*English Translation: Amanda Peter
The city of Governador Valadares, in Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil, became famous for being an ideal itinerary for lovers of historical tourism, as well as adventure and ecotourism. Surrounded by nature, the city is filled with museums, waterfalls, rivers and many mountains. It is the ideal environment for sports such as kayaking, mountain climbing, abseiling, mountain biking and trekking. But the highlight of the city is not on land nor in the river!
Governador Valadares has become the paragliding capital of the world! The city won this title after hosting big paragliding and hang gliding championships at the Ibituruna Peak. The Peak is an environmentally protected area where paragliding is practiced by people of different ages and nationalities. It is also the spot to go to if you want to enjoy a beautiful sunset!
The weather is one of the main reasons the city hosts national and international championships. Usually, it happens during summer, between January and March, when most of the ideal places to practice paragliding are cloudy and rainy while Valadares is sunny and has a clear sky.
For those interested in learning about the history of Brazil, Valadares has the perfect museum: the “Museu Histórico do Município de Governador Valadares”, founded in 1983. It has a collection of more than 1,200 objects, from instruments of torture (used to punish slaves), ancient liturgical costumes, telephone sets, indigenous ceramics, documents, and photographs, to curiosities such as a copy of the original city map.
Choosing the best time of the year to visit the city depends on what tourists are looking for in terms of weather and activities. February is definitely the month for you if you’re looking for a summer vacation. Valadares is also home to extraordinary gastronomic establishments and bars! Its restaurants often offer the famous Minas’ guava paste as well as dishes made with traditional local cheese. Chicken with okra, another traditional dish from Minas Gerais, can also be tasted in some of the restaurants.
An interesting fact is that Governador Valadares is hometown to several locals who immigrate to the United States, more specifically to Boston, Massachusetts. In recent years Boston has been welcoming a considerable amount of immigrants from this Brazilian city. Governador Valadares can definitely take credit for the fact that Boston (and neighborhood cities) has the largest community of Brazilians in the United States, with about 350 thousand Brazilians as of 2019.