Welcome to Formosa, a beautiful municipality located in the state of Goiás, Brazil, approximately 80 kilometers northeast of Brasília. With a population of 123,684 (estimation 2020) in a total area of 5,813.637 km2, Formosa is known for its waterfalls and natural environment. It is a large producer of cattle and grains and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state.
Formosa has a rich history that dates back to the second half of the eighteenth century. The first name of Formosa was Arraial dos Couros, which was founded by black slaves on the banks of the Itiquira River and the Paranã in the tropical Paranã valley. Due to health problems caused by the unhealthy climate of the river location, the settlement was quickly moved to a new location called Couros. On August 1, 1843, the settlement was elevated to the category of Vila (town), and received the name of Vila Formosa da Imperatriz, chosen for the beauty of the area and to pay homage to the Empress Teresa Cristina. The municipality of Formosa was only created on February 22, 1844.
Formosa belongs to the micro-region called Entorno do Distrito Federal, which is composed of 20 municipalities with 960,000 inhabitants in a total area of 38,212.00 km². It has municipal boundaries with São João dAliança, Cabeceira Grande and Buritis, Minas Gerais, and the Federal District. The average elevation of this large area is around 1000 meters, about the same as Brasília, eighty kilometers away. The terrain is for the most part characterized by gently undulating flat plateau lands, especially to the north and south.
Formosa is located in the second largest of Brazil’s eco-regions, the Cerrado. The term Cerrado means dense or closed in both Portuguese and Spanish, an unusual term for a region that consists mainly of tree and scrub savannah. Local diversity in parts of the Cerrado is quite impressive. Just within the limits of Brasília, the 37-year-old capital of Brazil located at the heart of the Cerrado, there are some 81 mammals, 429 birds, 40 snakes and lizards, 11 amphibians, 1,000 butterflies, and 550 bees and wasps recorded to date.
Formosa lies at the source of three Brazilian river basins: the Amazon River represented by the Ribeirão Bandeirinha, the Río de la Plata represented by the Ribeirão Pipiripau and the São Francisco River represented by the Ribeirão Santa Rita, being called by the poet from Goiás, Leo Lince – Cradle of the Waters of Brazil. There are many rivers and waterfalls in the surrounding area. An attractive lake with a rather paradoxical name – Lagoa Feia – is located on the edge of the city. One of Brazil’s highest waterfalls – Itiquira Falls is located about 30 km to the north.
The climate is characterized as tropical altitude. The average temperature is about 25 °C. Temperatures vary little from month to month with perhaps a slight increase in the rainy season. The south of the municipality is higher and therefore temperatures are lower while the Paranã valley has hot and humid weather. What characterizes the climate of Formosa is less temperature than rainfall. The year may be divided into two seasons, the summer or rainy season lasting from October to April and the winter or dry season lasting from May to September.
Economic activity in Formosa is based primarily on services and agriculture with soybeans, cattle raising, rice, manioc and corn being the main sources of income. The GDP in 2005 was R$428 million, of which 290 million was generated by services. There are several small industries producing furniture and bricks. Extensive cattle raising for meat is still the main economic activity of the municipality. The growing of soybeans was associated not only to modernization but to the obtaining of easy rural credit by producers who came from the south of the country – Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná – looking for abundant and cheap land.
Formosa is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those interested in Brazilian history and culture. With its stunning waterfalls, diverse wildlife, and rich agricultural heritage, there is something for everyone in this charming municipality. Come and experience the beauty of Formosa for yourself!