Welcome to Caetité, a historic and culturally rich city located in the semi-arid sertão region of Bahia, Brazil. With a population of over 51,000 people, Caetité covers an area of 2,651.5 square kilometers and is situated 757 kilometers from the state capital, Salvador. The city is bordered by ten other municipalities, all within Bahia: Igaporã, Guanambi, Pindaí, Licínio de Almeida, Caculé, Ibiassucê, Lagoa Real, Livramento do Brumado, Paramirim, and Tanque Novo.
Caetité’s economy is primarily based on mining, with the city being the only producer of uranium in Latin America. The mining industry in Caetité is notable for its production of amethyst, uranium, iron, and manganese. The city is also an important cultural center of the state of Bahia, with a historic center that boasts numerous protected buildings.
The name Caetité derives from the Tupi language and means big stone forest, combining the words kaa, meaning forest, itá, meaning stone, and eté, meaning true. The city is named after the rock formation east of the city now known as Pedra Redonda.
Archaeological sites in Caetité show continuous settlement in the area for more than 6,000 years. The earliest known inhabitants are the Jê people, who are closely related to the Tupinaé and Pataxós peoples. Caetité was a nucleus of Catholic proselytism of indigenous people in the 17th century. Cattle ranchers settled in the region at the same time due to the mild climate and water sources.
Caetité has a rich history that dates back to the 18th century when several families settled in the region. The Carvalho family erected a church dedicated to Saint Anne in 1740, which soon generated a small settlement. It was elevated to the category of parish in 1754, under the name Santana do Caetité, and was a district of Minas do Rio de Contas. The population of Caetité petitioned the Portuguese Crown to raise the parish to the category of village at the end of the 18th century. This was successful when Vila Nova do Príncipe and Santana were created on April 5, 1810.
Caetité is the birthplace of educational and political figures such as Anísio Teixeira, Paulo Souto, and Waldick Soriano, known as the Brazilian Frank Sinatra. It is also home to the first normal school in the Bahian sertão, founded by Anísio Teixeira during his tenure as General Director of Public Instruction of Bahia, and opened in 1926.
Caetité is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich mining heritage, admiring its colonial-period historic structures, or simply soaking up the local culture, Caetité has something for everyone. So why not add this enchanting destination to your travel bucket list today?