 km2 (970,000 sq mi) in extent. For centuries ships have reported fresh water near the Amazon's mouth yet well out of sight of land in what otherwise seemed to be the open ocean.[8]

The Atlantic has sufficient wave and tidal energy to carry most of the Amazon's sediments out to sea, thus the Amazon does not form a true delta. The great deltas of the world are all in relatively protected bodies of water, while the Amazon empties directly into the turbulent Atlantic.[5]

There is a natural water union between the Amazon and the Orinoco basins, the so-called Casiquiare canal. The Casiquiare is a river distributary of the upper Orinoco, which flows southward into the Rio Negro, which in turn flows into the Amazon. The Casiquiare is the largest river on earth that links two major river systems, a so-called bifurcation.


NASA satellite image of a flooded portion of the river

Not all of the Amazon's tributaries flood at the same time of the year. Many branches begin flooding in November and may continue to rise until June. The rise of the Rio Negro starts in February or March and begins to recede in June. The Madeira River rises and falls two months earlier than most of the rest of the Amazon.

The depth of the Amazon between Manacapuru and Óbidos has been calculated as between 20 to 26 metres (66 to 85 ft). At Manacapuru, the Amazon's water level is only about 24 metres (79 ft) above mean sea level. More than half of the water in the Amazon downstream of Manacapuru is below sea level.[38] In its lowermost section, the Amazon's depth averages 20 to 50 metres (66 to 164 ft), in some places as much as 100 metres (330 ft).[39]

The main river is navigable for large ocean steamers to Manaus, 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) upriver from the mouth. Smaller ocean vessels of 3,000 tons or 9,000 tons[40] and 5.5 metres (18 ft) draft can reach as far as Iquitos, Peru, 3,600 kilometres (2,200 mi) from the sea. Smaller riverboats can reach 780 kilometres (480 mi) higher as far as Achual Point. Beyond that, small boats frequently ascend to the Pongo de Manseriche, just above Achual Point.

Annual flooding occurs in late winter at high tide when the incoming waters of the Atlantic are funnelled into the Amazon delta. The resulting undular tidal bore is called the pororoca, with a leading wave that can be up to 25 feet (7.6 m) high and travel up to 500 miles (800 km) inland.[41][42]


Cichlid native to rivers of the Amazon basin

More than one-third of all known species in the world live in the Amazon rainforest,[43] a giant tropical forest and river basin with an area that stretches more than 5,400,000 square kilometres (2,100,000 sq mi). It is the richest tropical forest in the world in terms of biodiversity. There are over 3,000 species of fish currently recognized in the Amazon basin, with more being discovered every year.[44] In addition to the thousands of species of fish, the river supports crabs, algae, and turtles.


Along with the Orinoco, the Amazon is one of the main habitats of the boto, also known as the Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis). It is the largest species of river dolphin, and it can grow to lengths of up to 2.6 metres (8 ft 6 in). The color of its skin changes with age; young animals are gray, but become pink and then white as they mature. The dolphins use echolocation to navigate and hunt in the river's tricky depths.[45] The boto is the subject of a legend in Brazil about a dolphin that turns into a man and seduces maidens by the riverside.

The tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis), also a dolphin species, is found both in the rivers of the Amazon basin and in the coastal waters of South America. The Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis), also known as "seacow", is found in the northern Amazon River Basin and its tributaries. It is a mammal and a herbivore. Its population is limited to fresh water habitats, and, unlike other manatees, it does not venture into salt water. It is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The Amazon and its tributaries are the main habitat of the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). It is a member of the weasel family and is the largest of its kind. Because of habitat destruction and hunting, its population has dramatically decreased.


The anaconda is found in shallow waters in the Amazon basin. One of the world's largest species of snake, the anaconda spends most of its time in the water with just its nostrils above the surface. The caiman, which is related to alligators and other crocodilians, also inhabits the Amazon as do varieties of turtles.


Characins, such as the piranhaspecies, are prey for the giant otter, but these aggressive fish may also pose a danger to humans.

The Amazonian fish fauna is the center of diversity for neotropical fishes. 5,600 species are currently known, and approximately fifty new species are discovered each year.[46][47]:27 The arapaima, known in Brazil as the pirarucu, is a South American tropical freshwater fish, one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, with a length of up to 15 feet (4.6 m).[48] Another Amazonian freshwater fish is the arowana (or aruanã in Portuguese), such as the silver arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum), which is a predator and very similar to the arapaima, but only reaches a length of 120 centimetres (47 in). Also present in large numbers is the notorious piranha, an omnivorous fish that congregates in large schools and may attack livestock and even humans. There are approximately 30 to 60 species of piranha. However, only a few of its species are known to attack humans, most notably Pygocentrus nattereri, the red-bellied piranha. The candirú, native to the Amazon River, is a species of parasitic fresh water catfish in the family Trichomycteridae,[49] just one of more that 1200 species of catfish in the Amazon basin. Other catfish 'walk' overland on their ventral fins,[47]:27–29 while the kumakuma (Brachyplatystoma filamentosum), aka piraiba or "goliath catfish", can reach 3.6 metres (12 ft)in length and 200 kilograms (440 lb) in weight.[50] The electric eel(Electrophorus electricus) and more than 100 species of electric fishes (Gymnotiformes) inhabit the Amazon basin. River stingrays (Potamotrygonidae) are also known. The bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) has been reported 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) up the Amazon River at Iquitos in Peru.


Freshwater microbes are generally not very well known, even less so for a pristine ecosystem like the Amazon. Recently, metagenomics has provided answers to what kind of microbes inhabit the river.[51] The most important microbes in the Amazon River are ActinobacteriaAlphaproteobacteriaBetaproteobacteriaGammaproteobacteria and Crenarchaeota.


The Amazon River originated as a transcontinental river in the Miocene Epoch between 11.8 million and 11.3 million years ago and took its present shape approximately 2.4 million years ago.

The Amazon once flowed west as part of a proto-Amazon-Congo river system, from the interior of present-day Africa when the continents were joined as western Gondwana. Fifteen million years ago, the Andes were formed by the collision of the South American plate with the Nazca plate. The rise of the Andes and the linkage of the Brazilian and Guyana bedrock shields, blocked the river and caused the Amazon to become a vast inland sea. Gradually this inland sea became a massive swampy, freshwater lake and the marine inhabitants adapted to life in freshwater. For example, over 20 species of stingray, most closely related to those found in the Pacific Ocean, can be found today in the freshwaters of the Amazon.

Ten to eleven million years ago, waters worked through the sandstone from the west and the Amazon began to flow eastward, leading to the emergence of the Amazon rainforest. During Ice Ages, sea levels dropped and the great Amazon lake rapidly drained and became a river, which would eventually become the world's largest, draining the most extensive expanse of rainforest on the planet.[52]

Underground "river"[edit]

Main article: Hamza River

Scientists have discovered the longest underground "river" (actually a saline water aquifer) in the world, in Brazil. Water in the aquifer flows a distance of 6,000 kilometres (3,700 mi) at a depth of nearly 4,000 metres (13,000 ft). It flows from the Andean foothills to the Atlantic coast in a nearly west-to-east direction like the Amazon River. The discovery was made public in August 2011[53] meeting of the Brazilian Geophysical Society in Rio de Janeiro. The "river", named Hamza after the discoverer, an Indian-born scientist Valiya Hamzawho is working with the National Observatory at Rio, makes it the first and geologically unusual instance of a twin-river system flowing at different levels of the earth's crust in Brazil. A combination of seismic data and anomalous temperature variation with depth measured in 241 inactive oil wells helped locate the aquifer. Except for the flow direction, the Amazon and the Hamza have very different characteristics. The most obvious ones are their width and flow speed. While the Amazon is 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) to 100 kilometres (62 mi) wide, the Hamza is 200 kilometres (120 mi) to 400 kilometres (250 mi) in width. But the flow speed is 5 metres per second (16 ft/s) in the Amazon and less than 1 millimetre per second (0.039 in/s) speed in the Hamza.[53]

Several geological factors have played a vital role in the formation and existence of these subterranean water bodies. The large deep aquifer formed when the plate carrying the Pacific Ocean bottom was dragged and ends up under the continental plate.[citation needed]Water at such depths would normally escape upwards but the unusual conditions that exist along the eastern Pacific Rim allow the moisture to remain intact. In the case of the Hamza, the porous and permeable sedimentary rocks behave as conduits for the water to sink to greater depths. East-west trending faults and the karst topography present along the northern border of the Amazon basin may have some role in supplying water to the "river". If the impermeable rocks stop the vertical flow, the west to east gradient of the topography directs it to flow towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Unlike the Hamza, the 153 km-long underground river in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula[citation needed] and the 8.2 km-long Cabayugan River in the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in the Philippines have come into being thanks to the karst topography. Water in these places has dissolved the carbonate rock to form extensive underground river systems.

Major tributaries[edit]

The Amazon has over 1,100 tributaries, 12 of which are over 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) long.[54] Some of the more notable ones are:

Solimões, the section of the upper Amazon River

List by length[edit]

  1. 6,259 km (3,889 mi) to 6,992 km (4,345 mi) – Amazon, South America[55]
  2. 3,250 km (2,020 mi) – Madeira, Bolivia/Brazil[56]
  3. 3,211 km (1,995 mi) – Purús, Peru/Brazil[57]
  4. 2,820 km (1,750 mi) – Yapura, Colombia/Brazil[58]
  5. 2,639 km (1,640 mi) – Tocantins, Brazil[59]
    An aerial view of an Amazon tributary
  6. 2,627 km (1,632 mi) – Araguaia, Brazil (tributary of Tocantins)[60]
  7. 2,400 km (1,500 mi) – Juruá, Peru/Brazil[61]
  8. 2,250 km (1,400 mi) – Rio Negro, Brazil/Venezuela/Colombia[62]
  9. 1,992 km (1,238 mi) – Tapajós, Brazil[63]
  10. 1,979 km (1,230 mi) – Xingu, Brazil[64]
  11. 1,900 km (1,200 mi) – Ucayali River, Peru[65]
  12. 1,749 km (1,087 mi) – Guaporé, Brazil/Bolivia (tributary of Madeira)[66]
  13. 1,575 km (979 mi) – Içá (Putumayo), South America
  14. 1,415 km (879 mi) – Marañón, Peru
  15. 1,370 km (850 mi) – Teles Pires, Brazil (tributary of Tapajós)
  16. 1,300 km (810 mi) – Iriri, Brazil (tributary of Xingu)
  17. 1,240 km (770 mi) – Juruena, Brazil (tributary of Tapajós)
  18. 1,130 km (700 mi) – Madre de Dios, Peru/Bolivia (tributary of Madeira)
  19. 1,100 km (680 mi) – Huallaga, Peru (tributary of Marañón)

