Três Pontas

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Três Pontas
Município de Três Pontas
Municipality of Três Pontas
View of part of the city.
View of part of the city.
Flag of Três Pontas
Official seal of Três Pontas
Terra do café (Land of Coffee)
Location of Três Pontas
Coordinates: 21°22′13″S 45°30′44″W / 21.37028°S 45.51222°W / -21.37028; -45.51222Coordinates: 21°22′13″S 45°30′44″W / 21.37028°S 45.51222°W / -21.37028; -45.51222
Country Brazil
StateBandeira de Minas Gerais.svg Minas Gerais
Founded byBento Ferreira de Brito
 • MayorLuciana Ferreira Mendonça (PR)
 • Total689.421 km2 (266.187 sq mi)
905 m (2,969 ft)
Time zoneUTC-3 (UTC-3)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-2 (UTC-2)
Postal Code (CEP)
WebsitePrefeitura de Três Pontas

Três Pontas (/trɛs pɔːtɑːs/; Portuguese pronunciation: [tres põtas], Three Tips) is a municipality located in southern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. It's a city with about all streets of urban zone paved and services of water and sewage to all people. The municipality has about 54 thousand inhabitants and a population density of 78,12hab/km². The road MG-167 is the only paved road that passes through the city, but the Rodovia Fernão Dias (BR-381), is less than 50 km from the city centre passing through Varginha.

The municipality don't have a rugged relief (the average level is 900m), there are only three areas in which the altitude reaches 1100m above sea level. One of them is the Serra de Três Pontas (Three Tips Mountain), a place known in the region for its distinctive shape and natural environment.[citation needed] The streams Araras and Espera are the main water courses that pass through the municipality, and they flow into the Furnas Dam. The rivers Verde and Sapucaí pass on the south boundary and flow into Furnas Dam too. The Municipality is located on the basin of the Grande River.

The suave climate favors the growth of coffee, the main economic wealth of the city (known as one of the largest producers of coffee in Brazil).


View of the mountain of Três Pontas with the shape that gave the city name.

The city name origin is the peculiar shape of the mountain near the city, that was utilized as a reference point by ancient travelers and by the runaway slaves. These slaves formed near the mountain, the Quilombo do Cascalho[2] which was destroyed some time later.


The first inhabitants of the region was the runaway slaves that has formed two quilombos. During the colonization process, it had fights of settlers and slaves and explorers looking for gold. The soil of Três Pontas has no gold or important mineral resources. So, it was formed farms to create cattle and culture of subsistence.

The chapel of Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda was the start of the locality, founded on October 15, 1768 by the Captain Bento Ferreira de Brito, attracting people scattered around. The locality, with rural and urban characteristics mixed, was formed slowly around the chapel. Três Pontas has supplied the villages that arose with the gold and later the Rio de Janeiro. The locality was elevated to a village in April 1841.

On July 3, 1857 the village received the status of city.[3] With the emergence and affirmation of the coffee, in the mid of the 19th century, and with the creation of roads, Três Pontas reach the international market through Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo ports. Coffee has maintained the city economy ever since. Two persons deserve special mention in the city's history: the Barão da Boa Esperança, influential politician who contributed to the development of the municipality, and Padre Victor, pastor of the city.

Três Pontas also had a rail spur, the Trespontana Railroad, which was inaugurated in 1895,[4] whose terminal was where today is located the City Hall. The railway was closed in 1964 due to, among other reasons, the flooding of part of the line by Furnas Dam.


Map of Três Pontas showing its main geographic features.
The Municipality photographed by a satellite. The grey spot in the center is the urban area.[5]
The Serra de Três Pontas, the highest mountain on the municipality.

The municipality is limited to the north with Campos Gerais and Santana da Vargem, on south with the municipality of Varginha, Elói Mendes and Paraguaçu,on east with Nepomuceno e Carmo da Cachoeira and west with Campos Gerais.[6] It's located at about 290 kilometers away from Belo Horizonte, the state's capital. According to the map of urban hierarchy produced by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, Três Pontas is classified as a B zone center, that means the city has a restricted influence, only over the smaller cities around it. The city is under influence of Varginha that, on the other hand, is under influence of Belo Horizonte.[7]

Relief, soils and rocks[edit]

The municipality has a wavy relief, with altitudes between 800 and 900 meters above sea level, with the city located at about 905 meters.[8] However about twenty percent of the municipality is in mountainous regions, in which the height exceeds one thousand meters above sea level. One of these areas is the Serra de Três Pontas (Three Tips Hill), located nineteen kilometers away from the city, where is located the highest point of the municipality, at 1 234 meters above sea level. The lowest point is located on the margins of the Furnas reservoir, at about 770 meters above the sea level.


