The region of Termas & Serras Gerais
comprises the southern municipalities of Tocantins, part of the State
of Goiás, including the Araguaia Valley, extending to the borders of
Bahia and Maranhão. Most of its towns were found in the 18th century
under strong influence of catholic missionaries and African culture
due to slave work in the gold mines around. This fact brought to the
local community much of its tradition, like religious festivities,
afro-dancing, feasts and the dominant black population in some
In this region the
richest colonial architecture in the state is found in the city
of Natividade registered by the National Historical Patrimony.
There are also lots of ecological tourism
options in the rivers and beaches.
Distance from Palmas: 480 km
Population: 13.000 inhabitants
On its narrow streets, cobbled
sidewalks and hills, the town still keeps a colonial mood full of
tradition and a peculiar fact: people which live usually longer than
85 years. According to residents this fact has to do with magnesium
concentration in the water.
The town has mostly had its culture
influenced by African habits.
Religious feasts and rituals are a tradition. "Romaria de Nossa
Senhora dos Remédios" (Pilgrimage of Our lady of Remedy) has
happened every August 3 since 1835. "Santos Reis" and
"São Sebastião" Feasts in January, "FoIios do
Divino", "Romaria de Nosso Senhor do Bonfím during Easter.
Carnival is also traditionally celebrated. Craftsmanship is
diversified and offers art in potting, straw work, sculpturing, frilly
threadwork and leather articles.
Typical dishes: paçoca (dried meat with farinha) "maria
isabel" (rice and beans cooked with sun-dried meat ),
"mucunza" (corn based dish), cashew sweets and
"buritis", liqueurs and "cachaça"
In the region, 22 km away from downtown, is Fazenda Furnas Cave, a 40
m wide by 20 m long cave with four large chambers. "Chapadas dos
Negros" is a grand grooving area of ruins and gold diggings at 3
km from downtown.
Distance from Palmas: 350 km
Population: 14.000 inhabitants
The town was found during gold cycles
in 1750. Its history has experienced tragic consequences from epidemic
diseases, attacks from Indian Tribes and village devastation. It has a
strong economy based on cattle raising, rice, soya and mineral rocks.
It is known as "capital" of The Southeastern Tocantins.
"Balneário da Conceição", a water resort near Rio da
Conceição lown, has lots of leisure options: 12 huts, soccer field,
volleyball courts, shower baths, barbecue grill and most important
Conceição River wilh its crystal clear waters.
At the same location, three falls make
"Cachoeira da luz" (Waterfalls of light, 15 km away from
Dianópolís. Another option is "Lagoa Bonita" Beautiful
lagoon, a 30 m long fall that runs five meter deep showing clearly
shoal of fish in the bottom.
Distance from Palmas: 323 km
Population: 17.000 inhabitants
This municipality began in 1949 along
with crystal mines exploration. Today it holds one of the largest
irrigation programs for rice and soybean plantation in Latin America.
Cattle raising, lumbering and fishing are along with breeding of
alligators profitable activities tor the local economy.
Alligator breeding started in 1990
through Copraba (Brazilian Forming Cooperative). Due to an increasíng
rate of these animals reproduction around the irrigation channels the
Cooperative decided to install a breeding reservoir aiming to export
Tourism is to become a very profitable
source as well.
The Javaés River encircles the right side of Bananal Island and is
also one of the countless attractions in Formoso. The beaches start to
come into sight in May and Porto Piaui is the most famous one at 25 km
Coming out of a groove in the rocks
Morro Azul Lagoon is a spring of warm clear waters. Along the side is
Morro Azul from where mineral rocks are extracted without affecting
much of its original 70 m high formation.
To be present at Aruano, an Indian
dance ritual that happens in "Aldeia dos javaés", means an
unforgettable experience. On April 1 st, "Festa do Indio" is
also a very interesting feast. Actually, anytime of the year is great
for visiting the Indian settlement in Formoso.
Rio Formoso Project brings together
machinery, working men and wild animals. It's an interesting scene to
watch: a stretching area of cultivated land and water inhabited by
rheas, capybaras, deers, alligators and other animals. The project
extends along 27.000 hectares for rice and soya plantation.
