Cuiaba

The northern gateway to the Pantanal wetlands, Cuiabá is also the southernmost gateway to the cerrado and the Amazon beyond. While you're waiting for a tour into the wetlands you can take a jaunt to Chapada dos Guimarães, a mountain range with impressive gorges, waterfalls, and vistas. The capital of Mato Grosso, Cuiabá is well known for being one of the hottest cities in Brazil: mean annual temperature is a sizzling 27°C (81°F). Daily highs surpass 45°C (113°F) several times during the year. The city name comes from the Bororo native people, who lived in the area—it means "place where we fish with spears." It was originally settled in the 18th century, when gold was found in the nearby rivers.

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