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First capital of Mato Grosso

Vila Bela da Santíssima Trindade was the first capital of Mato Grosso, still in the colonial period, this, in itself, already represents an important factor of visitation to the place. In Vila Bela the nature is lavish, as this region is characterized by presenting a species of forest ecotone from Mato Grosso, with samples of Amazonian forest, cerrado and wetland. That is, the three ecosystems that the State has in a single municipality.
It was after the discovery of the Vila Bela region that the bandeirantes brothers Paes de Barros, after treading fields and savannahs, came across the lush forest of Guaporé, whose contrast with the landscape previously observed suggested the term Mato Grosso, which was perpetuated.
Vila Bela was created with royal intentions to decorate the border area, being traditionally inhabited by families of African origin, who are very proud of their roots, cultivating their traditions and culture through centuries. Proof of this are the popular festivals such as São Benedito, where during their celebration the dances of Congo and Chorado are shown.

Those who visit the city today are faced with the ruins at the Igreja Matriz, whose work began in 1793. Located in the central square of the city, the ruins call attention for their grandeur, despite more than 200 years of existence. The adobe walls are more than one meter wide and six meters high. Protected from the weather since 2006, the heritage is the biggest tourist attraction in Vila Bela.

But in addition to the ruins, the municipality has a lot to offer like the beauty of the Guaporé River. Amid lush vegetation the river flows slowly, with its water hyacinths. With luck, the visitor can even see a pink dolphin. There is also the Serra de Ricardo Franco State Park, with its countless waterfalls, including Jatobá - known as the largest in Mato Grosso, with 218 m.

How to get there: go from Cuiabá to Cáceres via BR 070, from Cáceres to Pontes and Lacerda via BR 174 (Cáceres - Porto Velho) and to Vila Bela by state highway.

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* Source: Vila Bela City Hall website * Photos source website cidadao cultura by Vinícius Appolari

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