Mato Grosso do Sul


Mato Grosso do Sul is one of the most aesthetically beautiful states in Brazil in terms of its abundant plant and animal species and its gorgeous vistas. This makes it a popular destination amongst tourists from Brazil as well as from other countries the world over. It is surrounded by the states of Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná as well as by the South American countries of Paraguay and Bolivia.

Mato Grosso do Sul maintains good relationships with these neighbouring countries, largely because of its location and the relative challenge of accessing other great centres in Brazil that it experiences. Therefore, some of its culture, customs and peoples reflect those of such neighbours, integrating these nations with one another to a certain, yet significant, extent.

Beach near fihserman's village near Maceió, capital city of Alagoas.

Alagoas developed slowly. When African slaves were introduced to South America, they increased the work force and the amount of trade and labour being carried out in this area, making Alagoas a slightly more prominent area in the local economy. During the 1500’s and 1600’s, pirates frequently invaded the area in search of the Brazil wood, which was a valuable commodity. Sugar plantations and mills were established, some of which still exist today as a remnant of this history. Eventually, in 1630, the Dutch seized this territory, keen to take control of the booming sugar industry. At this time, Alagoas was one of the richest captaincies in South America. This situation only lasted until the Dutch were defeated just 16 years later, which saw them abandoning the territory completely.

The coastline comprises a number of exquisite beaches and intriguing reefs. It is also characterised by a fascinating network of lakes and lagoons, from where the state actually got its name. The beaches are bordered by rolling green hills. In fact, because of the rains that fall in these hilly areas, they were once the perfect locale for the sugar cane crops of years ago.

Further inland is the Sertão of the Northeast, which is a high-lying area that is very dry, occupied with thorny bushes and other scrub vegetation. The entire state is almost 28 000 square kilometres (or 11 000 square miles) in area and has a population of over 3.1 million people.

Today, Alagoas is one of the poorest states in this South America country. The main economic producer is made up by the service sector, while the industrial and agricultural sectors also do relatively well.

There are various groups of islands that also belong to Brazil, such as Saint Peter, Trindade and Fernando de Noronha, amongst As the tourists continue to find delight in the secluded beaches and rustic towns of Alagoas, some areas, such as the capital, Maceió, have expanded their services and resources to accommodate these visitors from all over the world. Other places, like Maragogi and Japaratinga, are starting to establish tourist resorts and the like for the benefit of international visitors.

During your time in Alagoas, you are urged to see:

• The Festa Junina (Saint John Festival) on 24 June each year
• Pajuçara Beach in Maceió
• Nossa Senhora Da Corrente
• São Francisco (São Francisco / Nossa Senhora dos Anjos)
• São Gonçalo Garcia

Small church of a fisherman's village, 50 feet away from the beach. Maceio - Brazil.

Here is the Algoas Government web site: