Volta Grande is located in the Zona da Mata mesoregion of Minas Gerais near the border with the state of Rio de Janeiro. The city is 352 kilometres (219 mi) by road from the state capital of Belo Horizonte. It lies at an altitude of 210 metres (690 ft).
The climate is tropical with rains during the summer and mean annual temperature around 19 °C (66 °F), with variations between 15 °C (59 °F) (average minimum) and 23 °C (73 °F) (mean maximum).
The town originated from a village formed in 1835 and was elevated to a district of the municipality of Alem Paraíba in 1891. Emancipation came in 1938.
It is the birthplace of film director Humberto Mauro.
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