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up ^ Amazon River at GEOnet Names Server
  2. Jump up to: a b "Amazon River"Encyclopedia Britannica.
  3. Jump up ^ Seyler, Patrick; Laurence Maurice-Bourgoin; Jean Loup Guyot. "Hydrological Control on the Temporal Variability of Trace Element Concentration in the Amazon River and its Main Tributaries". Geological Survey of Brazil (CPRM). Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  4. Jump up to: a b James Contos; Nicholas Tripcevich (March 2014). "Correct placement of the most distant source of the Amazon River in the Mantaro River drainage". Area46 (1): 27–39. doi:10.1111/area.12069.
  5. Jump up to: a b Penn, James R. (2001). Rivers of the World. ABC-CLIO. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-57607-042-0.
  6. Jump up to: a b Moura, Rodrigo L.; Amado-Filho, Gilberto M.; Moraes, Fernando C.; Brasileiro, Poliana S.; Salomon, Paulo S.; Mahiques, Michel M.; Bastos, Alex C.; Almeida, Marcelo G.; Silva, Jomar M.; Araujo, Beatriz F.; Brito, Frederico P.; Rangel, Thiago P.; Oliveira, Braulio C. V.; Bahia, Ricardo G.; Paranhos, Rodolfo P.; Dias, Rodolfo J. S.; Siegle, Eduardo; Figueiredo, Alberto G.; Pereira, Renato C.; Leal, Camellia V.; Hajdu, Eduardo; Asp, Nils E.; Gregoracci, Gustavo B.; Neumann-Leitão, Sigrid; Yager, Patricia L.; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B.; Fróes, Adriana; Campeão, Mariana; Silva, Bruno S.; Moreira, Ana P. B.; Oliveira, Louisi; Soares, Ana C.; Araujo, Lais; Oliveira, Nara L.; Teixeira, João B.; Valle, Rogerio A. B.; Thompson, Cristiane C.; Rezende, Carlos E.; Thompson, Fabiano L. (April 1, 2016). "An extensive reef system at the Amazon River mouth"Science AdvancesAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science2 (4): e1501252. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1501252ISSN 2375-2548. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  7. Jump up ^ Tom Sterling: Der Amazonas. Time-Life Bücher 1979, 7th German Printing, p. 19
  8. Jump up to: a b Smith, Nigel J.H. (2003). Amazon Sweet Sea: Land, Life, and Water at the River's Mouth. University of Texas Press. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-0-292-77770-5.
  9. Jump up ^ Anna Roosevelt (1996). Silberman, Neil Asher, ed. The Oxford Companion to Archaeology (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 429–31. ISBN 978-0-19-973578-5.
  10. Jump up ^ Ellen Wohl "The Amazon: Rivers of Blushing Dolphins" in A World of Rivers. (Chicago: The University Chicago Press, 2011), 24-25
  11. Jump up ^ Ellen Wohl "The Amazon: Rivers of Blushing Dolphins" in A World of Rivers. (Chicago: The University Chicago Press, 2011), 25
  12. Jump up ^ Ellen Wohl "The Amazon: Rivers of Blushing Dolphins" in A World of Rivers. (Chicago: The University Chicago Press, 2011),25
  13. Jump up ^ Olson, James Stuart (1991). The Indians of Central and South America: an ethnohistorical dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 57–248. ISBN 0-313-26387-6.
  14. Jump up ^ Morison, Samuel (1974). The European Discovery of America: The Southern Voyages, 1492–1616. New York: Oxford University Press.
  15. Jump up ^ Francisco de Orellana Francisco de Orellana (Spanish explorer and soldier). Encyclopædia Britannica.
  16. Jump up ^ Graham, Devon. "A Brief History of Amazon Exploration". Project Amazonas. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  17. Jump up ^ "Charles-Marie de La Condamine (French naturalist and mathematician)"Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  18. Jump up ^ Renato Cancian. "Cabanagem (1835–1840): Uma das mais sangrentas rebeliões do período regencial"Universo OnlineLiçao de Casa (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2007.
  19. Jump up ^ "Sobre Escravos e Regatões" (pdf) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  20. Jump up ^ Historia del Peru, Editorial Lexus. p. 93.
  21. Jump up ^ La Republica Oligarquica. Editorial Lexus 2000 p. 925
  22. Jump up ^ Síntese de Indicadores Sociais 2000 (PDF) (in Portuguese). Manaus, Brazil: IBGE. 2000. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 31 January 2009.
  23. Jump up to: a b Hill, David. "More than 400 Dams Planned for the Amazon and Headwaters." The Guardian, May 06, 2014. Accessed March 30, 2016.
  24. Jump up ^ Ellen Wohl, "The Amazon: Rivers of Blushing Dolphins" in A World of Rivers (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011), 35.
  25. Jump up to: a b Fraser, Barbara. "Amazon Dams Keep the Lights On But Could Hurt Fish, Forests." National Geographic, April 19, 15
  26. Jump up ^ Ellen Wohl, "The Amazon: Rivers of Blushing Dolphins" in A World of Rivers (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011), 279.
  27. Jump up ^ "Source of the Amazon River Identificated (Jacek Palkiewicz)". 19 November 1999. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  28. Jump up ^ "Explorers Pinpoint Source of the Amazon (National Geographic News)". 21 December 2000. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  29. Jump up ^ "Amazon river 'longer than Nile'". BBC News. 16 June 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  30. Jump up to: a b "Studies from INPE indicate that the Amazon River is 140 km longer than the Nile". Brazilian National Institute for Space Research. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  31. Jump up ^
  32. Jump up to: a b Guo, Rongxing (2006). Territorial Disputes and Resource Management: A Global Handbook. Nova. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-60021-445-5.
  33. Jump up to: a b "Amazon River"Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Archived from the original on 9 September 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  34. Jump up ^ "Nile River"Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  35. Jump up ^ "Amazon Longer Than Nile River, Scientists Say". 28 October 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  36. Jump up to: a b "Amazon River and Flooded Forests"World Wide Fund for Nature. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  37. Jump up ^ Molinier et al.
  38. Jump up ^ Junk, Wolfgang J. (1997). The Central Amazon Floodplain: Ecology of a Pulsing System. Springer. p. 44. ISBN 978-3-540-59276-1.
  39. Jump up ^ Whitton, B.A. (1975). River Ecology. University of California Press. p. 462. ISBN 978-0-520-03016-9.
  40. Jump up ^ Amazon (river) (2007 ed.). Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  41. Jump up ^ Erickson, Jon (14 May 2014). Environmental Geology: Facing the Challenges of Our Changing Earth. Infobase Publishing. pp. 110–111. ISBN 9781438109633. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  42. Jump up ^ Lynch, David K. (1982). "Tidal Bores" (PDF)Scientific American. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  43. Jump up ^ "Amazon rainforest fact sheet". 15 December 2005. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  44. Jump up ^ Albert, J. S.; Reis, R. E., eds. (2011). Historical Biogeography of Neotropical Freshwater Fishes. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  45. Jump up ^ "Amazon River Dolphin". Rainforest Alliance. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  46. Jump up ^ James S. Albert; Roberto E. Reis (8 March 2011). Historical Biogeography of Neotropical Freshwater Fishes. University of California Press. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-520-26868-5. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  47. Jump up to: a b Wohl, Ellen (2011). A World of Rivers: Environmental Change on Then of the World's Great Rivers. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  48. Jump up ^ Megafishes Project to Size Up Real "Loch Ness Monsters"National Geographic.
  49. Jump up ^ "Candiru (fish)"Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  50. Jump up ^ Helfman, Gene S. (15 July 2007). Fish Conservation: A Guide to Understanding and Restoring Global Aquatic Biodiversity and Fishery Resources. Island Press. p. 31. ISBN 9781597267601. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  51. Jump up ^ Ghai R, Rodriguez-Valera F, McMahon KD, et al. (2011). "Metagenomics of the water column in the pristine upper course of the Amazon river"PLoS ONE6 (8): e23785. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023785PMC 3158796Freely accessiblePMID 21915244.
  52. Jump up ^ Figueiredo, J.; Hoorn, C.; van der Ven, P.; Soares, E. (2009). "Late Miocene onset of the Amazon River and the Amazon deep-sea fan: Evidence from the Foz do Amazonas Basin". Geology37 (7): 619–622. doi:10.1130/g25567a.1.
  53. Jump up to: a b "Massive River Found Flowing Beneath the Amazon". Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  54. Jump up ^ Tom Sterling: Der Amazonas. Time-Life Bücher 1979, 8th German Printing, p. 20
  55. Jump up ^ "Greatest River". Retrieved 26 June2015.
  56. Jump up ^ "Madeira (river)". Retrieved 13 February2011.
  57. Jump up ^ "Purus River: Information from". Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  58. Jump up ^ "Japura River (river, South America) – Encyclopædia Britannica"Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 13 February2011.
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  65. Jump up ^ "HowStuffWorks "The Ucayali River"". 30 March 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
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External links[edit]

Arraial do Cabo

Arraial do Cabo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Arraial do Cabo
Nickname(s): The Diving Capital [1]
Arraial do Cabo is located in Brazil
Arraial do Cabo
Arraial do Cabo
Coordinates: 22°57′57″S 42°01′40″WCoordinates22°57′57″S 42°01′40″W
Country Brazil
State Rio de Janeiro
First Settled 1503 [2]
Elevated to District January 28, 1924 [3]
Emancipated from Cabo Frio May 13, 1985 [4]
Founded by Amerigo Vespucci [4]
 • Mayor Wanderson Cardoso de Brito (PMDB)
 • Total 160.286 km2 (61.887 sq mi)
  Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 27,715
 • Estimate (2013) 28,627
 • Density 170/km2 (450/sq mi)
  Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics
Demonym(s) cabista
Time zone BRT (UTC-3)
 • Summer (DST) BRST (UTC-2)

Arraial do Cabo is a municipality located in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. Its population was 27,715 as of 2010 census and its total area is 160 square kilometres (62 sq mi). [3]

It was founded in 1503 by the conqueror Amerigo Vespucci. In 1960 a documentary film was made directed by Mário Carneiro and Paulo Cesar Saraceni about the local fishing industry.[6]

Its geography made Arraial do Cabo an important and dangerous point in the age of sail. Since the Portuguese Navy arrival (1503) until nineteenth century many shipwrecks occurred. Due to this fact (and other biological factors) Arraial do Cabo is well known as the "Dive Capital".

The municipality operates the Ilha do Cabo Frio Biological Reserve, a fully protected conservation unit on an Atlantic island in the south east of the municipality.[7] It contains the 56,769 hectares (140,280 acres) Arraial do Cabo Marine Extractive Reserve, created in 1997.[8]


[hide]Climate data for Arraial do Cabo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 34.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 28.5
Average low °C (°F) 22.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 78.2
Average relative humidity (%) 82 82 82 80 81 81 80 81 81 82 82 82 81.3


  1. Jump up ^ "Arraial do Cabo City Hall Website (in Portuguese)". Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  2. Jump up ^ "Cabo Frio City history - part one(in Portuguese)" (PDF). Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  3. Jump up to: a b c d "Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics Website". Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  4. Jump up to: a b "City history at City Hall website (in Portuguese)". Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  5. Jump up ^ "Mayor's page at City Hall website (in Portuguese)". Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  6. Jump up ^ Arraial do Cabo, film by Mário Carneiro and Paulo Cesar Saraceni on YouTube
  7. Jump up ^ Unidades de Conservação da Região dos Lagos (PDF) (in Portuguese), Petrobras, retrieved 2016-04-26
  8. Jump up ^ RESEX Marinha do Arraial do Cabo (in Portuguese), ISA: Instituto Socioambiental, retrieved 2016-09-13
  9. Jump up ^ "". Retrieved December 28, 2012.


Armação dos Búzios

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A view of Praia dos Ossos, from Sant'Anna Chapel.

Armação dos Búzios (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˌahmaˈsɐ̃w duʒ ˈbuːzjui̯ʃ]), often referred to as just Búzios, is a resort town and a municipality located in the state of Rio de JaneiroBrazil. In 2012, its population consisted of 23,463 inhabitants and its area of 69 km². Today, Búzios is a popular getaway from the city and a worldwide tourist site, especially among Brazilians and Argentinians.

In the early 1900s Búzios was popular with the Carioca’s high society, who wanted to escape from the chaotic city life of Rio de Janeiro and enjoy over 23 beaches that the peninsula offers. But it wasn’t until 1964, when the French actress Brigitte Bardot visited Búzios, that it grew to be a popular international tourist destination.

Today, the peninsula is a travelling site that offers calmness, direct contact with nature and scenic views. The west coast beaches offer calm, clear waters while the east coast ones, facing the open sea, are more wild and draw surfers and water sports enthusiasts. Azeda, Ferradura, João Fernandes and Armação are amongst the most popular beaches in town. At night, Rua das Pedras, Buzios' main street, offers its visitors an active nightlife and a great variety of shopping and restaurants.




During the 16th century, the Tupinambá Indians occupied the area, which is now known as Búzios. During the 17th century, the Europeans invaded what was then a small village and as a result, the Tupinambá developed strict relationships with the French pirates and smugglers, who were interested in smuggling pau-brasil (famous Brazilian reddish wood) and selling African Slaves.[1] Eventually the French were expelled by the Portuguese due to their bloody disputes with the Tupinambás, which resulted in a significant decrease in the Indian population in that region.

Statue of Brigitte Bardot in Búzios.

In the 18th century, the gold trade from Minas Gerais and its exportation to Europe from Rio de Janeiro attracted many ships to the Guanabara Bay. Additionally the increasing number of ships along the city’s coast brought close attention to the whale hunting practice that took place in that area. The name “Armação dos Búzios”, for instance, comes from the process of separating the meat from the bones. In addition, a famous beach in Búzios called “Praia dos Ossos” was named after the great amount of whales’ bones found along the shore. Another curious fact about this practice at the time was that the city lights were fueled with whale oil, and the famous Sant’Ana Chapel located on the top of a hill between Praia dos Ossos and Praia da Armação, was built with rocks and whale oil as well.[2]

Around 1850 when slave trade was abolished in Brazil, Búzios was able to establish itself as a city that cultivated agricultural and fishing habits, instead of being just a smuggling, slave-trading and whale-hunting site. With time, the once European dominated city, shifted into a community composed by a mix of native descendants, blacks and interracial citizens. In 1940, Antonio Alipio da Silva was the first political representative to initiate a political life in Búzios.[3] As a consequence, the small town started to grow and attract a greater variety of people. During the mid 1900s, Búzios was already known to Rio’s high society, as it was a relatively reserved beach getaway from the chaotic urban life. However, it was only around 1964, when Brigitte Bardot visited the small town, that Búzios actually became well known.

