Cotia was founded in 1580, and was an active village during the "bandeiras" expeditions. In 1626, Raposo Tavares and his companions arrived in the city. The "Sítio do Mandú" and "Sítio do Padre Inácio" (Mandu's Ranch and Priest Inácio's Ranch) were some of the first rural houses to be built there. Nowadays, they are preserved by the "Instituto Brasileiro de Patrimônio Cultural. Cotia was declared an independent municipality on April 2, 1856. According to the 1980 demographic census, the city had a population of over 62 thousand people.