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Introduction

Goiás is a state in Brazil, located in the Center-West region of the country. The name Goiás (formerly, Goyaz) comes from the name of an indigenous community. The original word seems to have been guaiá, a compound of gua e iá, meaning "the same person" or "people of the same origin." Neighboring states are (from north clockwise) Tocantins, Bahia, Minas Gerais, the Federal District, Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso.

The most populous state of its region, Goiás is characterized by a landscape of chapadões (plateaus). In the height of the drought season, from June to September, the lack of rain makes the level of the Araguaia River go down and exposes almost 2 kilometres of beaches, making it the main attraction of the State. At the Emas National Park in the municipality of Mineiros, it is possible to observe the typical fauna and flora from the region. At the Chapada dos Veadeiros the attractions are the canyons, valleys, rapids and waterfalls. Other attractions are the historical city of Goiás (or Old Goiás), 132 kilometres from Goiânia, established in the beginning of 18th Century, and Caldas Novas, with its hot water wells attracting more than one million tourists per year. In Brazil's geoeconomic division, Goiás belongs to the Centro-Sul (Center-South), being the northernmost state of the southern portion of Brazil.

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Geography

Located in the east of the Center-West region, and adjacent to Brazil's Southeastern region, Goiás lies on the southern portion of the Brazilian Highlands, which are located in the center of the country. It occupies a large plateau, the vast almost level surface of which stands between 750 and 900 m above sea level and forms the divide between three of Brazil's largest river systems: to the south. Goiás is drained by the Paranaíba river, a tributary of the Paraná River; to the east it is drained by tributaries of the São Francisco River; and northward the state is drained by the Araguaia River and the Tocantins River and their tributaries. Other major rivers in the state are the Meia Ponte, Aporé, São Marcos, Corumbá River, Claro, Paranã, Maranhão, Paranã and Preto. None of these rivers is navigable except for short distances by small craft. The state's highest point is Pouso Alto, at 1,676 metres above sea level, in the Chapada dos Veadeiros. Goiás is covered with a woodland savanna known in Brazil as campo cerrado, although there are still tropical forests along the rivers. This cerrado has been seriously diminished in recent years due to cattle raising and soybean farming with great loss of animal life and forest cover.

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Sights and Activities

Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park

Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is a national park of Brazil located in the Chapada dos Veadeiros, an ancient plateau with an estimated age of 1.8 billion years. Based in the Brazilian state of Goias, the park was created on January 11, 1961 by President Juscelino Kubitscheck, and listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2001. It occupies an area of 655 square kilometres in the municipalities of Alto Paraíso de Goiás, Cavalcante and Colinas do Sul. The park is maintained by Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation. With altitudes between 600 and 1650 metres, it is the highest plain in Central Brazil. The highest point of the park and of the state of Goiás is Serra da Santana, at 1691 metres above sea level. Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is noted for its waterfalls. Those which range from 80 to 120 metres include the Corredeiras, Cannyon I, Cannyon II, the Carioquinhas Waterfall and the Jardim de Maitréya.

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Weather

The climate of the plateau is tropical. Average monthly temperatures vary from 26 °C in the warmest month to 22 °C in the coldest. The year is divided into a rainy season (October–March) and a dry season (April–September). Average annual rainfall is about 1,700 millimetres, but this varies due to elevation and microclimate. Some parts of the state, however, have small remnants of tropical Atlantic forest, that mostly appears around rivers and valleys.

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This is version 3. Last edited at 14:00 on May 20, 16 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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