World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Cuiabá

Written by esteban lafuente Google
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World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Cuiabá
Cuiabá grew in the times of the Brazilian "Gold rush" (Getty Thinkstock)

Cuiabá is the capital city of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. It was founded by Captain Rodrigo César de Menezes in 1727 after the discovery of gold mines in the region, and he town grew rapidly, along with the mining industry. It's named is derived from the Guaraní "ikuiapá", which means "place of bow and arrow."

Chapada dos Guimarães National Park

Cuiabá is usually known as the "Green City" due to its proximity to the Amazon rainforest. The Chapada dos Guimarães National Park lies about 40 miles to the North of the city, and comprises 33,000 hectares (81,510 acres) of rainforest. In addition to the botanical wonders of the jungle, the parks topography is very varied: caves, ravines and waterfalls abound. One of its most spectacular sights is the Cachoeira Véu de Noiva, a small stream that falls off an 86 metre (280 feet) tall cliff before hitting the stone at the bottom. Coincidentally, South America's geographical centre falls within this National Park's limits, which is open for visitors on guided tours, offered by different licensed operators.

Old town

Some 400 buildings remain from the town's earliest times and make up Cuiabás old town. Its labyrinthine layout may seem exaggerated, but it was justified at the time of construction: it was the best strategy to get the upper hand on invading attackers. Today, it is the part of town most frequented by tourists and is filled with bars and artisans selling their work. Some of the most notable buildings are the Casarão do Tesouro ("Mansion of the Treasury") and the Arsenal de Guerra ("Arsenal of war").

Nuestra Señora del Rosario

Considered the oldest church in town, Nossa Senhora do Rosário ("Our Lady of the Holy Rosary") is located across the Praça da República ("Republic Square"). It was undoubtedly one of the first buildings in the original settlement, built around 1730 by enslaved aborigine labourers. Its simple looking façade is typical of the colonial baroque style. The church still hosts several daily services and the main altar is its most impressive feature: making use of the town's once main export, it is covered in gold.


Having been founded at the beginning of the XVIII century, Cuiabá has a long and interesting history. Many historical documents and objects can be seen in some very well rounded museums. One of them is the Museu Rondon do Indio, dedicated to keeping record of the various aboriginal communities that lived in the region. It has rich collections of weapons, cooking utensils, musical instruments and clothing. Another museum that is worth visiting is the Museu de Pedras Ramis Bucair, which has many of the region's different types of precious and semiprecious minerals on display, along with some archaeological findings.

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