ABOUT RORAIMA AND BOA VISTA
The state of Roraima is located in the extreme north of Brazil, being limited to the North with the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and with Venezuela; To the South with the State of Amazonas; To the east with the Republic of Guyana and with the State of Pará; And the West as the Republic of Venezuela and the State of Amazonas.
In a recent study, it was detected that the extreme of Brazil is located in Mount Caburaí, in Roraima, and not in Oiapoque in the state of Amapá.
With an area of 225.116Km, equivalent to 5.9% of the North Region and 2.6 of the surface of Brazil, Roraima has its borders extended by 964 kilometers with Guyana and 958 with Venezuela.
Its population, estimated today by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics – IBGE, of 324,397 inhabitants, of which 200,568 are concentrated in the Capital, Boa Vista. The population of Roraima is formed by several ethnic groups, where isolated Indians are mixed, such as: Ingaricó, Waimiri-Atroaris, Wai-Wai; Primitive Indians: Yanomami and Indians in contact with society, such as Macuxi, Wapixana and Taurepang. The State also highlights the great influence of the culture of other states of Brazil.
Roraima is the only State in the North Region that, besides adding to its totality of the country’s climatic typology, possesses a typical portion of its territory in a typical climate. Flanked by forests, hills and fields, all with multiple compositions and diverse formations, it presents different climatic aspects regionally, even though in its totality it strictly obeys seasonal regularity.
The seasons are well differentiated, being one of the rains, which covers the period from April to September, and another very dry from October to March. The State is covered to the south and west by the Amazon forest; To the east by the savannahs, which extend to Guyana; And to the north through the mountainous complex of Pacaraima, whose altitudes provide lower temperatures.
Like its climate, the state of Roraima has the most varied relief of the Amazon, composed of low surfaces covered with recent sediments and higher and more rugged terrain.
Most areas of the State are drained by the Branco river basin, the most important tributary of the left bank of the Negro River. The hydrographic regime of the Branco river basin is defined by a flood period, between the months of March and September, being the highest flood of the month of June. Between the months of October and February, the waters are lowered, making it impossible even to navigate some stretches of the lower Rio Branco. The Blanco basin covers an area of 204,640 km², of which 11,312 are located in the Republic of Guyana.
Fauna e Flora: the nature closer to you
Because Boa Vista is located in the savannah region of the Brazilian Amazon, also known as plowing. The rich ecosystem, composed of diverse fauna and flora, gives the municipality beautiful natural scenery.
Tropical fruits such as cashews, cupuaçu, buriti, mango, acai and many others can be enjoyed year-round by visitors.
The walks in the fields near the city reveal the dwelling of species like the anteater, the armadillo and other animals that make up the fauna of the plow. Many birds inhabit the forested areas and the different species of orchids complete the paradisiacal scenery of the region.
Popular Parties: fun, history and magic
The folklore, myths and legends of Roraima gather for 9 nights in Boa Vista Junina, one of the largest popular festivals in the Northern Region. The party is part of the calendar of events of the Municipality.
A replica of the city of Boa Vista is set up in the Civic Center Square. A disputed June gang contest gives brightness and excitement to the party, which brings together thousands of people every night. Regional cuisine is one of the attractions of typical food stalls.
Closing the celebrations of the Plaza of the Civic Center, another great Array of the Anuá Park begins, that is, the whole month of June, entering July in the form of a June party.
Carnival is marked by the parades of the samba schools. Allegories and plots portray the history and enhance the folklore of Roraima. The structure set up along Vile Roy Avenue attracts thousands of people during the five nights of revelers.
Serra do Tepequém: a unique place in the Amazon Region
The trails of the Serra do Tepequém provide the tourist with the contact with nature that has resisted the exploration of diamonds and still retains brands of the garimpeira race in search of wealth. They are trails that show traces of a bygone era and places where it is possible to contemplate an exuberant nature. In the walks, it is possible to follow the beauty of the flocks of macaws and toucans.
With 1,100 m of altitude, the saw has its top cut by a valley that forms the waterfalls of Paiva and Sobral. The Barata and Funil waterfalls complete the setting for an ecological adventure full of surprises and emotions.
Gastronomy: the Amazon and Brazil at your table
In the markets, restaurants and squares of Boa Vista it is possible to find in each table a little of the Amazonian and Brazilian cuisines. Meat with banana, tambaqui on the grill, tacacá, mungunzá … There are dishes for every taste.
At the beginning of each day, the best option to go to the municipal markets and have a regional breakfast before leaving to get to know Boa Vista. At the end of the day, take a guarana juice to recover the energies and continue delighting in the attractions of the city.
Indigenous cuisine is another mark of Boa Vista. To the exotic dishes, heritage of the first inhabitants of the region, is combined the different and tasty taste of what can only be found in the northernmost capital of Brazil.
Crafts the manifestation of cultures
The ethnic and cultural diversity of Roraima can be seen in the different artifacts produced by the indigenous ethnic groups that inhabit the region.
The indigenous art of the Macuxi, Wai-wai, Wapixana, Yanomami, Taurepang, Ingarikó, Uaimiri-Atroari and Maiangong can be found in the various handicraft centers of Boa Vista.
Using raw materials from the cerrado and the forest, the Indians make a wide variety of products with diverse techniques, forms, motifs and aesthetic design, which gives them the value of true pieces of art. This is the case of the pottery produced by the Macuxi; The Wai-wai imbaúba seed adornments; Yanomami’s fiberglass baskets; And the different works in wood, fibers and natural dyes that reveal traces of the predominant cultural identity in the State.
