Welcome to Caratinga, a charming municipality in eastern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. With a population of over 92,000 inhabitants and a total area of 1,251 km2, Caratinga is a vibrant and bustling destination that offers something for everyone. From its rich history and culture to its breathtaking landscapes and delicious cuisine, Caratinga is a hidden gem that is just waiting to be explored.
Located at 19° 37’ 30’’ latitude south and at 42° 09’ 00’’ longitude west, Caratinga lies on the important Rio-Bahia interstate highway (BR 116) and is connected to the state capital of Belo Horizonte by BR–381 to the city of João Monlevade. The nearest airport is in Ubaporanga, just 15 km from downtown. Despite its location, Caratinga is still a relatively undiscovered destination, making it the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy some peace and quiet.
Caratinga gets its name from the Tupi term akaratinga, which means white cará. The city’s name refers to the abundance of this particular tuber in the area since it was inhabited by the Aimoré people. The climate in Caratinga is tropical sub-hot, with mild summer temperatures and winter temperatures between 15 and 18 °C. The average temperature is around 23 °C, while the maximum and the minimum are 28 °C and 17 °C respectively.
Caratinga’s economy is heavily based on agriculture, with a large part of the landholdings being minifundios or small properties. The main crops are fruits and vegetables, but especially coffee. With an area planted with 66 million trees in more than 320 square kilometres, coffee growing provides about 8 thousand direct jobs and 35 thousand indirect. The harvest is from April to September.
Caratinga is home to two institutions of higher education: UNEC – Centro Universitário de Caratinga and FIC – Faculdades Integradas de Caratinga. There are also three local newspapers: O Jornal de Caratinga (weekly), A Semana (weekly), and Diário de Caratinga (daily).
One of the main attractions in Caratinga is Pedra Itaúna, which has been declared a national historical monument. With its 1,012 meters elevation, it attracts participants in rappel, paragliding, and mountain climbing. Another attraction is the Fazenda Montes Claros, which is home to some 150 northern muriquis (Brachyteles arachnoids), one of the most endangered primates in the world. The fazenda is also home to three other primate species: the buffy headed marmoset, the black-capped capuchin, and the brown howler monkey.
Overall, Caratinga is a wonderful destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty and culture of Brazil. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich history, sampling its delicious cuisine, or simply soaking up the sun on one of its beautiful beaches, Caratinga has something for everyone. So why wait? Book your trip today and discover all that this amazing destination has to offer!