Brigitte Bardot[edit]

Brigitte Bardot was a famous French actress in the 1960s that decided to go to Rio with her Brazilian boyfriend, Bob Zagury. However, due to the intense amount of paparazzi following them, Bob took his girlfriend to Búzios in order to enjoy the rest of their trip at a quieter and more exclusive site. At the time, the small town had no electricity and life there was quite bucolic yet it was the simplicity of the place, in conjunction with the peninsula’s natural beauty, that made Brigitte Bardot declare her admiration. Inevitably, Búzios became a global spotlight and although other stars like Mick Jagger and Madonna followed her path, none left as much of an impression as Bardot.[4] The place where she stayed in Búzios for the first time is now a small hotel, known as Pousada do Sol. The strip of land that connects Praia da Armação with the most famous street in town, Rua das Pedras, was named after her, Orla Bardot. She was also honored along the oceanfront path with a bronze statue made by Christina Motta.[5] The final tribute is the only cinema in the balneary named after her: Gran Cine Bardot. Inside, there are many pictures of famous actors and actresses, including Brigitte’s picture and signature, which hangs on a distinctive wall.

Main sights[edit]


Armação dos Búzios.

Armação dos Búzios is located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in an area known as Região dos Lagos. The peninsula of 8 kilometers in extension features 23 beaches: Geribá, Tartaruga, João Fernandes, João Fernandinho, Ferradura, Ferradurinha, Azeda, Azedinha, Ossos, Manguinhos, Tucuns, Brava, Amores, Armação, Forno, Foca, Olho de Boi, Caravelas, José Gonçalves, Virgens, Canto, Rasa, Moças.[7]


Búzios has a tropical climate and temperatures in the southern hemisphere tend to vary between 30°C during the months of November and February, and the mid-20s from May to September.[8] Ocean breezes are common all year round.

When to visit[edit]

In order to avoid crowds, it is better to visit Búzios off-season, which starts from March (or after the Carnaval season) to June and from September to November.[9]


Búzios is served by Umberto Modiano Airport which operates flights of general aviation.


Praia do centro beach.

Common outdoor activities include snorkeling, scuba diving, tanning or lying in the sun, and beach hopping on aqua taxi or buggies. As for nightlife activities, Rua das Pedras is the place to go. Literally translated as “Stone Street”, the cobblestone pathway is the center of the city life, featuring a large variety of stores, restaurants, clubs, bars and art galleries.

Some of the most famous restaurants include Chez Michou, the busiest place to eat French-style crepes and drink caipirinhas in town; Satyricon, considered to be one of the fanciest restaurant in Búzios, specialized in sea food; Pizzeria Capricciosa, located side-by-side with Satyricon yet specialized in Italian food. Last but not least, is the relatively new restaurant Sollar, located in the beginning of the Orla Bardot, which features the renowned Italian chef Danio Braga. Nightlife in Búzios is a must, and the most famous clubs/bars are: The House of Rock and Roll, Privilège, Pacha, Anexo and Zapata. In terms of what to wear, women are usually dressed in flat sandals due to the difficulty to walk on the cobblestone streets.

In terms of shopping, Rua das Pedras is the place to go. There you can find the best stores in Rio such as Animale, Richards, Osklen, Oh Boy!, Maria Filó, Lacoste, Farm, Eclectic and Havainas. For Beachwear, the best stores are: Salinas, Lenny Niemeyer, Banco de Areia, Bum Bum and Água de Coco.[10]


  1. Jump up ^ About Buzios." El Misti. 04 Mar. 2013. <>
  2. Jump up ^ About Buzios." El Misti. 04 Mar. 2013. <>
  3. Jump up ^ A Colonização De Búzios." A Colonização De Búzios.16 Mar. 2013. <"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2013-03-26.>
  4. Jump up ^ Farquhar, Stephen. "And Bardot Created Búzios." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 24 Sept. 2004. Web. 05 Mar. 2013. <>
  5. Jump up ^ "Buzios Online." Practical Information. 04 Mar. 2013. <>
  6. Jump up ^ Igrejas de Búzios - Capela de Nossa Senhora Desatadora de Nós - (Rio de Janeiro Aqui, 08. Nov. 2014)
  7. Jump up ^ "Praias Buzios: Praias Em Buzios." Buzios.Travel. 13 Mar. 2013. <>
  8. Jump up ^ "Buzios Travel Guides." 22 Mar. 2013. <>
  9. Jump up ^ Stellin, Susan. "Búzios, Rio's Playground In the Sun." The New York Times. The New York Times, 03 Aug. 2003. Web. 05 Mar. 2013. <>
  10. Jump up ^ "Escape to Buzios." Departures. 05 Mar. 2013. <>


External links[edit]

Canoa Quebrada

Canoa Quebrada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Canoa Quebrada (meaning broken canoe in Portuguese), known as the pearl of the east coast of CearáBrazil, is an international tourist beach resort 164 km from Fortaleza, in the municipality of Aracati.

This small fishing village, among dunes and cliffs, has good views and is becoming popular with tourists. The main street of Canoa, where most accommodation, restaurants and shops are concentrated, is popularly known as 'Broadway, although it's real name is "Rua Dragão do Mar" in honor of Francisco José do Nascimento, a hero of the abolitionist movement in Ceará, who in 1881 refused to transport slaves to be sold further south in the country.

The Tourism Authority of Ceará rates Canoa Quebrada as the most important tourist attraction of the state, after Fortaleza.

Tourist activities include outdoor activities such as excursions in dune buggies, horse riding, sailing in a 'jangada' boat, mountain biking, sandboarding, kitesurfing and windsurfing*.[1]

The location is served by Dragão do Mar Airport, located near Aracati.




The region’s climate is semi-arid. The average annual temperature is around 27 °C – with an average annual high of 38 °C, and a low of 21 °C. The sun is present almost all year long, with rain usually only between March and May.

City details[edit]

  • State: Ceará
  • Region: Northeast
  • Population: 65.292 inhabitants (District of Aracati)
  • AREA CODE: (88)


  • Fortaleza: 167 km (104 mi)
  • Russas: 80 km (50 mi)
  • Mossoró: 90 km (56 mi)
  • Rio de Janeiro: 2,732 km (1,698 mi)
  • São Paulo: 3,033 km (1,885 mi)


[2] [3] [4]

External links[edit]

Coordinates4°31′42″S 37°41′34″W


Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fernando de Noronha Archipelago
Native nameArquipélago de Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha - Pernambuco - Brasil(5).jpg
Do Meio and Conceição beaches
Amphisbaena ridleyi distribution.png
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 3°51′13.71″S32°25′25.63″WCoordinates3°51′13.71″S 32°25′25.63″W
Archipelago Arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha
Total islands 21
Major islands Fernando de Noronha; Ilha Rata; Ilha do Meio; Ilha Sela Gineta; Ilha Rasa
Area 26 km2 (10 sq mi)
Length 10 km (6 mi)
(Fernando de Noronha Island)
Width 3.5 km (2.17 mi)
(Fernando de Noronha Island)
Highest elevation 323 m (1,060 ft)
Highest point Morro do Pico
Region Northeast
State Pernambuco
Largest settlement Vila dos Remédios
Population 2,718[1] (2012)
Additional information
Official website
Official name Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves
Type Natural
Criteria vii, ix, x
Designated 2001 (25th session)
Reference no. 1000
State Party Brazil
Region Latin America and the Caribbean

Fernando de Noronha (Portuguese pronunciation: [feʁˈnɐ̃du d(ʒ)i noˈɾoɲɐ]) is an archipelago of 21 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, 354 km (220 mi) offshore from the Brazilian coast. The archipelago got its name from the Portuguese merchant Fernão de Noronha, to whom it was given by the Portuguese crown for services rendered regarding wood imported from Brazil. The main island has an area of 18.4 km2 (7.1 sq mi) and had a population estimated at 2,718 in 2012.[1] The area is a special municipality (distrito estadual) of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco (despite being closer to the state of Rio Grande do Norte),[2] with about 70% established in 1988 as a national maritime park.

In 2001 UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site because of the importance of its environment. Its timezone is UTC-02:00 all year round. The local population and travellers can get to Noronha by plane or cruise from Recife,[3] 545 km (339 mi). An environmental preservation fee is charged from tourists upon arrival by Ibama (Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources).





The islands of this archipelago are the visible parts of a range of submerged mountains. It consists of 21 islands, islets and rocks of volcanic origin. The main island has an area of 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi), being 10 km (6.2 mi) long and 3.5 km (2.2 mi) wide at its maximum. The base of this enormous volcanic formation is 756 metres (2,480 ft) below the surface. The volcanic rocks are of variable though mainly silica-undersaturated character with basanitenephelinite and phonolite among the lava types found.[4] The main island, from which the group gets its name, makes up 91% of the total area; the islands of Rata, Sela Gineta, Cabeluda and São José, together with the islets of Leão and Viúva make up the rest. The central upland of the main island is called the Quixaba.[5]


The United Nations Environment Programme lists 15 possible endemic plant species, including species of the genera Capparis noronhae (2 species), Ceratosanthes noronhae (3 species), Cayaponia noronhae (2 species), Moriordica noronhae, Cereus noronhaePalicourea noronhaeGuettarda noronhaeBumelia noronhaePhysalis noronhae, and Ficus noronhae.[6]


The islands have two endemic birds — the Noronha elaenia (Elaenia ridleyana) and the Noronha vireo (Vireo gracilirostris). Both are present on the main island; Noronha vireo is also present on Ilha Rata. In addition there is an endemic race of eared dove Zenaida auriculata noronha. Subfossil remains of an extinct endemic rail have also been found.[7] The archipelago is also an important site for breeding seabirds. An endemic sigmodontinerodent, Noronhomys vespuccii, mentioned by Amerigo Vespucci, is now extinct.[8] The islands have two endemic reptiles, Amphisbaena ridleyi and Trachylepis atlantica.[9]

Marine life[edit]

The life above and below sea is the main attraction of the island. Sea turtlescetaceans (most common among these are spinner dolphins and humpback whales, followed by many others such as Pantropical spotted dolphinsShort-finned pilot whalesMelon-headed whales[10]), albatrosses and many other species are frequently observed.


The climate is tropical, with two well-defined seasons for rainfall, if not temperature. The rainy season lasts from February to July; the rest of the year sees little rain. The temperature ranges, both diurnal and monthly, are unusually slight.[11]

[hide]Climate data for Fernando de Noronha (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 27
Average low °C (°F) 24.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 63.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 250.6 209.3 189.5 238.8 208.4 222.5 224.7 260.2 265 285.3 281.5 271.2 2,907
Source: Climate Charts/NOAA.[12][13]



The main island.

Many controversies mark the discovery of the archipelago by Europeans. At least three names – São LourençoSão João, and Quaresma – have been associated with the island around the time of its discovery.[citation needed]

Based on the written record, Fernando de Noronha island was discovered on August 10, 1503, by a Portuguese expedition, organized and financed by a private commercial consortium headed by the Lisbon merchant Fernão de Loronha. The expedition was under the overall command of captain Gonçalo Coelho and carried the Italian adventurer Amerigo Vespucci aboard, who wrote an account of it.[14] The flagship of the expedition hit a reef and foundered near the island, and the crew and contents had to be salvaged. On Coelho's orders, Vespucci anchored at the island, and spent a week there, while the rest of the Coelho fleet went on south. In his letter to Soderini, Vespucci describes the uninhabited island and reports its name as the "island of St. Lawrence" (August 10 is the feast day of St. Lawrence; it was a custom of Portuguese explorations to name locations by the liturgical calendar).[citation needed]

Its existence was reported back to Lisbon sometime between then and January 16, 1504, when King Manuel I of Portugal issued a charter granting the "island of St. John" (São João) as a hereditary captaincy to Fernão de Loronha.[15] The date and new name in the charter has presented historians with a puzzle. As Vespucci did not return to Lisbon until September, 1504, the discovery must have been earlier. Historians have hypothesized that a stray ship of the Coelho fleet, under an unknown captain, may have returned to the island (prob. on August 29, 1503, feast day of the beheading of St. John the Baptist) to collect Vespucci, did not find him or anyone else there, and went back to Lisbon by himself with the news.[16] (Vespucci in his letter, claims he left the island August 18, 1503, and upon his arrival in Lisbon a year later, on September 7, 1504, the people of Lisbon were surprised, as they "had been told" (presumably by the earlier captain?) that his ship had been lost.)[17] The captain who returned to Lisbon with the news (and the St. John name) is unknown. (some have speculated this captain was Loronha himself, the chief financier of this expedition, but that is highly unlikely.)

Detail from the 1502 Cantino planisphere, showing the island of "Quaresma" (Fernando de Noronha?) off the Brazilian coast.

This account, reconstructed from the written record, is severely marred by the cartographic record. An island, named Quaresma, looking very much like Fernando de Noronha island, appears in the Cantino planisphere. The Cantino map was composed by an anonymous Portuguese cartographer, and completed before November 1502, well before the Coelho expedition even set out. This has led to speculation that the island was discovered by a previous expedition. However, there is no consensus on which expedition that might have been. The name, "Quaresma" means Lent, suggesting it must have been discovered in March or early April, which does not correspond well with the known expeditions. There is also a mysterious red island to the left of Quaresma in the Cantino map that does not fit with Fernando de Noronha island. Some have explained these anomalies away by reading quaresma as anaresma(meaning unknown, but sidesteps the Lent timing),[18] and proposing that the red island is just an accidental inkblot.[19]

Assuming Quaresma is indeed Fernando de Noronha, then who discovered it? One proposal is that it was discovered by a royal Portuguese mapping expedition that was sent out in May, 1501, commanded by an unknown captain (possibly André Gonçalves) and also accompanied by Amerigo Vespucci.[20] According to Vespucci, this expedition returned to Lisbon in September 1502, just on time to influence the final composition of the Cantino map. Unfortunately, Vespucci does not report discovering this island then – indeed he is quite clear that the first time he (and his fellow sailors) saw the island was on the 1503 Coelho expedition. However, there is a letter written by an Italian saying that a ship arrived "from the land of Parrots" in Lisbon on July 22, 1502 (three months before Vespucci).[21] This could be a stray ship from the mapping expedition that returned prematurely, or another expedition altogether, about which we have no information.[22] The timing of its reputed arrival (July 1502), makes it possible that it stumbled on the island sometime in March 1502, on the homeward voyage, well within Lent.[citation needed]

A third possible (but unlikely) theory is that the island was discovered already in 1500, shortly after the discovery of Brazil by the Second India Armada under Pedro Alvares Cabral. After his brief landfall at Porto Seguro, Cabral dispatched a supply ship under either Gaspar de Lemos or André Gonçalves (sources conflict) back to Lisbon, to report the discovery. This returning supply ship would have returned north along the Brazilian coast and might have come across Fernando de Noronha island, and reported its existence in Lisbon by July 1500.[23] However, this contradicts the Quaresma name, since the returning supply ship was sailing well after Lent.

A fourth (but also unlikely) possibility is that it was discovered by the Third India Armada of João da Nova, which set out from Lisbon in March or April 1501, and arrived back in September 1502, also in time to influence the Cantino map. Chronicler Gaspar Correia asserts that on the outward voyage, the Third Armada made a stop on the Brazilian coast around Cape Santo Agostinho.[24] Two other chroniclers (João de Barros and Damião de Góis) do not mention a landfall, but do report they discovered an island (which they believe to be identified as Ascension island, but this is not certain).[25] So it is possible that the Third Armada may indeed have discovered Fernando de Noronha island on their outward leg. However, the timing is very tight: Easter landed on April 11, 1501, while the estimated departure date of the Third Armada from Lisbon ranges from March 5 to April 15, not leaving enough time to reach those environs within Lent.

As a result of these anomalies, some modern historians have proposed that Fernando de Noronha is not depicted on the 1502 Cantino map at all. Instead, they have proposed that Quaresma island and the accompanying red "inkblot" are in fact the Rocas Atoll, slightly misplaced on the map. This reserves the discovery of Fernando de Noronha island itself as indeed on August 10, 1503, by the Gonçalo Coelho expedition, as originally reported by Vespucci.[26]

The transition of the name from "São João" to "Fernando de Noronha" was probably just natural usage. A royal letter dated May 20, 1559, to descendants of the Loronha family, still refers to the island by its official name of ilha de São João.,[27] but already in other places, e.g. the logbook of Martim Afonso de Sousa in the 1530s, it was referred to as the "island of Fernão de Noronha" ("Noronha" being a common misspelling of "Loronha"). The informal name eventually displaced the official name.


Ruins of Fort Santana

The Lisbon merchant Fernão de Loronha held not only Fernando de Noronha island as a hereditary captaincy but also (from 1503 to around 1512) a commercial monopoly on trade in Brazil. Between 1503 and 1512, Noronha's agents set up a string of warehouses (feitorias) along the Brazilian coast, and engaged in trade with the indigenous peoples in Brazil for brazilwood, a native red dye wood highly valued by European clothmakers. Fernando de Noronha island was the central collection point of this network. Brazilwood, continuously harvested by the coastal Indians and delivered to the various coastal warehouses, was shipped to the central warehouse on Fernando de Noronha island, which was intermittently visited by a larger transport ship that would carry the collected loads back to Europe. After the expiration of Loronha's commercial charter in 1512, the organization of the brazilwood enterprise was taken over by the Portuguese crown, but Loronha and his descendents retained private ownership of Fernando de Noronha island itself as a hereditary captaincy, at least down to the 1560s.


Captain Henry Foster stopped at Fernando de Noronha during his scientific survey expedition as commander of HMS Chanticleer, which had set out in 1828. As well as surveying coasts and ocean currents, Foster used a Kater invariable pendulum to make observations on gravity.[28] He took the island as the point of junction of his double line of longitudes setting out his survey. He was given considerable assistance by the Governor of Fernando Noronha who let Foster use part of his own house for the pendulum experiments.[29] The longitude of Rio de Janeiro taken by Foster was among those on one side of a significant discrepancy, which meant that the charts of South America were in doubt.

To resolve this, the Admiralty instructed Captain Robert FitzRoy to command HMS Beagle on a survey expedition. One of its essential tasks was a stop at Fernando Noronha to confirm its exact longitude, using the 22 chronometers on board the ship to give the precise time of observations.[29] They arrived at the island in the late evening of 19 February 1832, anchoring at midnight. On 20 February FizRoy landed a small party to take the observations, despite difficulties caused by heavy surf, then sailed on for BahiaBrazil that evening.[30]

During the day, the island was visited by the naturalist Charles Darwin, who was one of the Beagle's passengers. He took notes for his book on geology. He wrote about admiring the woods:

"The whole island is one forest, & this is so thickly intertwined that it requires great exertion to crawl along. — The scenery was very beautiful, & large Magnolias & Laurels & trees covered with delicate flowers ought to have satisfied me. — But I am sure all the grandeur of the Tropics has not yet been seen by me. — We had no gaudy birds, No humming birds. No large flowers".[31]

His experiences on Fernando de Noronha were recorded in his journal, later published as The Voyage of the Beagle.[32] He also included a short description of the island in his 1844 Geological Observations on the Volcanic Islands visited during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle.[33]

The island was also used as a penal colony in the 19th century.[34]


Island prisoners in 1930.
Fernando de Noronha Insel - Baia do Sancho

In the late 18th century, the first prisoners were sent to Fernando de Noronha. A prison was built. In 1897 the government of the state of Pernambuco took possession of the prison.[35] Between 1938 and 1945, Fernando de Noronha was a political prison. The former governor of Pernambuco, Miguel Arraes, was incarcerated there. In 1957 the prison was closed and the archipelago was visited by President Juscelino Kubitschek.[36]

At the beginning of the 20th century, the British arrived to provide technical cooperation in telegraphy (The South American Company). Later the French came with the French Cable[37] and the Italians with Italcable.[38]

In 1942, during World War II, the archipelago was made a Federal territory, which included Rocas Atoll and Saint Peter and Paul Rocks. The government‐sent political and ordinary prisoners to the local prison.[citation needed]

An airport was constructed in September 1942 by the United States Army Air Forces Air Transport Command for the Natal-Dakar air route. It provided a transoceanic link between Brazil and French West Africa for cargo, transiting aircraft and personnel during the Allies campaign in Africa. Brazil transferred the airport to the jurisdiction of the United States Navy on 5 September 1944.[39] After the end of the war, the administration of the airport was transferred back to the Brazilian Government. Fernando de Noronha Airport is served by daily flights from Recife and Natal on the Brazilian coast.

In 1988, Brazil designated approximately 70% of the archipelago as a maritime national park, with the goal of preserving the land and sea environment. On October 5, 1988, the Federal Territory was dissolved and added to the state of Pernambuco (except Rocas Atoll, which was added to the state of Rio Grande do Norte).

Today Fernando de Noronha's economy depends on tourism, restricted by the limitations of its delicate ecosystem. In addition to the historical interest noted above, the archipelago has been the subject of the attention of various scientists dedicated to the study of its florafaunageology, etc. The jurisdiction is considered to be a separate "entity" by the DX Century Club, and so is visited rather often by amateur radio operators.[citation needed]

In 2001, UNESCO declared Fernando de Noronha, with Rocas Atoll, a World Heritage Site. It cited the following reasons:

a) the island's importance as a feeding ground for several species, including tunabillfish, cetaceans, sharks, and marine turtles,
b) a high population of resident spinner dolphins and
c) protection for endangered species, such as the hawksbill sea turtle (critically endangered) and various birds.[40]

In 2009, Air France Flight 447 disappeared off the northeast coast of Brazil. It was presumed to have crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Fernando de Noronha. Rescue and recovery operations were launched from this island.

Conservation and environmental threats[edit]

Most of the original vegetation was cut down in the 19th century, when the island was used as a prison, to keep the prisoners from hiding and making rafts.[citation needed]

Also, exotic species have been introduced:

  • Linseed, intended for use as cattle feed.[citation needed]
  • Tegu lizards (Tupinambis merianae, locally known as teju) introduced in the 1950s to control a rat infestation. Ironically, that did not work out, because Tegus are diurnal and rats, nocturnal. Now the lizards themselves are considered a plague, feeding mostly on bird eggs.[41]
  • Rock cavies (Kerodon rupestris, locally known as mocó) introduced by the military in the 1960s as hunting game for soldiers.[42]
  • Domestic cats, introduced as pets, now they spread throughout the whole island and several acquired a feral status, surviving only by preying on native birds, rock cavies and synanthropic rodents.

From these, the domestic cat and the tegu lizard have become invasive.

The island is divided between the Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park and the Fernando de Noronha Environmental Protection Area. The latter covers the urban, tourist area.[43]


Tourism including dolphin watching, diving and charter fishing comprise the majority of the island’s economy.

Economic indicators[edit]

HDI (2000) Population (2012) GDP (2007) % PE GDP pc Hostels/pousadas beds (2006)
0.862 2,718 R$20,901,000 0.034% R$7,462 1,492

The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha in 2005 had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of R$22,802,000 and a per capita income of R$10,001. The Human Development Index (HDI) district's state was estimated at 0.862 (PNUD/2000). The only banking center in the archipelago is a branch of Banco Santander Brasil. There are one or two additional ATMs around the main island.


Praia do Cachorro

The beaches of Fernando de Noronha are promoted for tourism and recreational diving. The most popular ones include Baía do Sancho, Pig Bay, Dolphins Bay, Sueste Bay and Praia do Leão. Due to the South Equatorial Current that pushes warm water from Africa to the island, diving to depths of 30 to 40 metres (98 to 131 ft) does not require a wetsuit. The visibility underwater can reach up to 50 metres (160 ft).

The island is served by Gov. Carlos Wilson Airport with regular flights to Natal and Recife.