Boa Vista Great Surprise in the Amazon
Boa Vista can be considered as the Great Surprise of the Amazon, because those who come to the city without knowing anything about it will hardly fail to be surprised by what they will find. Wide avenues, tree lined streets, and a clean and organized city. Despite being located far from the main Brazilian capitals and above the Ecuadorian line, she was not intimidated by the distance and knew how to straighten up. It is not a traditional tourist destination, but every day, it becomes more remembered as a starting point for ecotourism-related scripts, and for all those who want to know the farthest reaches of the country.
The capital of the state of Roraima emerged in the 19th century, and originated in the small settlement on the banks of the Branco River. Those who approach Boa Vista by air can observe the perfect geometry of its streets and avenues, clear indications of careful urban planning that seems to be unhappy with the soft curves of the river and the forests around it. Everything in the city radiates from the Civic Center Square, where are the main administrative buildings, hotels and restaurants, and the local commerce little different from the existing in any other Brazilian city of the same size.
A short distance from the civic center, we arrive at the historical center of the city, situated in the region of Barreto Leite square. In terms of tourism, this region offers several alternatives for interesting visits, each telling a different aspect about the historical formation of Boa Vista. It is worth to visit the little Historical Church, the Port of the Washerwomen and the Salt Deposit. Then visit the Anauá Park, which has lakes, leisure areas, and where you can also visit the Roraima Museum.
The Monument to the Garimpeiros, located in Barreto Leite Square, is the most famous monument of the city, and as it is easy to deduce, it honors all those who contributed to the development and progress of this region. On holidays, another must-see is the recently built Airton Senna Sports Complex, which soon became the city’s favorite spot for various sports and events.
As you would expect in a place surrounded by nature, alternative itineraries are one of Boa Vista’s main attractions. Among the most sought after is a walk to Pedra Pintada, a gigantic granite block, 60 meters in diameter and 35 meters high, situated on the banks of the Parimé River, where there are discovered institutes and prehistoric drawings. For those who have an adventurous spirit and do not mind giving up comfort for a few days, a tip is to get to know a village of the Ianomami or Macuxis Indians. They are distant, the route is difficult, and a prior authorization from FUNAI is required, but an adventure is sure to be unforgettable.
Photo of Praça das Aguas, located in front of our hotel, is one of the best known addresses of Boa Vista. With a highlight to the monument known as Portal do Milênio, built on the arrival of the year 2000. This is the right place to go at night, as it is surrounded by bars and restaurants where you can enjoy everything from good music to typical dishes. Also frequent are the music and dance events. And for the kids who prefer hamburgers and coke, there are also branches of the big fast food chains found in the rest of Brazil.
Another remembered tourist program consists in discovering the beaches of the White river. Between September and April the water level is very low, giving rise to several beaches with white sands, a scene that resembles an image of paradise. Some of them are deserted and surrounded by typical Amazonian vegetation, others are very frequented and even have bars and restaurants. Access to these beaches is made by rental boats, easily found in the port of the city. Other boat trips follow towards the Amazon forest, where it is possible to cross rivers and streams.
Boa Vista still keeps delicious indoor habits, such as the custom of almost every trade to close its doors for two hours after lunch. As everything here is close, everyone will eat lunch at home. Needless to say that by these stress is a word almost unknown. Beside, Monument to the Pioneers, that as the plate says in its base “They began the construction of a dream called Roraima”.
This nice building of strong colors is one of the best places of the city to find souvenirs, curiosities, indigenous handicrafts, etc. It is a short walk from the center, on the banks of the White River. A little further on, is another great place to go on the nights of Friday and Saturday, the tourist deck opened on the banks of the river, which has restaurants, bars, live music and lots of entertainment.
Another well-traveled tourist route in the region is visiting the São Joaquim Fort, listed by historical patrimony. The best way to get there is by boat, on a trip that lasts approximately 3 hours. The fort is a Portuguese construction of 1775. At the time the Portuguese were concerned about the growing presence of English, French and Dutch in these lands to the north of Brazil, and they decided to build the fortification to try to contain its advance. Today the fort is in ruins, yet the visit is very interesting. Just a short distance from the fort is another local attraction, the Fazenda de São Marcos, one of the first cattle farms in Brazil’s far north, which contributed greatly to the development of the region. Next to it is a modern religious temple of Boa Vista.
If you have enough time to go beyond Boa Vista, you will not be disappointed. Ecotourism is increasingly being affirmed as one of the most requested activities among tourists from Brazil and abroad. Several of these travelers seek to reach Mount Roraima (photo below), which with its nearly 3,000 meters is one of the main symbols of these lands. Anyone who is willing to face this multi-day adventure should be prepared to face winds of up to 100 km per hour and temperatures ranging from freezing cold to tropical heat, depending on the time of day. In compensation, during the ascent you will find a multitude of plant species and breathtaking views. Those who reach the summit of Mount Roraima will also find the Triple Border, marking the meeting point of Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana.
Roraima is the Brazilian state with the largest indigenous population, formed among others by Maiogong, Taurepang, Macuxí, Ingaricó, Waimiri-Atroari, Wai-Wai, Waipixana and Yanomami. Also here is the extreme north point of the country, Mount Caburaí. This is a land full of symbolism, starting with the name, for Roraima means Brave Mother of the Winds. It is the definitive affirmation of a place that has overcome the jungle, the distance, and many other adversities, and impose itself as the northern border of a continental country. But above all, Roraima is a permanent challenge, and remains an irresistible invitation to the adventurers and discoverers of the 21st century.