Red/yellow oxisols. According with Brazilian Systems of Soils Classification all (or almost all) oxisols are acidic and nutrient-poor. However, when adjusted and fertilized these soils become highly productive.


According to the Geologic Map of Minas Gerais,[9] the soils in the south portion of the municipality have kianite granulite rocks. In the north, it has rocks of the ortogneissics complexes (ortogneisses granitics, granulitics, migmatitics and anphibolites) and in the region of Três Pontas Mountain the rocks are formed by metapelitic graphitous alternated with quartzite.


According to IBGE Brazil Climate Map[10] the climate of Três Pontas is Tropical semi-humid, with a dry season that last between four and five months and the average temperature is between 15 °C and 18 °C in at least one month in the year.

During the summer rains are common in the late afternoon. Temperatures at this time are always very high. In the winter the arrival of polar air masses that drop and cause frost. In this time of year the relative humidity is too low, and causes discomfort to the population.

Climate data for Três Pontas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.2
Average low °C (°F) 19
Average rainfall mm (inches) 321
Source: COCATREL Temperatures= "Temperatures in Três Pontas". COCATREL. Retrieved February 2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

The municipality is watered by Verde and Sapucaí rivers (dammed in Furnas), belonging to Grand River Drainage. It also has the Araras and Espera streams, that are formed by the joining of several smaller streams. The Arara stream rises near the town and moves west to flow into the reservoir of Furnas. The Espera stream rises near the Três Pontas Mountain and flows into Furnas near a farm with the same name. Other streams that rises on the north of Três Pontas Mountain go north and flow into Rio Grande.


Três Pontas is in the transition area between the biome Mata Atlântica and the biome Cerrado.[11] The original vegetation of the Municipality is highly modified because of coffee production, but some woods still remain.

Urban Area[edit]

View of Três Pontas
Water and sewage connections

The water and sewage service is by S.A.A.E. (Serviço Autônomo de Água e Esgoto, Water and Sewage Autonomous System). Três Pontas has 12644 water connections, that means 100% of urban area homes served with treated water.[12]

The sewage system serves 12572 homes, that means 99.2% of houses have access to the sewage system, that put the city among the cities with better sanitation in Brazil.[12]

In the municipality, 14004 homes have water connections, 1776 draw water from wells or springs on their own property and 263 have other forms of obtaining water.

Electric power

Electrical power is supplied by CEMIG(Compania Energética de Minas Gerais,Energetic Company of Minas Gerais).

Paving and fleet

Três Pontas has about 98% of paved streets in the urban area. Due to the fleet growing in the last years, there is a lack of parking lots in downtown and in peak hours, the traffic becomes slow in some streets.

Urban transportation

The city has bus lines that serve almost all neighborhoods of the urban area.

Streams that cross the urban area

The urban area is crossed for the streams Candongas, Custodinho, Bambus and Quatis. All of them are tributaries of Araras stream.

Census 2010

According to the census, there are 18517 houses[13] in the municipality, that totalize 21819 addresses,[13] being 3474 in the countryside and 18345 in the urban area.[13]

Still according to 2010 census, 15474 homes are houses (96.5%), 526 are apartments (3.3%) and 40 belongs to a condominium (0.2%).[14]

Urban Hierarchy

According with the map of Urban Hierarchy of Brazil,[7] Três Pontas is classified as a center of zone B, that means the city has a small regional influence, restricted to small cities which Três Pontas is bordered. The city is under influence of Varginha that, on the other hand, is under influence of Belo Horizonte.

Três Pontas is today the greatest producer of coffee in the country. There are more than 50 million coffee trees in an area of approximately 300 square kilometres, producing an average of 400 thousand sacks each harvest.


Access Roads
Road MG-167 between Três Pontas and Santana da Vargem near Charneca.