  1. Jump up to: a b IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics)(2012). "IBGE - Cidades - Pernambuco - Fernando de Noronha - Estimativa da População - 2012" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  2. Jump up ^ "Fernando de Noronha - Transfer Aeroporto Porto de Galinhas, Locação de Veículos e Buggys, Passeios, Transfer em Van, Zafira, Dobló". Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  3. Jump up ^ "Fernando de Noronha - Pimentel lamenta suspensão de cruzeiro - Assembleia Legislativa do Estado de Pernambuco". Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  4. Jump up ^ Geochemistry of the alkaline volcanic-subvolcanic rocks of the Fernando de Noronha Archiapelago, southern Atlantic Ocean
  5. Jump up ^ Carlos Secchin, Clóvis Barreira e Castro, Arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha, 2nd ed. 1991.
  6. Jump up ^ Fernando de Noronha, Islands of Brazil, UN System-wide Earthwatch
  7. Jump up ^ Sazima, I. and Haemig, P.D. 2012. Birds, Mammals and Reptiles of Fernando de Noronha. Ecology.Info 17.
  8. Jump up ^ Carleton, M.D. and Olson, S.L. 1999. Amerigo Vespucci and the rat of Fernando de Noronha: a new genus and species of Rodentia (Muridae, Sigmodontinae) from a volcanic island off Brazil's continental shelf. American Museum Novitates 3256:1–59.
  9. Jump up ^ Mausfeld, P., Schmitz, A., Böhme, W., Misof, B., Vrcibradic, D. and Duarte, C.F. 2002. Phylogenetic affinities of Mabuya atlantica Schmidt, 1945, endemic to the Atlantic Ocean archipelago of Fernando de Noronha (Brazil): Necessity of partitioning the genus Mabuya Fitzinger, 1826 (Scincidae: Lygosominae). Zoologischer Anzeiger 241:281–293.
  10. Jump up ^
  11. Jump up ^ Fernando de Noronha. "Clima em Fernando de Noronha". Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  12. Jump up ^ "Fernando De Noronha, Brazil: Climate, Global Warming, and Daylight Charts and Data". Climate Charts. 1961–1990. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  13. Jump up ^ "Climate Statistics for Fernando de Noronha, Brazil 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 1961–1990. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  14. Jump up ^ The Coelho expedition is also known as the "Fourth Voyage" of Vespucci, and is related in the letter of Amerigo Vespucci to Piero Soderinic. 1504–05. See the English translation of the account in Letter to Soderini
  15. Jump up ^ An actual copy of this charter has never been found. Its contents and date, however, are summarized in a royal letter of March 3, 1522 confirming it, and yet another royal letter of May 20, 1559, identifying the location of São João precisely as Fernando de Noronha island. See Duarte Leite (1923: p.276–278) and Roukema (1963: p.21).
  16. Jump up ^ Roukema (1963: p.22)
  17. Jump up ^ Roukema (1963: p.21)
  18. Jump up ^ For an early reading of Quaresma as "Anaresma", see Henry Harrisse (1891) The Discovery of North America (1961 ed., p.319) and Orville Derby (1902) "Os mappas mais antigos do Brasil", Revista do Instituto Historico e Geografico de São Paulo, vol. 7, p.244. This reading was insisted upon later by historian Marcondes de Sousa (1949) Américo Vespúcio e suas viagens (São Paulo). It provoked a brief and surprisingly bitter controversy with other historians, e.g. Damião Peres, Duarte Leite.
  19. Jump up ^ The inkblot theory was suggested by Duarte Leite (1923: p.275–278).
  20. Jump up ^ The 1501 mapping expedition is also known as the "Third Voyage" of Amerigo Vespucci (and his first under the Portuguese flag). Amerigo Vespucci relates the account of this expedition twice - first in a letter to Lorenzo Pietro Francesco di Medici, written in early 1503 (see (account) in Letter do Medici), and then again in his letters to Piero Soderini, written 1504-05 ([account] in Letter to Soderini). In his account, Vespucci does not mention the name of the captain of this 1501 mapping expedition, and his identity has been widely speculated. The 16th-century chronicler Gaspar Correiasuggests it was André Gonçalves (Lendas da Indiap.152). Greenlee (1945) reviews various possible names – and settles on the conjecture that it might be Fernão de Loronha himself (a hypothesis also suggested by Duarte Leite (1923)). But this is strongly disputed by other authors, e.g. Roukema (1963). It would be highly unlikely a prominent and wealthy merchant like Loronha would absent his businesses to go personally command vessels himself. Loronha's support (if any) to the mapping expedition was probably limited to financing.
  21. Jump up ^ This letter was written by Venetian emissary Pascualigo on October 12, 1502, and is quoted in the diary of Marino Sanuto. See Greenlee (1945: p.11n) and Roukema (1963:p.19).
  22. Jump up ^ Roukema (1963) accepts the hypothesis of a unrecorded separate expedition in 1501 - and that this might be the one led by André Gonçalves. However, Greenlee (1945) rejects the unrecorded expedition theory, deeming it superfluous, and instead embraces the stray ship theory (and that this stray ship was precisely the flagship personally commanded by Fernão de Loronha).
  23. Jump up ^ Roukema (1963) rejects this theory.
  24. Jump up ^ Gaspar Correia, Lendas da India (p.235)
  25. Jump up ^ João de Barros, Decadas da Asia, vol.1, p.466; Damião de Góis, Chronica de D.Manuelp.84. See Roukema (1963) on the possible problems of identifying the island discovered by the Third Armada on its outward leg as Ascension island.
  26. Jump up ^ Roukema (1963: p.19-22). Roukema concludes that it was the Rocas atoll that was discovered by the returning stray ship/unrecorded expedition on March 16, 1502, well within Lent.
  27. Jump up ^ Duarte Leite (1923: p.276–278)
  28. Jump up ^ "Image of 'sketches of the island of fernando noronha', south atlantic, 1828-1831."Science Museum. Science & Society Picture Library. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  29. Jump up to: a b FitzRoy, R. (1839) Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836, London: Henry Colburn, pp. 24–26.
  30. Jump up ^ FitzRoy, R. (1839) Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836, London: Henry Colburn, pp. 58–60.
  31. Jump up ^ Keynes, R. D. ed. (2001) Charles Darwin's Beagle diary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 39.
  32. Jump up ^ Darwin, C. R. (1839) Journal and remarks. 1832-1836. London: Henry Colburn, 10–11.
  33. Jump up ^ Darwin, C. R. (1844) Geological observations on the volcanic islands visited during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, London: Smith Elder and Co., pp. 23–24.
  34. Jump up ^ Clare Anderson, (2015), Convicts, Collecting and Knowledge Production in the Nineteenth Century[1]
  35. Jump up ^ Noronha História
  36. Jump up ^ Fernando de Noronha: História da ilha remete ao inferno e ao paraíso
  37. Jump up ^ History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications, French cable companies
  38. Jump up ^ History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications, Italcable
  39. Jump up ^ USAFHRA Document 00001957
  40. Jump up ^ World Heritage description
  41. Jump up ^ Tupinambis merianae, Instituto Hórus de Desenvolvimento e Conservação Ambiental (The Nature Conservancy), 2005
  42. Jump up ^ Kerodon rupestris, Instituto Hórus de Desenvolvimento e Conservação Ambiental (The Nature Conservancy), 2005
  43. Jump up ^ Área de Proteção Ambiental Fernando de Noronha - Rocas - São Pedro e São Paulo (in Portuguese), Parque Nacional Marinho Fernando de Noronha, retrieved 2016-04-21


  • Duarte Leite (1923) "O Mais antigo mapa do Brasil" in História da Colonização Portuguesa do Brasil, vol.2, pp. 221–81.
  • Greenlee, W.B. (1945) "The Captaincy of the Second Portuguese Voyage to Brazil, 1501–1502", The Americas, Vol. 2, p. 3–13.
  • Roukema, E. (1963) "Brazil in the Cantino Map", Imago Mundi, Vol. 17, p. 7–26

External links[edit]





From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Municipality of Florianópolis
Montage of Florianópolis
Montage of Florianópolis
Flag of Florianópolis
Official seal of Florianópolis
Nickname(s): FloripaMagic Island
SantaCatarina Municip Florianopolis.svg
Coordinates: 27°50′S 48°25′W
Country  Brazil
Region South
State Bandeira de Santa Catarina.svg Santa Catarina
Founded 23 March 1673 (343 years)
 • Mayor Cesar Souza Junior (PSD)
 • City 675.409 km2(260,776 sq mi)
Elevation 3 m (9 ft)
Population (2015)
 • City 469,690
 • Density 700/km2 (1.8/sq mi)
 • Urban 358,180
 • Metro 1,111,702
Time zone UTC-3 (UTC-3)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-2 (UTC-2)
Postal Code 88000-000 to 88099-999
Area code(s) (+55) 48

Florianópolis (Portuguese pronunciation: [floɾi.aˈnɔpolis]) is the capital city and second largest city of the state of Santa Catarina, in the South region of Brazil. It is composed of one main island, theIsland of Santa Catarina (Ilha de Santa Catarina), a continental part and the surrounding small islands. It has a population of 461,524, according to the 2014 IBGE population estimate,[1] the second most populous city in the state (after Joinville), and the 47th in Brazil. The metropolitan area has an estimated population of 1,111,702, the 21st largest in the country. The city is known for having a very high quality of life, ranked as the country's third highest Human Development Index score among all Brazilian cities (0.847).[2]

The economy of Florianópolis is heavily based on information technologytourism and services.[3] The city has 42 beaches and is a center of surfing activity. Lagoa da Conceição is the most famous area for tourism, recreation, nature and radical sports. The New York Times reported that "Florianopolis is the Party Destination of the Year in 2009."[4] Newsweek placed Florianópolis in the "Ten most dynamic cities of the world" list in 2006.[5] Veja, a Brazilian publication, named the city as "the best place to live in Brazil."[6] As a result of this exposure, Florianópolis is growing as a second home destination for many PaulistasArgentinesNorth Americans, and Europeans.

Most of the population lives on the mainland and on the island's central and northern parts. The southern half is less inhabited. Many small commercial fishermen populate the island. The fishingboats, the lacemakers, the folklore, the cuisine and the colonial architecture contribute to the growing tourism and attracts resources that compensate for the lack of any large industry. Villages immersed in tradition and history, such as Santo Antônio de Lisboa and Ribeirão da Ilha still resist the advances of modernity.[7]

The Hercílio Luz International Airport serves the city. Florianópolis is home to the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Federal University of Santa Catarina). There are also the Santa Catarina Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology (Instituto Federal de Santa Catarina), and two campuses of the Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (State University of Santa Catarina), amongst other institutions of higher and professional education.



The name Florianópolis was meant to be a tribute to Marshal Floriano Peixoto, the second President (1891–1894) of the Republic of the United States of Brazil and from Greek term πόλις (polis, meaning "city"). Until 1893, the city was called Nossa Senhora do Desterro (Our Lady of Banishment) or simply "Desterro".


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: MSN Weather


Florianópolis experiences a warm humid subtropical climate, falling just short of a true tropical climate. The seasons of the year are distinct, with a well-defined summer and winter, and characteristic weather for autumn and spring. Frost is infrequent, but occurs occasionally in the winter. Due to the proximity of the sea, the relative humidity of the atmosphere is 80% on average.

The maximum temperatures of the hottest month varies from 25 °C (77 °F) to 38.8 °C (101.8 °F) and the minimum temperatures are from 6 °C (43 °F) to 11 °C (52 °F). The lowest temperature ever recorded was 0.7 °C (33.3 °F) in September 1980 while the highest temperature ever recorded was 38.8 °C (101.8 °F) in February 1973.[8]


There is significant precipitation which is well distributed throughout the year. The annual normal precipitation for the period of 1961 through 1990 was 1,517.8 millimetres (59.76 in).[8] There is no dry season, and summer generally is the rainiest season. Increased rainfall occurs from January to March, with a median of 160 millimetres (6.3 in) per month, and from April to December there is somewhat less precipitation, averaging 100 millimetres (3.9 in) per month. The driest months are from June to August.


Florianópolis has a native Atlantic Forest-type vegetation. This vegetation has an extremely diverse and unique mix of vegetation and forest types. The main ecoregion is the coastal Atlantic forest, the narrow strip of about 50–100 kilometers (31–62 miles) along the coast which covers about 20 percent of the region. This forests extend as far as 500–600 kilometers (310–372 miles) inland and its range is as high as 2,000 meters above sea level. Altitude determines at least three vegetation types in the Atlantic Forest: the lowland forest of the coastal plain, montane forests, and the high-altitude grassland or "campo rupestre".

[hide]Climate data for Florianopolis (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38.2
Average high °C (°F) 28.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 24.2
Average low °C (°F) 21.4
Record low °C (°F) 14.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 162.7
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 12 13 12 8 7 8 8 8 11 11 11 11 120
Average relative humidity (%) 81 82 82 82 83 83 84 83 83 81 80 80 82
Mean monthly sunshine hours 201.1 185.1 194.1 195.1 185.0 163.2 169.5 152.6 129.4 159.1 173.9 188.7 2,096.8
Source: INMET[8]


The city in 1847
São José fortress
Historic Center of Florianópolis

Carijós Indians, a Tupi people,[citation needed] were the first inhabitants[citation needed] of Florianópolis area. The traces of its presence are verified through archaeological sites and sambaquis dating up to 4000 years ago. The Indians called the place Meiembipe or "mountain along the channel".

Around 1514 the Portuguese landed and gave the area the name Ilha dos Patos, but in 1526 it was renamed Ilha de Santa Catarina (Saint Catherine Island). The area supplied the vessels that went to the River Plate (Río de la Plata) Basin.

The official settlement of the island began in 1673 with the arrival of bandeirante Francisco Dias Velho's agricultural company and it continued in 1678 with the construction of a chapel consecrated to Nossa Senhora do Desterro. At this time a villa began to take form, slowly becoming a colonial settlement.

To guarantee its domain the Portuguese Crown elevated Santa Catarina Island to the category of village in 1714 with the name of Nossa Senhora do Desterro and already in 1726 they promoted it again, now to the category of town.

From this date on Vila do Desterro and mainly the port began to have a strategic function because it was situated halfway between Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, possibly two of the largest seaside cities of South America at that time. For this reason in 1739 the Capitania da Ilha de Santa Catarina was created and Desterro became its capital. Soon the most expressive seaside defensive ring ofSouthern Brazil started to be built: Santa Cruz, São José da Ponta Grossa, Santo Antonio and Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Barra do Sul fortresses.

With the coming of the Captaincy the population began to grow, but the great population growth happened between 1747 and 1756 with the arrival of about 6,000 settlers coming from the Archipelago ofAzores and from Madeira Island. The development of the agriculture, the cotton and linen industry and the commerce followed the Azorean occupation. In 1823, during the monarchy which ended in 1889, Desterro became the Capital of Santa Catarina Province opening a period of prosperity with many urban works and also intense political organization.

