Palmas, Tocantins

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This article is about the city of Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil. For other uses, see Palmas.
Município de Palmas
Municipality of Palmas
Flag of Palmas
Official seal of Palmas
Nickname(s): Capital Ecológica (Ecological Capital)
Motto: Essa terra é nossa (This Land is Ours)
Localization of Palmas in Tocantins
Localization of Palmas in Tocantins
Palmas is located in Brazil
Localization of Palmas in Brazil
Coordinates: 10°11′04″S 48°20′01″W / 10.18444°S 48.33361°W / -10.18444; -48.33361Coordinates: 10°11′04″S 48°20′01″W / 10.18444°S 48.33361°W / -10.18444; -48.33361
Country  Brazil
Region North
State Bandeira do Tocantins.svg Tocantins
Founded May 20, 1989
 • Mayor Carlos Amastha (PP)
 • Total 2,218.93 km2 (856.73 sq mi)
Elevation 230 m (755 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 265.090
 • Density 106.5/km2 (276/sq mi)
Demonym Palmense
Time zone UTC-3
Postal Code (CEP) From 77000-001 to 77249-999
Area code(s) +55 63

Palmas (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpawmɐs],[1] Palm trees) is the capital and largest city in the state of Tocantins, Brazil. According to IBGE estimates from 2014, the city had 265,090 inhabitants.

Palmas is located at the state geographic centre, at an average altitude is 230 m (755 ft). The city is located between these hills and the Tocantins River. In the east Palmas is bordered by the Serra do Lajeado. Palmas have a metropolitan with 440.000 inhabitants on the side of Palmas Lake.

Palmas was founded in 1990, with the purpose of being the capital of the newest Brazilian state Tocantins, which was established after the promulgation of the new 1988 Brazilian Constitution. The city has a well-designed road system, and its urban zoning is modelled on that of Brasília. It has a symmetrical park in the city centre. In 2002, the Lajeado Hydroelectric Power Plant reservoir was completed, at which point the city gained many river beaches, and also the huge Ponte da Amizade Presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso, which crosses over 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) over the reservoir, connecting Palmas with the major highway BR-153.

The Palmas Airport connects Palmas with many Brazilian cities.

The city is also home to the Federal University of Tocantins.


The area where Palmas was built was originally used for agriculture. Before 1990, the only village in the location was Vila Canela (near the river Tocantins, and near the Graciosa beach). The village and the beach were often flooded by the new lake. The flat area of Palmas is right between the river and the Serra do Lajeado hills in the east, and the vegetation is the typical 'cerrado'. In 1989 Miracema was the temporary capital of the state. The new capital was initially designed by the architects Luiz Fernando Cruvinel Teixeira and Walfredo de Oliveira Filho. From 20 May 1989, some of the roads and baracas were built. It was decided to be built on the east side of the river, so the forgotten east side of the state would develop as well. The location may have been chosen because it is the geodesic center of Brazil.

At the time before the lake's formation, the Tocantins River made curves, forming what would look like the letter S when looking at bird's eye view. It is said that Mr. Siquera Campos enjoyed the S-like formation, and that added to the choice of the location for Palmas. When the area was chosen in January 1989, Campos decided he wanted the Palacio (the state headquarter) to be built on the highest place in Palmas. Although the architects said the hill was too soft to build on, it was still built. The temporary Palacinho (said to be the first building in Palmas) still exists close to the new one, and it is kept as a monument. Since 2002, it was used as a museum for Tocantins' history.


Tocantins form the boundary between the Amazon Rainforest and the coastal savanna. As a result, the state's geography is varied. Many rivers cross through the state (including one of the same name), and there are over 20 archaeologically significant sites found in Tocantins.


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 1600 mm. The soils are generally very old, deep, and naturally nutrient-poor.

Palmas is known as one of Brazil's hottest capitals. During May to September dry season Palmas can be oppressively hot as temperatures clime into high 30's. During October to April rainy season it is not as hot, as during heavy rains and cloud cover it is much cooler. Palmas receives generous rainfall of about 1,300 mm. Contributing to Palmas´ reputation as a hot capital is its situation in a ´bow´ valley of Rio Tocantins and surrounded by mountains from three sides, and low elevation, 195 meters above sea level.

Climate data for Palmas (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 30.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.3
Average low °C (°F) 20.8
Rainfall mm (inches) 245.7
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 13 13 11 7 2 0 0 0 2 8 12 13 81
Mean monthly sunshine hours 186.4 159.1 168.8 236.8 246.4 197.2 196.9 192.5 151.4 168.9 184.7 204 2,293.1
Source: Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology (INMET).[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]


In spite of being technically located in a watershed of Amazon basin, Palmas has no rainforest. Typical are tort shrubland trees common to a cerrado region. While the city layout was being developed, much of the original trees were left intact in green areas of widely spaced avenues. It is common to see much older trees on streets of Palmas than the city's age of only 21 years (as of 2011). Man-planted palms also grace main thoroughfare of Avenida JK.


Palmas was designed to be the economic and administrative center of Tocantins, and because of this, the service sector is the main sector of the economy Palmense. The share of agriculture in the economy Palmense is less than the service sector, being based on small farms around the city and the highways that provide access to Palmas, and large farms planting soybeans and livestock in the district of Buritirana.