Três Pontas is crossed by the state highway MG-167 giving access to BR-491(passing through Varginha) and BR-265(passing through Santana da Vargem). Both federal highways give access to Rodovia Fernão Dias(BR-381).

There is a project for creation of the road Três Pontas - Paraguaçu passing through Pontalete and other for creation of the road Três Pontas - Carmo da Cachoeira.[15]

Air Access

The city has the Leda Mello Resende Airport[16] , 3 km from downtown, with paved runway, measuring 1,150m in length by 20m in width, which allows for the landing and takeoff of small and medium-sized planes. Airlines from Varginha : TAE, TAM, TAV.

Rural Roads

The municipality is crossed by more than 300 km of rural roads, mostly in good condition. Through these routes is possible get directly to Campos Gerais, Nepomuceno, Carmo da Cachoeira and Paraguaçu(passing through Pontalete crossing the Furnas Dam by a ferry line)


It's possible arrive to the Pontalete district by boat, because the district is watered by Furnas Dam.


According to the 2010 census, 50.4%(27155) of Três Pontas population are women, and 49.6%(26705) are men.[14]

Color or race
Skin color Amount of people[14] Percentage[14]
White 26754 49.7%
Black 5554 10.3%
Yellow 305 0.6%
Brown 21220 39.4%

Municipal Human Development Index

  • MHDI: .773[17]
  • State ranking: 152 out of 853 municipalities
  • National ranking: 1,251 out of 5,138 municipalities
  • Life expectancy: 72
  • Literacy rate: 88 For the complete list see Frigoletto


The municipal economy is mixed, but coffee is the most important economic product.


The planting is diverse, but the coffee plantations occupy most of the cultivated area. There is in the city more than 30 million coffee trees planted in an area of 24 thousand hectares, being the largest national producer. About 75% of coffee production is marketed by the Cooperativa dos Cafeicultores da Zona de Três Pontas(COCATREL).[18] In the city are also planted corn, beans and vegetables, among others. In 2010, 29808 tons of coffee were harvested (about 1% of national production), with an average yield 1440 kg/ha, a total amount of R$157 982 000. In comparation with 2009, the total production dropped 1.8%.[19]

coffee is the main product of the city economy.
Permanent farming[20]
Year Banana Coffee Guava Orange Passion fruit Tangerine
1990 26 24032 - 6630 - 1740
2000 3 35904 - 5538 - 702
2010 40 29808 4 108 10 126
Production value (R$)
2000 13000 42474000 - 223 - 49
2010 22 157982000 6 52 6 40
Temporary Farming
Product Production Value (R$) (2000).[21] Production value (R$)(2010) Planted area (ha)(1990).[22] Planted area (ha)(2000) Planted area (ha) (2010)
Rice 49 000 11000 603 200 8
Sugar cane - 14000 6118 (sem dados) 10
Beans 502000 1764000 2400 1100 1200
Cassava 77000 90000 14 17 10
Corn 3125000 6300000 4000 4000 3500
Tomato - 960000 - - 12
Animal production[23] (Animals amount)
Year Cows Horses Buffalo Asinines Hinnies Swine Goats Sheep Chickens
1974 26724 848 - - - 3124 22 91 40000
1980 20261 1500 - - 350 6307 - - 37826
1990 20500 1070 - 119 119 438 - 27 32000
2000 20000 1620 120 20 140 2110 50 20 6400
2009 21727 1790 262 80 185 1770 72 21 6120


Três Pontas has an Industrial park, with small and medium industries: fertilizer industry, agricultural machinery, fabrics, plastic ware, precast products, metalwork, furniture, roasting, baking, graphics, stills and other miscellaneous.

Besides the growth of tourism in the region driven by the dam and farm hotels.


The services correspond to 62% of GNP of the municipality .[24] The trade contributes significantly to the growth of the city.