Regional elites not happy with the government centralization staged the Revolta Federalista (Federalist Revolt) at the beginning of the Brazilian Republic. The movement that started in Rio Grande do Sulspread to Santa Catarina and turned Desterro into the Federalist Capital of the Republic. The then president of Brazil, Marechal Floriano Peixoto, known as Iron Marshal, suppressed the rebellion and ordered the shooting of many people who were considered enemies of the state, in the Anhatomirim Island Fortress. Possibly to show loyalty to the marshal, 1893 saw the change of the state capital's name: from Desterro to Florianópolis, that is to say, city of Floriano.


Beira Mar Avenue in Florianopolis

According to the IBGE of 2007, there were 406,564 people residing in the city (in 2010 IBGE reports a population of 421,203). The population density was 928 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,400/sq mi). The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 366,000 White people (90.0%), 37,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (9.0%), 4,000 Blackpeople (1.0%), 400 Asian or Amerindian people (0.1%).[9]

Florianópolis has a population mostly composed of Brazilians of European descent. The numbers of immigrants started to increase in the mid-18th century, mostly with the arrival of Portuguese colonists from the Azores Islands. The population of Florianópolis was composed mainly of Portuguese/Azoreans, Germans, and Italians. Further south, some neighborhoods preserve their rural village identity. The cultural heritage left by their Azorean ancestors is noticeable in their manner of speaking, in handicrafts, and traditional festivities.

The small village of Santo António de Lisboa (Saint Anthony of Lisbon) is an example of colonial period architecture and in Ribeirão da Ilha, the oldest part of the capital, the inhabitants still speak theAzorean dialect which is difficult to understand at first. In Ribeirão da Ilha is the church of Our Lady of Lapa do Ribeirão, built in 1806. Lagoa da Conceição, with its many sand dunes, restaurants and seaside night life and where women make lace to sell in the street, has also managed to retain many traces of its colonial architecture.[10]

On the other side, the city has taken on a cosmopolitan air with the arrival of Brazilians from other states and foreigners who chose to live there. The island, which at the beginning of the colonization period, was an important whale hunting centre, is today a technological pole of the IT industry. A State Capital of interest to tourism, Florianópolis is currently inhabited by about 400,000 people. The metro area has about 980,000 people.


Beach in Florianópolis
South bay in the city
Joaquina Beach

According to 2002 Sefaz statistics, agricultural activities represented 0.05%, manufacturing represented 3.41% and the sector of the commerce and service 96.54%.[11]

Tourism is one of the staples of Florianópolis' economy. Many inhabitants and tourists consider Floripa to have a singular beauty endowed with strong lines of Azorean culture, observed in the buildings, workmanship, folkloreculinary and religious traditions. Its environmental restrictions on building and commercial development have been more or less strictly enforced, helping it to keep its original character.

Between 1970 and 2004, Florianópolis's population tripled. But the local economy grew fivefold, and incomes grew in step. Opportunity seekers, urban and rural, white collar and blue, poured in. While many Brazilian cities are struggling to graduate from smokestacks to services, Florianópolis is succeeding. Thanks in part to a federal rule that for decades barred heavy industry on the island, town elders focused on cleaner public works which led to the founding of several public and private universities that make this one of the most scholarly cities in Brazil.

To meet the demands of its academic crowd, the city invested heavily in everything from roads to schools, and now Florianópolis ranks high on every development measure, from literacy (97 percent) toelectrification (near 100 percent). By the late 1990s, private companies were flocking to the island, or emerging from a technology "incubator" at the federal university. (Among the innovations it hatched: the computerized voting machines that have made Brazilian elections fraud-free and efficient). Local officials now say their aim is to be the Silicon Valley of Brazil, with beaches.[12]

In addition to its white sand beaches, Florianópolis offers many historical attractions, including the sites of the original Azorean colonists, the Lagoa da Conceição lagoon, and Santo Antônio de Lisboa. Tourism in Florianópolis has grown significantly over the past 10 years, with increasing numbers of visitors coming from other large cities in Brazil (particularly Porto AlegreCuritibaSão Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) as well as other South American countries (particularly Argentina, with direct flights offered daily from Buenos Aires).[13]

During the past several years, a greater number of international tourists have also begun to frequent the island (particularly from Europe and the United States). As the number of visitors grows each year, Florianopolis faces the ongoing challenge of ensuring that its limited infrastructure and resources are updated to adequately accommodate them. Of particular concern are the sewers, which often drain directly into the ocean, polluting the very beaches that attract so many visitors.

During the past decade technology and software development firms also experienced strong growth, and today Information Technology services are one of the top revenue generators in Florianópolis.[14]Several technology centers are spread around Florianópolis, making the city an important pole in this economic sector.

The GDP for the city was R$6,259,393,000 (2005).[15]

The per capita income for the city was R$15,776 (2005).[16]


Educational institutions[edit]

  • Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC);
  • Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC);
  • Complexo de Ensino Superior de Santa Catarina (CESUSC);
  • Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina (UNISUL);
  • Universidade do Vale do Itajaí (UNIVALI);
  • Centro Universitário Estácio de Sá de Santa Catarina;
  • Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Santa Catarina (IFSC);
  • and many others.

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

The Florianópolis high schools that obtained the best results on the 2007 Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio (National High School Exam) are Escola Autonomia, Colégio da Lagoa, Colégio Energia, Colégio Tendência, Colégio Expoente, Colégio Adventista de Florianópolis, Colégio Geração, Colégio de Aplicação UFSC, EEB Feliciano Nunes Pires, IFSC, Colégio Decisão, EEB Professor AníbalNunes Pires, Instituto Estadual de Educação, EEB Osmar Cunha, EEb Getúlio Vargas, EEB Presidente Roosevelt, EEB Professor Henrique Stodieck.[17]

Tourism and lifestyle[edit]

Beachfront Castaway
Lagoa do Peri
Hercilio Luz Bridge
Beira-Mar Avenue
Palace Cruz and Sousa

Florianópolis is one of the most visited places in Brazil as it is an island with 42 beaches, lagoons, waterfalls and great infrastructure. The city used to be a hippie destination, but now attracts a wide variety of Brazilian and foreign tourists as it offers wild nature as well as fancy hotels, resorts, charming hostels, beach clubs and lively nightlife. The city is outstanding in Brazil for having high safety standards, quality of life and eco friendly policies.

Lagoa da Conceição (Lagoon of Conceição) is definitely the most visited area of the island by foreign travelers and backpackers. The area has the highest concentration of restaurants, bars, organic markets and shops. Many expats and Brazilian people from other cities choose to live by the lagoon because of its stunning views, safety, nature and quality of life.

The lagoon is surrounded by mountains and has a canal linking to the ocean. It is a place where you can practice many sports, kite surfing, paragliding, sandboard, kayak, trekking. The History of the region around the lagoon is a plus with all the folklore, netting tradition, old Portuguese architecture, graffiti, and a charming 18th century church on the top of the hill. See panoramic view below.

The Holy Spirit Feast (Festa do Divino) is a festival that takes place 40 days after Easter. The celebration dates to the colonial era and includes a parade, music, and street food.

Praia Mole (Mole Beach) One of the most famous beaches is Praia Mole, few meters from the Lagoon of Conceição and noted for its rolling green hills and rock formations on either side. The beach is mostly known for surfing, eco friendly lounges and gay scene during the summer. The beach is one of the locations for the ASP World Tour of the Association of Surfing Professionals, which classifies 50 competitors, among professionals and amateurs. The state of Santa Caterina is the only location in South America for this surfing event. Santa Catarina Art Museum is located in the city.

Joaquina Beach (Praia da Joaquina) Won fame as of the 1970s, when surfers from around the world discovered its waves. Joaquina Beach is accessible from the Lagoon of Conceição. Many surf cups began to emerge, and great Catarinense surfing personalities. It is one of the beaches that offers the best tourist facilities, receiving a large number of tourists from around Brazil and the world on the warm days in spring and summer. The rock complex situated to the left of the beach, the night lighting and the public showers are some of the trademarks at Joaquina. There is a big paid parking lot, toilets, tourist coach parking lot, lifeguards, police station, handicraft shop, bars, restaurant and hotels. In addition to the beach, it is possible to enjoy the most famous dunes in the South of the country as well as to sand board. The boards used in this sport can be rented on the spot.

Barra da Lagoa Barra da Lagoa is a quaint fisherman's village but the physical characteristics of the beach make it the perfect place to learn to surf. It is a cove on the Eastern part of the island and stretches into Moçambique beach for 15 kilometres (9.3 mi). It is in a natural setting as there are no huge hotels on the beach and the Southern headquarters of Projeto TAMAR (Save the Turtles) is located here. Penguins swim into the canal and near the beach of Barra da Lagoa during the colder winter months of June, July and August. The canal at Barra da Lagoa connects the Lagoa da Conceição with the open sea. It is not uncommon to see fishermen during the night tossing their nets in the lagoa to catch shrimp they sell to the fresh fish restaurants in this community.

Ingleses Beach (Praia dos Ingleses) Even though it is a beach preferred by tourists, Ingleses still keeps to the traditions of the Azorian colonizers. In the summer, it is one of the top beach destinations of Argentine tourists, second only to Canasveiras. In the winter, mullet fishing, religious celebrations and regional festivities are beautiful demonstrations of the local culture. The dunes separating the Ingleses Beach (English Beach) from the Santinho Beach are natural attractions not to be missed. The practice of sand board is quite common there, a sport created in Florianópolis, which consists of sliding down the dunes on a board, engaging or not in radical manoeuvres. To practice it, one must have a lot of balance and rent a board. Those looking for a different outing can go on a trek of 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) over the dunes.

Armação Beach (Praia da Armação) The Sant'Anna Church, built by the Armação fishing company, is part of the beach's history. It was from there that whale harpooners and crewmen confessed and attended the mass before going fishing. Next, the priest would go down to the beach to bless the boats that would sail out to sea. Today, the boats leave there for Ilha do Campeche, one of the most visited islands around Florianópolis. It is also in Armação that one finds one of the most important archaeological sites of the State of Santa Catarina. In the winter of 2010 a significant portion of the beach disappeared due to erosion. With financial aid from the Brazilian federal government, tons of large rocks were dumped on the beach to prevent houses from destruction.

Campeche Beach (Praia do Campeche) With 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) of white sands and a turbulent waters, Campeche is considered the Jeffreys Bay of the Santa Catarina Island for the quality of its waves. For those who are not interested in surfing, the beach offers other attractions. The paradisaical beauty of Ilha do Campeche, for instance, located across from the beach, a football game on the Saint-Exupéry aviation field, or even fishing, are some of the leisure alternatives. At night, Campeche is also an excellent attraction. The huge reflector that illuminates part of the large sand strip in front of the bars only contributes to the partying that extends far into the night. The illumination favours both those who enjoy the merrymaking as well as the fishermen, who use the time to drag their nets in from the sea.

Santinho Beach (Praia do Santinho) is mainly sought by tourists who look for nature, the location's paradisaical beauty and tranquility. Surfers are the main visitors and consider Santinho to be the best beach in the North of the Santa Catarina Island. It is in the left hand corner, where bathers do not venture, that surfers practice their sport, sharing the space with fishermen. 40 kilometres (25 mi) away from the centre of Florianópolis, another great attraction of this beach are the primitive inscriptions made by hunters, fishermen and collectors inhabiting the Island five thousand years ago. The name Santinho comes from a human figure engraved on an isolated block of rock.

Outdoor sports, including divinghang glidingrowingparagliding, and mountain biking, as well as surfing, are popular on the island.

The island is connected to the Continent by three bridges. The Hercílio Luz Bridge that was built in 1926, this bridge is 11 years older than Golden Gate Bridge, but is now closed to traffic; it is a symbol of the island and often appears on postcard images. The Colombo Sales Bridge and Pedro Ivo Bridge are the ones open to traffic.

Santo Amaro da Imperatriz was the first thermal water facility in Brazil. Hotels with thermal bath facilities are located in the district of Caldas da Imperatriz and in the city of Águas Mornas. The Fonte Caldas da Imperatriz city baths are an additional source of thermal waters, which can reach the temperature of 39 °C (102 °F), where there are immersion baths and hydromassage. It is located on the Estrada Geral Highway, km 4, Caldas da Imperatriz district.

Panoramic view of the lagoon of Conceição.

Areas of the city[edit]

Public Market

The centre of Florianópolis, with its alleys, rows of typical houseschurches and museums, contains many examples of colonial architecture. Amongst these are the former government palace, nowadays the Cruz e Souza Museum (which took its name from the famous poet from Santa Catarina who formed the symbolist movement) and the Public Market built in 1898 which sells food and local handicraftsunder the shade of a one-hundred-year-old fig tree. Close to the centre is the house where Victor Meirelles was born, one of the authors who devised the first mass spoken in Brazil. The building is registered by the Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage and houses the Victor Meirelles Museum.

Roughly saying, the island can be divided in two sectors: in the north is the most visited side by tourists and because of that, the busiest and with the best services infrastructure. In some quarters notice a strong influence in the population architecture and customs. The most ancient livers of Florianópolis still have in the way they speak, in the craftwork activities and in the popular parties, the heritage left by immigrants from Portuguese islands from Azores. The south of the island preserved intensely Azorean customs that arrived there from the 18th century.[18]


Pluna Bombardier CRJ-900 atHercílio Luz International Airport (FLN). The airline ceased operations in 2012.
Florianópolis' Pedro Ivo CamposBridge

International airport[edit]

Florianópolis is served by Hercílio Luz International Airport for both domestic and international flights.[19] The traffic has grown significantly at the airport and therefore the city will shortly receive a new airport able to serve 2.7 million passengers a year. The architectural design of the new airport was chosen by a public competition held by Infraero in partnership with the Brazilian Architects Institute (IAB). Among the over 150 original entries, the proposal of São Paulo architect Mário Bizelli was chosen. Normally the projects for expansion and modernization of the 66 airports administered by Infraero are done by public tender based on the needs, criteria and conditions presented by the company's engineering area. On days when one of the two the local football (soccer) teams plays at home in a stadium near the airport, traffic comes to a complete standstill, often preventing vehicles from departing the airport itself. People with departing flights are well advised to check the local football schedule to ensure they arrive at the airport on time.


Florianópolis is connected to the main cities of Brazil:

  • From the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro: BR-116/ BR-376/ BR-101/ BR-282;
  • From Curitiba: BR-376/ BR-101/ BR-282;
  • From Porto Alegre: BR-290/ BR-101/ BR-282.

Bus terminal (connecting to other cities)[edit]

Rita Maria is the city's main bus terminal, located by the Pedro Ivo Campos Bridge, on the island, serving ten thousand people daily, which can reach up to fifteen thousand during the summer season. The bus terminal connects Florianópolis to the majority of the cities, towns and villages of Santa Catarina, and to the main cities in the South, Southeast and Central-West regions of Brazil. As an international bus terminal, Florianopolitanos and tourists alike use Rita Maria also to reach ArgentinaParaguayUruguay and Chile.[20]

Bus terminal (within the city)[edit]

Numerous bus terminals link the neighborhoods of Florianópolis.

  • TICAN (Canasvieras) serves the northern beach towns on the island
  • TISAN (Santo Antônio de Lisboa) serves the northwestern part of the island
  • TICEN (Centro) is in the downtown area and has the most bus traffic. It can get you to anywhere on the island
  • TITRI (Trindade) is a connector in the northern area around downtown serving the west coast of the island
  • TILAG (Lagoa) is a terminal that connects you to the eastern beach areas and the town of Lagoa da Conceição
  • TIRIO (Rio Tavares) connects you to the southern area of the island


Pedala Floripa project is a University pro bicycle program developed by CICLOBRASIL group in the State University of Santa Catarina. The project aims to provide bicycle infra-structure projects and promote bicycle use for leisure and transport in the city.[21]



Lagoa da Conceição seen from Ratones trail
Ingleses Beach

There are more than 40 neighborhoods in Florianópolis:

  • Abraão;
  • Agronômica;
  • Barra da Lagoa
  • Bom Abrigo;
  • Cachoeira do Bom Jesus;
  • Cacupé;
  • Campeche;
  • Canasvieiras;
  • Canto da Lagoa;
  • Capoeiras;
  • Carianos;
  • Carvoeira;
  • Centro;
  • Chácara do Espanha;
  • Coqueiros;
  • Córrego Grande;
  • Costa da Lagoa;
  • Costa de Dentro;
  • Costeira do Pirajubaé;
  • Estreito;
  • Ingleses do Rio Vermelho;
  • Itacorubi;
  • Itaguaçu;
  • Jardim Atlântico;
  • João Paulo;
  • José Mendes;
  • Jurerê Internacional;
  • Jurerê;
  • Lagoa da Conceição;
  • Moçambique;
  • Monte Verde;
  • Morro das Pedras;
  • Pantanal;
  • Pântano do Sul;
  • Parque São Jorge;
  • Ponta das Canas;
  • Prainha;
  • Ratones;
  • Rio Vermelho;
  • Ribeirão da Ilha;
  • Saco dos Limões;
  • Saco Grande;
  • Sambaqui;
  • Santa Mônica;
  • Santo Antônio de Lisboa;
  • Tapera;
  • Trindade;
  • Vargem do Bom Jesus;
  • Vargem Grande.


People walking
Joaquina Surfing Beach

There are two professional football teams in the city. The derby between them is known as "O Clássico da Capital" ("The Capital's Classic").

Avaí FC – blue and white. It is also known as O Leão da Ilha ("The Lion of the Island"). Its stadium is the Aderbal Ramos da Silva, popularly known as Ressacada, located in the Carianos neighborhood, in the south part of the island. Avaí is currently playing the Brazilian national second division and holds 16 State Championship titles, the record for most titles won.

Figueirense FC – black and white. Its nickname is Figueira and it is also known as O Furacão do Estreito. Its stadium is the Estádio Orlando Scarpelli|Orlando Scarpelli, located in the Estreito neighborhood, in the continental part of the city. Figueirense is currently playing the Brazilian national first division. The team has won Santa Catarina State Championship 16 times, holding the record for most titles won along with Avaí.

Florianópolis, is the home of Desterro Rugby Clube. Desterro has male and female rugby teams competing in the Brasil Super 10 (Men's 15s) competition and the Super 7s (women's 7s).

Florianópolis, since the beginning of the 20th century has a tradition in rowing. By the middle of that century the sport was growing in Brazil and the city had a big influence on it. But, with the decline of the sport in the country by the late 1980s, the investment slowed and by today is almost none. But is still served with three great schools, Riachuelo Remo, Martinelli Remo and Aldo Luz Remo, with all three being placed between Hercílio Luz Bridge, Colombo Salles Bridge and Pedro Ivo Campos Bridge. Since the beginning of 2008 the sport is watching a rapid growing in the number of rowers, even with people flocking from other cities to experience Floripa's rowing.

Florianópolis is the hometown of tennis player Gustavo Kuerten. There are various opportunities to practice yoga in Florianopolis with studios that host international yoga retreats and provide teacher-training courses. Sandboarding is possible in the sand dunes near Joaquina beach. Kitesurfing and Windsurfing are possible in the Lagoa da Conceição lagoon.

The island is generally considered to be blessed with the best and most consistent Surfing waves in Brazil, and in early November of each year hosts what is currently South America's only Association of Surfing Professionals World Championship Tour professional surfing competition. Brazil has played host to many an ASP tour event over the past 30 years. Former contest sites include Rio de Janeiro, Barra de Tijuca and Saquarema, but the past four years have seen the tour set up shop in Florianopolis.

Falling towards the end of the tour, the past few years have seen several ASP world champions crowned in Brazil. In 2004 it was Andy Irons, and in 2005 it was Kelly Slater (who had his 2006 ASP World Title already stitched up by Brazil).

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Florianópolis is twinned with the following cities:


  1. Jump up^ "IBGE :: Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística" Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  2. Jump up^ "Atlas do Desenvolvimento Humano no Brasil". 2015-07-17. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  3. Jump up^ King, Tayfun (2 October 2009). "Brazil's bid for tech-powered economy"BBC Click (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  4. Jump up^ Sherwood, Seth (8 January 2009). "The Place to Be: Florianópolis, Brazil"The New York Times. Retrieved3 December 2014.
  5. Jump up^ Foroohar, Rana (2 July 2006). "The Ten Most Dynamic Cities"Newsweek. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  6. Jump up^ "Veja o que fazer em Florianópolis e se encante!"Mundo Positivo (in Portuguese). 11 April 2014. Retrieved 3 December2014.
  7. Jump up^ "The magic island". Centro de Informática e Automação do Estado de Santa Catarina. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  8. Jump up to:a b c "Normais climatológicas do Brasil 1961-1990" (in Portuguese). Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia. Retrieved5 September 2014.
  9. Jump up^ "Florianopolis". A Place in the South. 11 May 2008. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2014.[circular reference]
  10. Jump up^ "Cultura Açoriana". Visite Floripa. Archived from the originalon 5 January 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  11. Jump up^ Economy of Florianópolis – City Hall Website Archived 10 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. Jump up^ "Florianópolis - A ilha da tecnologia - Região ganha status de Vale do Silício brasileiro"Dinheiro na Web (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 6 April 2003. Retrieved3 December 2014.
  13. Jump up^ Brazilians and Argentines in Floripa – City Hall WebsiteArchived 4 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. Jump up^ Information Technology in Floripa – City Hall WebsiteArchived 4 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. Jump up^ GDP (PDF) (in Portuguese). Florianópolis, Brazil: IBGE. 2005. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 18 July 2007.
  16. Jump up^ per capita income (PDF) (in Portuguese). Florianópolis, Brazil: IBGE. 2005. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 18 July 2007.
  17. Jump up^ "50 melhores escolas de Florianópolis (SC)"UOL Educação(in Portuguese). 4 April 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  18. Jump up^ "A Cidade - História"Guia Floripa (in Portuguese). Retrieved4 December 2014.
  19. Jump up^ "Aeroporto Internacional de Florianópolis/Hercílio Luz" (in Portuguese). Infraero. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  20. Jump up^ Bus Terminal of Florianópolis
  21. Jump up^ Bicycle program in Florianópolis



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Genipabu (dunes and lagoon).
Dromedary camel in Genipabu.

Genipabu (or Jenipabu) is a beach with a complex of dunes, a lagoon and an environmental protection area (APA) located close to Natal, one of the most famous post-cards of the Rio Grande do Norte Brazilian state.[citation needed]

Genipabu is used for "buggie" and dromedarie rides. A sport that is played in the dunes around the lake is the "esquibunda", in which a person slides the dunes with a wooden board.

"Buggie" rides are offered locally in two styles, com emoção (lit:'with emotion': a riskier ride) or sem emoção (lit:'without emotion': a safer one). One should be aware, however, that only authorized professionals responsible for security of both tourists and environment should be hired.

The dunes of Genipabu are movable, because the hard winds in the Rio Grande do Norte coastline moves the sand from one point to another, shaping the landscape.



Coordinates5°42′32″S 35°11′48″W


Ilha do Mel

Ilha do Mel State Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ilha do Mel State Park
Parque Estadual da Ilha do Mel
IUCN category II (national park)
Farol da Ilha do Mel.jpg
Lighthouse (farol) at the north tip of the park
Map showing the location of Ilha do Mel State Park
Map showing the location of Ilha do Mel State Park
Location Paranaguá, Paraná
Coordinates 25.5575°S 48.3059°WCoordinates25.5575°S 48.3059°W
Area 393 hectares (970 acres)
Designation State park
Created 21 March 2002
Administrator Instituto Ambiental do Paraná

The Ilha do Mel State Park (PortugueseParque Estadual da Ilha do Mel) is a state park in the state of Paraná, Brazil.






The Ilha do Mel State Park is in the southern part of the Ilha do Mel (Honey Island) in the east of the municipality of Paranaguá, Paraná. The island, which has an area of about 2,760 hectares (6,800 acres), is at the entrance of Paranaguá Bay on the southern coast of the state of Paraná.[1] The park has an area of about 393 hectares (970 acres).[2] The northern part of the island is protected by the Ilha do Mel Ecological Station. The island is opposite the Superagui National Park to the north.[3] It is in the Iguape-Cananéia-Paranaguá estuary lagoon complex.

The park includes the Praia Grande, Praia de Fora (Encantadas), Praia de Fora (Farol), Praia do Miguel and Prainha do Caraguatá beaches and the area known as Saco do Limoeiro.[4] It may be reached by a 30 minute boat trip from the terminal at Pontal do Sul, or by a 90 minute boat trip from Paranaguá. There are landing piers at Encantadas and at Nova Brasília, which includes the lighthouse and the fort. Visitors may bring bicycles, but no motorized vehicles are allowed.[1]


The Ilha do Mel State Park was created governor Jaime Lerner by state decree 5506 of 21 March 2002 on the Ilha do Mel (Honey Island). The objective was to preserve the natural environment of the beach, the rocky cliffs, areas of marine influence, salt marshes, remnants of dense submontane Atlantic Forest and lowland restinga forest, to protect archaeological sites, particularly the middens, and to protect the rich fauna. Management responsibility was assigned to the Instituto Ambiental do Paraná (Paraná Environment Institute), which had five years to prepare a management plan. Existing residents would be relocated within ten years.[4]

The park is part of the Lagamar Mosaic of conservation units.[5] It one of the conservation units of the Serra do Mar Ecological Corridor (Corredor Ecológico da Serra do Mar).[6] It is also part of the core zone of the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve.[7]




Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the city in Piauí, see Ilha Grande, Piauí.
Ilha Grande
View Ilha Grande.JPG
View of Ilha Grande from the mainland
Ilha Grande topographic map-EN.png
English topographic map of Ilha Grande
Location Atlantic Ocean
Area 193 km2 (75 sq mi)
Highest elevation 1,031 m (3,383 ft)
Highest point Pico da Pedra D'Água
Municipality Angra dos Reis
State Rio de Janeiro
Population ~5000 (2014)

Ilha Grande (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈiʎɐ ˈɡɾɐ̃dʒi] "Big Island") is an island located off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. The island, which is part of the municipality of Angra dos Reis, remains largely undeveloped. For almost a century it was closed by the Brazilian government to free movement or settlement because it first housed a leper colony and then a top-security prison. Cândido Mendes high-security prison housed some of the most dangerous prisoners within the Brazilian penal system. It was closed in 1994. The largest village on the island is called Vila do Abraão with approximately 1900 inhabitants.

The island, which is 193 km2 (75 sq mi) in area, is now a popular tourist destination that is noted for its scenic beauty, unspoilt tropical beaches, luxuriant vegetation and rugged landscape. The highest point is the 1,031 m (3,383 ft) Pico da Pedra D'Água. Most of its territory is within the Ilha Grande State Park. The remainder of the island is subject to stringent development restrictions.



Fauna & flora[edit]

Ilha Grande is one of the most pristine remnants of Brazil's Atlantic rainforest making it one of the richest ecosystems in the world. As a hotspot for biodiversity and conservation, it holds some of the largest remaining populations of many endangered species, including the red-ruffed fruitcrow (Pyroderus scutatus), the brown howler monkey (Alouatta fusca), the maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus) the red-browed amazon parrot (Amazona rhodocorytha), and the broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris). The seas around the island, which are also protected, feature a unique convergence of tropical, subtropical, and temperate-zone marine life, and may be the only waters in the world where it is possible to see corals and tropical fish along with Magellanic penguins and southern right whales.

The islands is contained within the 12,400 hectares (31,000 acres) Tamoios Environmental Protection Area (APA), created in 1982.[1] The island (and APA) contains the Aventureiro Sustainable Development Reserve, created in 2014 from the former Aventureiro Marine State Park, which was integrated with the Praia do Sul Biological Reserve.[2] 62.5% of the island is covered by the Ilha Grande State Park, making a total of 87% of the island protected.[3]

Tourism industry[edit]

Small-scale ecotourism is being encouraged on the island. Although it has no roads and motorised vehicles banned, the island has more than 150 km (93 mi) of hiking trails connecting all the coastal villages and hamlets. Lodgings have been made available near many of island's 100 unspoilt beaches. One of the most popular activities for visitors is to trek to Lopes Mendes beach, about a two-hour hike from Abraao. Travel companies are now offering sight-seeing trips to see the island's various beaches, mountains trails and waterfalls.

Most of the visitor facilities and the park headquarters are located at Vila do Abraão. The village may be reached from the mainland by local ferries and fast catamarans. On January 1, 2010 devastating mudslides killed at least 19 people on the island.[4]


  1. Jump up ^ APA de Tamoios (in Portuguese), INEA: Instituto Estadual do Ambiente, retrieved 2016-09-26
  2. Jump up ^ PES Marinho do Aventureiro (in Portuguese), ISA: Instituto Socioambiental, retrieved 2016-09-23
  3. Jump up ^ "Parque Estadual da Ilha Grande - Angra dos Reis - RJ" (in Portuguese), retrieved 2016-09-23
  4. Jump up ^ "Mudslide in Brazil resort kills at least 19 people"BBC NEWS. 2 January 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates23°09′S 44°14′W



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
View of Pereque Beach from ferry-boat
View of Pereque Beach from ferry-boat
Flag of Ilhabela
Official seal of Ilhabela
Nickname(s): IlhabelaCapital da Vela(IlhabelaCapital of Sailing)
Motto: Ilhabela da Princesa
Location in the state of São Paulo and in Brazil
Location in the state of São Paulo and in Brazil
Coordinates: 23°48′54″S 45°22′14″WCoordinates23°48′54″S 45°22′14″W
Country Brazil
Region Southeast
State São Paulo
Settled September 3, 1805
 • Mayor Toninho Colucci (PPS)
 • Total 347.52 km2 (134.18 sq mi)
Elevation 0-1,378 m (0-4,521 ft)
Population (2015)[1]
 • Total 32,197
 • Density 93/km2 (240/sq mi)
Time zone BRT (UTC-3)
 • Summer (DST) BRST (UTC-2)
Postal Code 11630-000
Area code(s) +55 12
HDI (2000) 0.781 – medium[2]
Website Prefeitura Municipal de Ilhabela

Ilhabela (Portuguese for Beautiful Island) is an archipelago and city situated in the Atlantic Ocean four miles (6 kilometres) off the coast of São Paulo state in Brazil. The city is 205 km (127 mi) from the city of São Pauloand 340 km (210 mi) from the city of Rio de Janeiro. The largest island, although commonly called Ilhabela, is officially named Ilha de São Sebastião (St. Sebastian Island). It, the other islands (BúziosPescadores and Vitória) and the islets (CabrasCastelhanosEnchovasFigueiraLagoa and Serraria) make up the municipality of Ilhabela.

Ilhabela is part of the Metropolitan Region of Vale do Paraíba e Litoral Norte.[3] The population is 32,197 (2015 est.).[1] The islands in total cover 347.52 km2 (134.18 sq mi).[1] During the holiday months, up to one hundred thousand people may be on the island,[4] since it is a popular destination for tourists. To access the city, one must take a boat or ferry in São Sebastião, as there are no roads which reach it. During the summer, one may wait several hours to take the ferry boat. The ferry takes 15 minutes to cross the channel between the two cities.




Before Portugal colonized Brazil in 1500, an indigenous tribe called the Tupinambas, inhabited the island. They called the island 'Ciribai', which means tranquil place.

The island was named São Sebastião Island by Amerigo Vespucci, on January 20, 1502. During the 16th century, the Portuguese set up military points on the shore of São Sebastião Island.

In August 1591, notorious British explorer Thomas Cavendish spent some time in the island. He was on an expedition to the south of the Strait of Magellan accompanied by navigator John Davis and then returned to Brazil, where they hid and refueled in Ilhabela and looted Santos and São Vicente.[5]

On September 3, 1805, the Governor of the Province of São Paulo, Antônio José da França e Horta, decreted the political-administrative independence of the county. The Island had already 3.000 inhabitants at that time. The new county was named Villa Bella da Princeza, paying homage to the princess of Beira.

On November 30, 1938, during the Getúlio Vargas' Estado Novo, an act altered the name of the county to Formosa. Six years later, on November 30, 1944, another act ultimately changed the name to Ilhabela.

Since the second half of the 20th century, the city is a popular touristic destination. Among the current critical issues of the island, is the lack of proper sewage pipes to collect all houses' wastewater. As of January 2012, 46,6% of the buildings in the island lacked such infrastructure.[6] In February 2016, the city hall announced R$12 million to be invested in sewer systems for the southern part of the city. By the time it was announced, Ilhabela was the worst coastal municipality in the state of São Paulo in terms of sanitary treatment, according to a research by the State Secretary of the Environment - 35% of the city's sewer is collected, pre-conditioned and released on the sea, according to the secretary, while the city hall claims 61% of the city is covered by sewer systems.[7]


Vitória (left) and Búzios (right) islands seen from the South.
File:Tangará Wikipédia.theora.ogg
Blue manakin in Ilhabela
Pico do Baepi (Baepi's Peak)

The municipality comprises the main island, Ilha de São Sebastião, and three smaller inhabited islands: Buzios and Vitória islands, 7½ and 2½ km away from the northeastern tip of the main island, respectively, and Pescadores Island, near Vitória Island. Buzios and Vitória are home to 142 and 50 caiçaras, respectively.[8] There are also the very small islets (das Cabras, da Sumítica, da Serraria, dos Castelhanos, da Lagoa, da Figueira e das Enchovas islands). Almost all the urbanized areas are in the very narrow plains between the sea and the mountains of the main island, preferably at the west part of the island, facing the continent.

A short (30 km) but high mountain range forms this main island, reaching above 1,000 meters in seven different points - Pico de São Sebastião (1,378 m), Morro do Papagaio (1,307 m), Pico da Serraria (1,285 m), Morro do Ramalho (1,205 m), Morro do Simão (1,102 m), Morro das Tocas 1,079 m) and Pico do Baepi (1,048 m). Running approximately 8 km into the Atlantic Ocean off the southeast corner of the island, there is the Península do Boi (Ox Peninsula). The east side of the island is inhabited by very few people, who concentrates mainly on the Castelhanos beach, the only on this side accessible by road. Only 4x4 jeeps are able to cross this particular road, though.[9])

Most of the city has a humid subtropical climate, but the mountains have an oceanic climate, because of the high altitude. The Atlantic Forest covers the entire city.


Bryde's whale breaching in Castelhanos Bay

Ilhabela is a popular sailing point.[4][10] Several regattas take place at the city's coast.[10] Also, it is popular for many other watersports, including scuba and free diving.[10] The waters around the archipelago are filled with more than 50 shipwrecks, six of them being opened for visiting via diving.[11] Cetacean diversity is rich in the areas, and whale watchings targeting such as humpback whales,[12] bryde's whales,[13][14][15] minke whales,[16][17] southern right whales,[18][19][20] orcas,[21][22][23][24][25] and dolphins are also available.

There are many hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty and 360 waterfalls[11] in the Atlantic jungle.


There are 41 beaches on the main island.[9] The ones located along the channel are in general urbanized and feature calm to moderate waves. The ones facing the ocean are clean and less affected by humans, besides featuring stronger waves, which attracts surfers.[9] These can only be reached by foot and/or by boat, the exception being Castelhanos, as explained above. Bonete was considered the ninth best beach of Brazil by The Guardian.[26] Starting from Castelhanos and going counterclockwise, the beaches are:

  • dos Castelhanos
  • Saco do Eustáquio
  • Guanxuma
  • da Caveira
  • da Serraria
  • do Poço
  • da Fome
  • Jabaquara
  • Pacuíba
  • da Armação
  • do Pinto
  • da Ponta Azeda
  • Pedra do Sino
  • do Arrozal
  • Siriúba
  • do Viana
  • Mercedes
  • Saco do Indaiá
  • Saco Grande
  • Saco da Capela
  • Pequeá
  • Engenho d'Água
  • Itaquanduba
  • Itaguassu
  • Perequê
  • Barra Velha
  • da Pedra Miúda
  • do Oscar
  • do Portinho
  • Feiticeira
  • do Julião or Prainha
  • Grande
  • do Curral
  • do Veloso
  • Bonete
  • Enchovas
  • Indaiúba
  • Saco do Sombrio
  • da Figueira
  • Vermelha
  • Mansa


Ilhabela is located in Atlantic Ocean
Location of Ilhabela in the Atlantic Ocean

The only way to access the island by car is via the ferry boats that cross the channel. Each boat carries up to 70 vehicles and takes 15 minutes to sail through the 2.4 kilometers that separate the two stations.

The SP-131 is the main road on the main island, running from the southwestern coast of the island to its northern coast (both these edges are paved since 2008). The road has three different names throughout its path.


  1. Jump up to: a b c Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística
  2. Jump up ^ Índice de Desenvolvimento Humano - Municipal, 1991 e 2000 - Todos os municípios do Brasil - UNDP
  3. Jump up ^ Assembleia Legislativa do Estado de São Paulo, Lei Complementar Nº 1.166
  4. Jump up to: a b Bueno, Chris (1 June 2010). "Ilhabela: Conheça as belezas da maior ilha marítima brasileira!" (in Portuguese). 360 Graus. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  5. Jump up ^ Dória, Palmério (2013). ""Só um bobo dá a telefonia para estrangeiros"". O Príncipe da Privataria (in Portuguese) (1 ed.). São Paulo: Geração Editorial. p. 274. ISBN 978-85-8130-201-0.
  6. Jump up ^ Geraque, Eduardo; Talita Bedinelli; Daniel Marenco (29 January 2012). "Esgoto de 31 mil casas do litoral vão parar no mar". Folha de S.Paulo (in Portuguese). São Paulo, Ilhabela. p. C5.
  7. Jump up ^ "Rede de esgoto chega ao sul de Ilhabela com investimento de R$ 12 milhões"Nova Imprensa. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  8. Jump up ^ da Silva, José Benedito (8 January 2012). "Falta de tudo, menos quem tenha Oliveira no sobrenome" (in Portuguese). Folha de S.Paulo.
  9. Jump up to: a b c Nogueira, Kiko (2007). Guia Quatro Rodas Praias 2007 (in Portuguese). São Paulo: Editora Abril. p. 92.
  10. Jump up to: a b c Santos, Raquel.