Paraíba do Sul

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For the municipality, see Paraíba do Sul, Rio de Janeiro.
Coordinates: 21°36′00″S 41°1′0″W / 21.60000°S 41.01667°W / -21.60000; -41.01667
Rio Paraíba do Sul
Rio Paraíba do Sul - 1.jpg
The Rio Paraíba do Sul near Jacareí, SP
Country Brazil
state São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro
 - location Atlantic Ocean, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates 21°36′00″S 41°1′0″W / 21.60000°S 41.01667°W / -21.60000; -41.01667
Length 1,137 km (706 mi)
Southeastern Brazil with major rivers highlighted

The Paraíba do Sul Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʁiu pɐɾɐˈibɐ du ˈsuw], or simply termed Paraíba, is a river in the south-east of Brazil. It flows 1,137[1] kilometres west to northeast from its farthest source at the source of the river Paraitinga to the sea near Campos dos Goytacazes. The river receives its name when it meets the river Paraibuna at the Paraibuna dam.

Its main tributaries are the rivers Jaguari, Buquira, Paraibuna, Preto, Pomba and Muriaé. These last two are the longest and join the main river 140 kilometres and 50 kilometres from the mouth respectively .

The valley of the Paraíba do Sul is porrathe latitudes 20°26' and 23°39'S and the longitudes of 41° and 46°30'W and covers an area of about 57,000 km² distributed over three states. The main economic activities are industry and cattle raising.


Presently only two parts of the river can be navigated:

  • The lower section, between the mouth and São Fidélis, about 90 km. It has a declivity of 22 cm/km. There is incipient navigation carried out by small boats that transport mainly construction material to the city of Campos dos Goytacazes.
  • The upper middle section, between Cachoeira Paulista and Guararema, about 280 km. Despite the small declivity of 19 cm/km, navigation is restricted to tourist boats.

Elsewhere navigation is hampered by various obstacles; waterfalls, rapids, sections with great declivity and various hydroelectric works with no locks. Other factors impeding navigation are the existence of highway and railway bridges, the proximity of roads and railways following the riverbank and the location of several cities on its banks.

Centres of population[edit]

The Paraíba Valley is very fertile and has always been a region of relatively dense population. Cities located on or near the river are


Note: Some of them are in Portuguese.