Commercial establishments by activity
  • Restaurants / Bars - 315
  • Hotels and others - 06
  • Coffee shops, Bakeries and Ice Cream– 78
  • Gas stations with services- 12
  • Markets – 152
  • Obs.: Total number of registered taxpayers in the municipality in various brands of activity: 3938

Public Health[edit]

About 58% of health facilities are in the responsibility of the municipality. The other 42% are private. The city has a Pronto Atendimento Municipal (Municipal Emergency Services)(PAM), which attends to the urgent and emergency cases. It also has the Hospital São Francisco de Assis(St. Francis Hospital), which has about 100 beds, surgical, obstetric, pediatric, ICU and medical clinic .[25] The hospital also offers radiology services, ultrasound, sterilization center and clinic.

Health care

The Department of Health of Três Pontas manages various clinics scattered throughout neighborhoods.

  • Center for Health Catumbi (Centro de Saúde Catumbi)
  • Padre Victor Health Center (Centro de Saúde Padre Victor)
  • Health Centre St. Edwirges(Centro de Saúde Santa Edwirges)
  • Health Center Marilena Village(Centro de Saúde Vila Marilena)
  • Center for Health Polyclinic(Centro de Saúde Policlínica)

There are also centers in rural communities and periodic visits.

The Municipal Pharmacy provides medications to low income families.

The Municipal Health Department also carries out periodic preventive campaigns for public awareness about the prevention of various diseases, especially dengue.

Três Pontas has a Centre of Ophthalmology and a dental center, both with free care for low income families.

There are also several private clinics in several areas of health.

According to the 2010 Census, there are 51 health facilities[13] public and private in Three Points.


About 45% are on elementary school, 41% on kindergarten and 14% on high school.[24]

Elementary and high school

Most schools are under the responsibility of Municipal Secretary of Education. The city has 14 municipal schools on urban area (being 11 day care centers and kindergarten school, 1 of 1st to 3rd grade, 1 of 1st to 5th grade and 1 of 1st to 9th grade) and 8 on rural zone (being 6 from 1st to 5th grade and 1 kindergarten).[26]

The city has four state schools (that have students from 6th to 9th grade and high school) and four private school (that have students from kindergarten to high school).


Centro Universitário do Sul de Minas (University Center of South Minas(FATEPS)[27]

Vocational courses

Três Pontas has many schools with vocational courses to serve young people wishing to enter the labor market. A professional school of the SEST/SENAT is also being built.[28]

According to the 2010 census, there are 34 schools[13] in Três Pontas.


Celso Brant Public Library

Administrated by Culture, Leisure and Tourism Secretary, the library has more than 20 thousand books. It was created in 1959.

Heitor Vila Lobos Municipal Music School

School of Guitar, Violin, Cello, Piano, Keyboard, Accordion, Sweet Flute, Flute, Saxophone, Drums, Guitar, Choir, Canto Single, Music Perception, Practice Set, Musicalization Music and Image. It was established in 1987.

Milton Nascimento Cultural Center

Theatre which presents the main cultural events of the city.

Sports and Tourism[edit]

View of mountains near Três Pontas. The Hotel Farm Pedra Negra is among these mountains, being a tourist destination.

The Sports Municipal Secretary arranges several events to promote sports in the city. Among these are: karate classes, football and volleyball for children and teenagers.

There are also many championships among teams of schools and neighborhoods.

The main football matches are played at Ítalo Tomagnini Municipal Stadium, but there are other football fields in other neighborhoods. Other sports, like futsal and volleyball are played at the Gymnasium Aureliano Chaves.


In Três Pontas the preferred tourist destination is the Pontalete District,[29] because of the Furnas Dam. Perfect for those who like water sports, the district has many good bars and restaurants.

Other people can visit the Três Pontas (Three tips) Mountain[30] that's about 19 km from city. On the mountain there are many trails,[31] some waterfalls and even a wall made by the slaves.

In the city there are several bars and restaurants that have good food. At weekends the downtown is very busy with parties and people on squares.

On the road between Três Pontas and Varginha, the tourist can visit the Pedra Negra Hotel Farm[32] and visit the Coffee Museum, that show how the coffee culture was.


Most people, are Catholic.

Church Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda.

The city has three parishes

  • Parish Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda(Our Lady of Help) .[33]

The main church is the Matriz Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda Church, in downtown, where are the remains of Padre Victor.

The main church is Aparecida Church

  • Parish Cristo Redentor

The main church is Nossa Senhora das Graças(Our Lady of Graces) Church (known as Catumbi Church).

The three parishes belong to the Diocese of Campanha.


