Governador Island

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Native name: Ilha do Governador
Rio deJaneiro LE2002059 lrg.jpg
Governador Island is the largest Island in Guanabara Bay
Governador Island is located in Rio de Janeiro
Governador Island
Governador Island (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Location Guanabara Bay
Coordinates 22°48′21″S 43°12′37″W / 22.80583°S 43.21028°W / -22.80583; -43.21028Coordinates: 22°48′21″S 43°12′37″W / 22.80583°S 43.21028°W / -22.80583; -43.21028
Area 36.12 km2 (13.95 sq mi)
City Rio de Janeiro
Population 500,000
Density 10,714.29 /km2 (27,749.88 /sq mi)

Governador Island (Ilha do Governador, in Portuguese) is the largest island in Guanabara Bay, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It has a population of about 300,000 inhabitants, in a small area of 42 km2 (16 sq mi).

Rio de Janeiro's main airport, Galeão - Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport and the Galeão Air Force Base, are located on Governador Island and occupy about a third of it, in the western and northwestern parts. A small sea inlet that once existed on the northwestern shore was landfilled to build the airport's runway 10/28, thereby increasing the island's area a little bit.

Often mentioned by cariocas (inhabitants of Rio city) simply as Ilha ("island"), Governador Island has some favelas, such as the pacified(not pacified yet) Morro do Dendê, the largest one, but it also has many middle-class neighborhoods and even the third better IDH index in the city, the Jardim Guanabara neighborhood. The island is connected to Fundão Island and to the mainland by a complex of expressway bridges and through a barge in Cocotá Terminal, transporting passengers to downtown (Centro) in Rio.

The name means "Governor's Island" because one of the first colonial governors of Brazil built a country house on the island in the 16th century. The native name for the island in Old Tupi was Paranapuã, which means "sea branch".

People from Governador Island suffer from high pollution from Guanabara Bay. Although surrounded by beaches naturally as an island, many of them have become inappropriate for usage even though the bay has been cleaned up in recent years for the 2016 Olympic Games.

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