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Introduction

Palmas is the capital and largest city in the state of Tocantins, Brazil, newly organized under the 1988 constitution. According to IBGE estimates from 2014, the city had 265,090 inhabitants.

Palmas is located at the state geographic centre at an average altitude of 230 metres. The city is located between these hills and the Tocantins River. In the east, Palmas is bordered by the Serra do Lajeado. Palmas has a metropolitan area with 440,000 inhabitants on the side of Palmas Lake.

Palmas was founded in 1990 and developed from the ground up in a former agricultural area as the capital of the newest Brazilian state Tocantins. This was organized under the new 1988 Brazilian Constitution. It was intended to develop a relatively undeveloped area of the nation to provide better jobs for people. The city has a well-designed road system, and its urban zoning is modeled on that of Brasília, the capital developed in the Amazon Basin. In Palmas a symmetrical park was developed at the city centre. The Federal University of Tocantins was established here in the late 20th century, at the time of other development.

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Weather

Most of Tocantins, including where Palmas is located, (except the extreme west and northern regions) is situated within a vast Brazilian area known as the cerrado. The cerrado region's typical climate is hot, semi-humid, with pronounced seasonality marked by a dry winter season from May through September. The annual rainfall is around 800 to 1,600 mm. The soils are generally very old, deep, and naturally nutrient-poor.

Palmas is the hottest city in Brazil. During the May to September dry season, Palmas can be oppressively hot as temperatures clime into high 30's. During the October to April rainy season, it is not as hot. The heavy rains and cloud cover keep it much cooler. Palmas receives generous rainfall of about 1,300 mm. It is situated in a ´bow´ valley of Rio Tocantins and surrounded by mountains from three sides; with its low elevation, 195 metres above sea level, these factors increase the humidity and discomfort of hot days.

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Getting There

By Plane

Palmas–Brigadeiro Lysias Rodrigues Airport (IATA: PMW, ICAO: SBPJ) offers flights to/from Belo Horizonte-Confins, Brasília, Campinas, Goiânia, Belém, São Paulo-Congonhas, Goiânia and Araguaína.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes (Lan houses) are increasingly common, and even small towns often have at least one spot with more or less decent connections.
An increasing number of hotels, airports and shopping malls also offer hotspots for Wi-Fi with your laptop computer or of course smartphone. Sometimes it is free, sometimes you need to register and there is a time limite and sometimes you need to pay a small amount for (day) use.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Brazil is: 55. To make an international call from , the code is: 0014. All cities use the following emergency numbers: 190 (police), 192 (medical) and 193 (fire department). However, if you dial 911 or 112 while in Brazil, you will be redirected to the police.
Brazil uses two-digit area codes, and phone numbers are eight digits long. Numbers beginning with digits 2 to 5 are land lines, while eight-digit numbers beginning with digits 6 to 9 are mobile phones.

Public payphones use disposable prepaid cards, which come with 20, 40, 60 or 75 credits. The discount for buying cards with larger denominations is marginal. Phone booths are nearly everywhere, and all cards can be used in all booths, regardless of the owner phone company. Cards can be bought from many small shops, and almost all news agents sell them.

Brazil has 4 national mobile operators: Vivo (Telefónica Group), Claro (Telmex/América Móvil Group), OI and TIM (Telecom Italia Group), all of them running GSM and HSDPA/HSPA+ networks. Pay-as-you-go (pré-pago) SIM cards for GSM phones are widely available in places like newsstands, drugstores, supermarkets, retail shops, etc.

Post

Correios is the national postal service of Brazil. It is a government run postal service and overseen by the Brazilian Ministry of Communications. Post offices are generally open from Monday to Friday from 09:00am to 5:00pm, although post offices located in shopping malls have their own opening hours, usually from 10:00am to 10:00pm. There are no set opening hours at weekends and as post office owners can choose when to open and close. More and more post offices are open until 1:00pm on Saturdays though. You can check things at the nearest post office.

Sending postcards, letters and parcels is a rather straightforward process and services are reliable, though not overly fast when sending post internationally, mostly taking about a week to the USA and Europe, and there is a track-and-trace service for this as well. Domestically, there are both next day as well as more expensive same day delivery options. Stamps are available at post offices, as well as some kiosks or other places where they sell postcards.

For sending packages internationally, you can also used competitively priced private companies like TNT, UPS or DHL. They are generally much quicker and not much more expensive.

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Palmas Travel Helpers

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This is version 2. Last edited at 13:34 on May 25, 16 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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