Distance from Palmas: 245 km
Population:: 57.000 inhabitants
Southern gateway of Tocantins, this
town connects the state through BR-153 with the Country. It has a
strong rice and cattle-raising based economy, wellstructured trading
market, communication, transportation, hospital and hotel
Two large fairs take place in Gurupi: in June, "Exposição
Agropecuária" (an exhibition of farming activities) and on
different dates: Feneg - (a business fair for small and medium
companies in Gurupi) sponsored by SEBRAE-TO.
Carnival is a big event in Gurupi -
street parades and club parties bring crowds to town. Jacaré Beach,
holds festivals, shows and sport contests during its season (June
through September). It is a clear shallow water beach and is located
at 86 km from Gurupi with a perfect area for camping.
Culture and Tradition - Gurupi is all
culture with its superstitions, beliefs, old stories that make its
routine. Craftsmanship vary from rustic pieces to industrialized
products. Three play groups make regular presentations at the
"Centro de Referencias da Imagem Populor" (a local cultural
centre). Regional cuisine offers coconut based fish dishes, vegetables
and spicy sauces.
For hotel accommodation there are seven
places with restaurants, snack bars and beer lounges.
Distance from Palmas: 390 km
Separated from Peixe in 1991, Jaú had
its population started after the first half of the century. Its
economy is based on agriculture and cattle raising.
Square Dance Festivities happen in June
changing the quietness into a lively town full of celebration.
Regional cuisine has a "hot" dish called "quibebe"
(Jerked beef with sliced manioc root) not to mention chicken with
"guariroba" (variety of palm tree) and "pequi
Termas da Magdal is one of the natural
attractions: a spring of warm waters make up two small ponds located
at 22 km from Jaú, in Fazenda Pocos de Caldas.
Gruta da Boa Vista, a hollowed out
retreat sheltering an altar for Our Lady of Conceição where a mass
is held every year in September.
Distance from Palmas: 327 km
Population: 4.000 inhabitants
Lizarda is in the west of Tocantins
bounding with Maranhão. Its first inhabitants came to the region in
Agriculture, cattle raising and
lumbering make its economy.
For tourism attractions, Lajedo River
makes the following landscape: a river 30 km long, in shallow clear
waters, running over multicolored rocks. All along its course one can
see shoals of fish swimming in the bottom. At the margins, one will
find flower trees like "aroeira " , "jatoba",
"angico", "buriti" and "ipe" and also
monkeys, wild pigs, anteaters, deers, capybaras and a world of birds.
Lajedo River forms many pools before meeting Perdido. At one point in
the course this river narrows its path to 8 cm where the waters hide
under a rock to come out a few meters ahead. Perdido River has
greenish waters and river rapids in some points. "Perdido"
means lost in portuguese which has to do with the river disappearing
under a thick vegetation "Iosing" its course in both
margins. Nevertheless, the narrowing vegetation sets apart great areas
for fishing and swimming. On the sand fresh water turtles and tortoise
pop up regularly.
Distance from Palmas: 218 km
Population: 10.000 inhabitants
Place of many pro-separation movements
during the 19th century, this town was founded by Manuel Alves in
1728, temporarily being the judiciary district of Goiás from 1809 to
1815. It is Tocantins oldest city.
The town was registered by the National
Historical Patrimony in 1984 and keeps its portuguese - french-styled
colonial architecture depicted on oId houses and narrow streets.
Blacks are majority.
Historical Center of Natividade is considered the most important and
well kept architecture complex in Tocantins. The buildings are: The
Governor's Palace, across from the main Church, The Public Prison
which is to become a museum, "Amalia Hermano Cultural
Center", another building from the 18th century restaurated to
house a library and a school. The ruins of Nossa
Senhora do Rosario dos Pretos (The Church of Our Lady of
Negroes' Rosary) is a must see. Founded over rocks, the church
preserves remaining walls and an entrance arch. The Church of Our Lady
of Natividade whitens up the town common: built in 1759 it is a simple
colonial . construction with two towers on the side built from Negroes
Church's debris. Inside an art piece sits on a blue painted wood altar
the statue of Our Lady of Natividade sculptured in wood.
The largest and most traditional
religious feast in Tocantins, the Bonfim Pilgrimage, gathers over 60
thousand people every year in August. The pilgrimage has happened
since the 18th century.
Divine's Feast in Natividade is also a
century old. It begins in Sunday Easter when pilgrims go around town
holding flags of the HoIy Spirit and lasts forty days of celebrations
to end up in a big feast.
From tradition to mystic,
creatures-shaped rocks make up an intrinsic labyrinth: that is Bom
Jesus de Nazareth Center, where unlike all other religious places gets
its final project built through telepathic instructions and visions
given by space creatures according to its founder, Dona Romana.
The Serra da Natividade is a mountain
range 350 m higher than the town level. The hiking trail is full of
crystal clear brooks. The landscape at the top has a beautiful
streamlet, flat grounds and ruins from the old town with an artificial
channel built in the 18th century by slave labor. Typically fruit
trees and patches of vegetation cover the area. Mostly visited from
April to October.
The river coming from the mountains
forms "Cachoeira do Paraíso" (paradise's fall) with natural
pools surrounded by a magnificent landscape.
The town preserves its cultural
traditions and beliefs through african folklore dances (Sussia and
Catira) with rustic musical instruments. From the colonizer's side
there are religious celebrations during Christmas time.
Typical dishes are "quibebe",
chicken with "guariroba" and pequi rice, always served with
tropical fruit juices.
Distance from Palmas: 392 km
Population: 11.000 inhabitants
Another town of Tocantins that had its
population started in the 18th century. In 1857, Paranã gained its
emancipation. It is the São João da Palma city where Teotonio
Segurado founded the North first provincial capital.
The Thermal Waters that spring out of Serra
de Caldas are a very "hot" attraction forming two 40
degree hot spring pools. In a 10m range the "hot" meets the
"cold" of Ventura River waters
creating a greenish pond. The spring is located at "Emoções das
The town also has beautiful beaches
formed by the clear greenish waters of Paranã
River with its 700 km of extension. "Praião" (Big
Beach) is located on a busy town area with bar huts and leisure
options. Ten minutes down the river there's a more quiet beach spot.
Dauto Lagoon, downtown Paranã, is
formed during floods. It extends 2.500 m long by 1.800 m wide. Hawks,
herons and wild ducks are found there.
At 3 km away from Paranã is Palma
River, safe for navigating and great area for fishing.
Like many other small towns Paranã has
also traditional festivities and religious celebrations. Indians and
blacks had great influence on local art that works on clay, wood,
leather and straw. Corn is mostly used on typical dishes. Tropical
fruits make delicious liqueurs, juices and sweets.
Distance from Palmas: 310 km
Population: 13.000 inhabitants
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The name "peixe" means fish
in portuguese due to local "fish tales". Based on a
diversified economy the town has been getting a Iot of attention for
its tourism potential.
"Praia do Peixe" (Fish Beach)
is one of Tocantins people's favorite. 'Praia da Tartaruga"
(Turtles Beach) is a great place for ecotourism. The beach, as the
name says, is an ecological sanctuary of turtles.
Tropeco Archipelago comprises 366
islands. It's an impressive island group that presents risk to
navigators not familiar with the channels. "Canal das Cuias"
is mostly used as a navigating channel. Religion and traditions have
been influenced by catholic missions as well as African culture.
During festivities dances such as "sucia",
"garrafada" and "tambor" are presented.
Alta do Tocantins
Distance from Palmas: 189 km
Population: 8.000 inhabitants
This is a new municipality less than 40
years old, situated in Jalapão. The town postcard is Ponte Alta Beach
covered by woods on its highest area. The waters run at an enjoyable
temperature and the beach is 1 km long.
"Cachoeira Sucuapara" comes
out of a 60 m deep groove and runs down a 6 meter high foil resembling
a small canyon. Tropical plants like "samambaia" and
"avenças" cover its left side slope.
"Morro Solto" presents a
peculiarity about its top: there's a set of shaped up stone blocks
with openings carved by wind farces. In the same area live block and
spotted jaguars, wolves, deers, toucans, rheas and other animals.
Distance from Palmas: 475 km
Rich soil and gold attracted its first
inhabitants to this town next to Bahia. Agriculture, cattle raising,
lumbering and mining make its economy.
Sobrado River falls off a 70 m high slope forming Registro Falls, a
loud water foil that frightens for its proportion. The lake is nice
for a swim.
Azuis River with intense blue waters and only 150 meters from source
to its mouth, is according to researchers the smallest river in the
world. The waters stay clear throughout the seasons.
Gruta dos Caldeiroes (Caldeiroes Cave), located at 12 km away from
downtown forms curious shapes inside its chambers.
Taguatinga has also a characteristic
colonial architecture from the 19th century and many traditionally
religious festivities in July, August and January.