Radio Station

Sentinela FM - 99.9 MHz[34]

Community Radio Liberdade FM - 87.9 MHz[35]

Radio Três Pontas - AM 1540 kHz[36]

Transamérica Hits - Fm 92.5 MHz


Jornal Correio Trespontano (Trespontano Mail Newspaper)[37]


  • City's Anniversary: July 3

Commemorated with shows and parties

  • Expocafé: June

One of the biggest events of the coffee growing country, where millions of dollars are moved, and the event grows every year. In 2012 was held between June 19 and June 22.[38]

  • Festival Música do Mundo (Music of the World Festival): September CANCELED 2011
  • Priest Victor party: September 23


  1. ^ "Censo Populacional 2010" (in Portuguese). Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). 29 November 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  2. ^ "História do município de Três Pontas" (in Portuguese).
  3. ^ "História de Três Pontas". Site da Prefeitura Municipal (in Portuguese).
  4. ^ "Railway Stations". Railway work Trespontana (in Portuguese).
  5. ^ MIRANDA, E. E. de; COUTINHO, A. C. (Coord.) (2004). "Brasil visto do espaço". Campinas: Embrapa Monitoramento por Satélite. Archived from the original on January 13, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  6. ^ IBGE (2009). "Political Map of Minas Gerais" (PDF). Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Mapa de Hierarquia Urbana do Brasil" [Map of Brazil Urban Hierarchy] (PDF) (in Portuguese). Retrieved April 13, 2012.
  8. ^ "Dados gerais de Três Pontas". Relevo. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  9. ^ "Geologic Map of Minas Gerais 2003" (PDF). Codemig (in Portuguese).
  10. ^ "Brazil Climate Map" (PDF). IBGE.
  11. ^ "Map of Brazilian Biomes" (PDF) (in Portuguese). IBGE.
  12. ^ a b "Serviço Autônomo de Água e Esgoto de Três Pontas" (in Portuguese).
  13. ^ a b c d e "Censo 2010 - IBGE".
  14. ^ a b c d "Censo 2010". Painel (in Portuguese).
  15. ^ "Departamento de Estradas de Rodagem de Minas Gerais". Programa Caminhos de Minas (in Portuguese).
  16. ^ "Lista dos Aeródromos Brasileiros" (PDF) (in Portuguese).
  17. ^ "Ranking decrescente do IDH-M dos municípios do Brasil". Atlas do Desenvolvimento Humano (in Portuguese). Programa das Nações Unidas para o Desenvolvimento (PNUD). 2000. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
  18. ^ "COCATREL". Cooperatica dos Cafeicultores da Zona de Três Pontas (in Portuguese).
  19. ^ "Produção Agrícola" (PDF) (in Portuguese).
  20. ^ "IBGE Permanente Farming". production (in Portuguese).
  21. ^ "IBGE". Temporary farming - production value.
  22. ^ "IBGE". Temporary farming - planted area.
  23. ^ "IBGE". Animal production (in Portuguese).
  24. ^ a b "IBGE - Cities".
  25. ^ "Secretaria Municipal de Saúde da Prefeitura de Três Pontas" (in Portuguese).
  26. ^ "Secretaria Municipal de Educação". Escolas municipais (in Portuguese).
  27. ^ "UNIS". Courses University Três Pontas (in Portuguese).
  28. ^ "Escola Profissionalizante do SEST/SENAT" (in Portuguese).
  29. ^ "Pontalete". Some facts about the district (in Portuguese).
  30. ^ "Três Pontas Mountain". web page about the mountain (in Portuguese).
  31. ^ "Blog Ciclo-TP". Trails on Três Pontas Mountain.
  32. ^ "Hotel Farm Pedra Negra". Três Pontas (in Portuguese).
  33. ^ "Parish of Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda". Três Pontas (in Portuguese).
  34. ^ "Radio Sentinela FM". Três Pontas (in Portuguese).
  35. ^ "Community Radio Liberdade FM". Três Pontas (in Portuguese).
  36. ^ "Radio Três Pontas" (in Portuguese).
  37. ^ "Trespontano Mail Newspaper" (in Portuguese).
  38. ^ "Expocafé". Três Pontas (in Portuguese).

External links[edit]