The economy is mostly formal, consisting primarily of limited partnerships and sole proprietorships. Micro firms are the most common in the city, where they comprise over 80% of companies Palmense 4394. The city has four industrial districts, among them the Industrial District of Palmas, Tocantins Industrial District I Industrial District and Industrial District Tocantins II of Taquaralto. All of them are located along the highways and TO-050 TO-010.

Today Palmas city became a center whose trade and economic influence covers the entire state of Tocantins, in addition to the southeastern Pará, the northeastern Mato Grosso, and the southern Maranhão. In town, there are branches of the following banks: Banco do Brasil (7 agencies), Bradesco (five agencies, one of Bradesco Prime), Caixa Econômica Federal (4 agencies, 3 more ATM's), Itaú Unibanco (3 agencies), Banco da Amazônia (2 agencies), HSBC (1 agency), Santander (1 agency), Banco BMG (1 agency), Banco Cruzeiro do Sul (1 agency), and Tribanco (1 agency). Moreover, Palmas also has seven self-service terminals of the Banco 24 Horas interbank network.

In 2007 the Gross Domestic Product had a strong expansion was estimated at $2.2 billion, driven by investments of the City of Palms in the economy and also the proper time by which runs the country. The increase in GDP of Palmas was 6% and compared to that of Brazil was very considerable, as the country showed the percentage of 3.5%, and Capital, by the end of 2007, representing 18.4% of the wealth generated Tocantins and 0.08% in the country. Due to this growth, Palms has received major investments, such as the Capim Dourado Shopping (inaugurated in August/2010), the multimodal yard of the North-South (located in the municipality of Porto Nacional, on the banks of the TO-080), plus branches of hypermarket networks: Atacadão, Makro, Extra and Assam.


As in all cities in Brazil, Palmas has a separation of Executive and Legislative branches of local government, represented by the Mayor of Palmas and the Local Assembly respectively.[11] Since its founding, Palmas has had 5 elected Mayors. The current incumbent is Carlos Amastha (PP) elected for the 2013-2016 term.[12]

Sister cities[edit]


Portuguese as the official national language is the primary language taught in schools although English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum.

Educational Institution include:

  • Universidade Federal do Tocantins (UFT)
  • Centro Universitário Luterano de Palmas (Ceulp-Ulbra)
  • Faculdade Católica do Tocantins (Católica do Tocantins)
  • Fundação Universidade do Tocantins (Unitins)
  • Faculdade Objetivo


Very close to Palmas is located Taquaruçu, an ecotourism resort and village located in the hills, whose microclimate and natural surroundings attract a lot of tourists from Palmas, other regions of Brazil and abroad. Taquaruçu is famous for the many waterfalls (cachoeiras) surrounding it, where tourists can go to swim and practice sports like rappel.


Palmas is served by a local public bus service and an interstate bus service. Rodoviaria (central bus station) is located at the edge of city, with connections to all capitals of Brazil.


The city is served by the Palmas Airport. Planned for a population of one million, Palmas airport is uncrowded, with only a few flights per day, mostly to and from Brasília. Airport is 30 km from city center, and is served by city bus (2 buses).


The Rodovia Coluna Prestes (TO-050) connects the city with Brasília. The Federal Highway (BR-153) connects Palmas north and souththrough a 60 km drive west to Paraiso de Tocantins. BR-153 is mostly not twinned. The principal avenue of the city is the avenida Theotônio Segurado, connecting the North Director Plan with Taquaralto, on the South Palmas.


There is no passenger rail service to Palmas. Newly constructed 'North-South Railway' (Ferrovia Norte-Sul), is near Palmas, and is intended to alleviate Brazil's heavy truck traffic and to carry bulk goods to ports in North-Eastern Brazil.


In sports, the most notable football club in the city is Palmas FR, which plays at the Nilton Santos Stadium. Palmas has several sports and entertainment clubs, with swimming pools, other sports and cultural programs, clubs such as AABB and SESC.

In August 2014 Palmas was chosen as the first host city of the World Indigenous Games, a multisport competition taking place in September 2015.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pronounced in Brazilian Portuguese. The European Portuguese pronunciation is IPA: [ˈpaɫmɐs]
  2. ^ "Temperatura Média Compensada (°C)" (in Portuguese). Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology. 1961–1990. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Temperatura Máxima (°C)" (in Portuguese). Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology. 1961–1990. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Temperatura Mínima (°C)" (in Portuguese). Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology. 1961–1990. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Precipitação Acumulada Mensal e Anual (mm)" (in Portuguese). Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology. 1961–1990. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Número de Dias com Precipitação Maior ou Igual a 1 mm (dias)". Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Insolação Total (horas)". Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Umidade Relativa do Ar Média Compensada (%)". Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Temperatura Máxima Absoluta (ºC)". Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet). Archived from the original on June 21, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Temperatura Mínima Absoluta (ºC)". Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet). Archived from the original on June 21, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ [1] In Portuguese.
  12. ^ [2] In Portuguese.
  13. ^ História de Araguaína - Scribd. In Portuguese
  14. ^ Conheça os Deputados - Portal da Câmara do Deputados. In Portuguese
  15. ^

External links[edit]