City location in Minas Gerais
|• Mayor||Eduardo "Corujinha" (PT)|
|• Total||395.647 km2 (152.760 sq mi)|
|Elevation||900 m (3,000 ft)|
|• Density||314.7/km2 (815/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-3 (UTC-3)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-2 (UTC-2)|
Varginha is a city and municipality in southwest Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The estimated population is approximately 123,000 inhabitants and the area of the municipality is 396.39 km². The elevation is 950 mts.
Varginha stands out as one of the major centers of commerce and coffee production in Brazil and the world. The city is a center for export of coffee draining most of the production of the South mines, making the grain trade with several countries.
The city is equidistant from the three main capitals of Brazil, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. The city is close to Rodovia Fernão Dias, which has recently been widened to four lanes. The city is served by Maj. Brig. Trompowsky Airport (IATA: VAG, ICAO: SBVG).
Varginha achieved a certain fame in UFO circles due to the so-called Varginha UFO incident in 1996, in which two extraterrestrial beings were allegedly spotted by locals and later captured by Brazilian Army, along with the local police and fire department.
After this episode, the city began to invest in "UFO tourism". Today there are bus stops with the shape of spaceships and a water tower downtown also in the shape of a spaceship. In August 2004, UFO researchers from all over Brazil came together at the I UFO Congress of Varginha, organized with the support of the City Hall.
Varginha is a major regional hub for services and industries. Several factories are established in the city such as Philips-Walita, Inovacon, Plascar, CooperStandart, Steelmaster and Samsung. There are also a large number of small enterprises in the industrial sector with regional success. It is also one of the biggest producers of coffee in the world. Its location is considered one of the best for the logistics and transportation industries.
Varginha has the biggest GDP in the southern region of Minas Gerais, a prosperous area with a high HDI and close to big economy centers in the state of Sao Paulo (state). The city was ranked 7th by Veja Magazine for the Top 20 mid-size cities to invest and live in Brazil.
Opened in 2012, the CIT-Centro Industrial Tecnológico (portuguese for Industrial and technological center) is a new industrial complex in the city's airport area and its home for the Porto Seco Sul de Minas (South Minas Dry Port), a imports/exports company for the city's coffee industry.