|Mesoregion||Vale do Rio Doce|
|• Mayor||Elisa Maria Costa|
|• Total||2,355.4 km2 (909.4 sq mi)|
|Elevation||170 m (560 ft)|
|• Density||98.38/km2 (254.8/sq mi)|
Governador Valadares is a Brazilian city in the state of Minas Gerais. In 2006, its population was 260,405 inhabitants. It is an economical center of the middle Valley of the Rio Doce, making a significant influence on the east and northeast of Minas Gerais and local authorities of the state of the Espírito Santo. Governador Valadares sits on the bank of the Rio Doce, 324 km from Belo Horizonte.
The main watercourse through the municipality is the Doce River ("Doce" means sweet in Portuguese) whose basin (of 83,500 square kilometers) is composed of 222 municipalities. Nowadays its waters are very polluted, with little vegetation on its banks and depleted fish stocks.
Governador Valadares is also a statistical micro-region including 25 municipalities: Alpercata, Campanário, Capitão Andrade, Coroaci, Divino das Laranjeiras, Engenheiro Caldas, Fernandes Tourinho, Frei Inocêncio, Galiléia, Governador Valadares, Itambacuri, Itanhomi, Jampruca, Marilac, Mathias Lobato, Nacip Raydan, Nova Módica, Pescador, São Geraldo da Piedade, São Geraldo do Baixio, São José da Safira, São José do Divino, Sobrália, Tumiritinga, and Virgolândia. Its population (2006) was estimated by the IBGE to be 407,815 inhabitants in a total area of 11, 327 km².
The area around Governador Valadares was explored in colonial serve the residences of the town. It was powered by steam.
- 1923 - Figueira
In 1937, the municipality of Figueira do Rio Doce was established, which then changed its name to Governador Valadares, in honor of the governor at the time, Benedito Valadares.
Production and the intense trade in precious stones is the reason the "Brazil Gem Show" takes place in the local authority every year: an event that consists of the commerce of precious stones with Brazilians and foreign visitors
Governador Valadares is the biggest city and commercial center of the Eastern region of the state of Minas Gerais, having several cities in his area of influence, such as Teófilo Otoni and Caratinga. At present, Governador Valadares is growing in industrial development, due to its strategic position, human resources and international reputation.
It is a trade and industrial center. Sawmills and food-processing plants are in the city, and mica and beryl are mined in the area. Governador Valadares is one of the most famous gem-trading centres in Brazil. Gem minerals include amethyst, chrysoberyl, brazilianite, topaz and quartz. The Golconda mine, one of the oldest in the city, attracts the curiosity of tourists and stone collectors from all over the world.
The city is on the Belo Horizonte–Vitória railway and on the Rio de Janeiro–Salvador highway. Distances from major centers:
- Belo Horizonte – 311 km
- Rio de Janeiro - 580 km
- São Paulo - 891 km
- Brasília - 1,045 km
- Vitória – 420 km
Cel. Altino Machado de Oliveira Airport is a category 3 facility, with a paved runway 1,400 meters long. There are regular flights to Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Seguro, Salvador, and Vitória.
The city hosts of one of the stages of the Brazilian hang gliding championship from the peak of Ibituruna, where it is possible to catch sight of the whole valley of Rio Doce. It also hosts several international hang gliding championships, leading the local municipal authority declare the city to be "The World-wide Capital of Hang Gliding".
- Annual average: 32.6 °C [90.7 °F]
- Annual maximum average: 40.7 °C [105.3 °F]
- Annual minimum average: 18.3 °C [65 °F]
Average annual rainfall index: 1,350 mm
Governador Valadares is twinned with the following cities: