The Araguaia River is one of the best known and most visited river in Goiás. However, few know about their characteristics and their peculiarities, which makes it one of the most important sources of state.
The word Araguaia, home of the indigenous language Macro-Ge (Language that belong to the first inhabitants of Goiás), meaning "macaw (ara) long tail (guide)". The pioneers in the late seventeenth century, called Rio Paraupaba.
With extension of 2627 km, the Araguaia River rises in the Serra do Caiapó, the border between Goias and Mato Grosso.
In Goiás, the Araguaia river basin covers an area of 86,109 km ², west of the state, covering 49 counties. The total population resident in the area is estimated at 374,000 inhabitants, representing 8% of the population of Goiás. However, at the time of the season, the Araguaia receives 300-350 thousand tourists.
The Araguaia flows from south to north, draining an area of 382.000km ², with an average flow of 5,500 cubic meters per second. Continues towards the Atlantic, either in the rapids, sometimes backwaters, meandering in every direction, bordered by canyons, beaches of white sand in the dry, beautiful gallery forests, composed of thousands of species of trees and coconut palms.
The river runs, "getting fatter" with small tributaries which flow into his chest, and after 720km it bifurcates forming the largest river island in the world, the majestic Bananal Island, with 80 km wide and 350 km length of explicit natural beauty. Below, follows smoothly parallel to the Rio Tocantins, joining itselve to this, after 2.627km.
The climate of the Vale do Araguaia is the Tropical Moist type, ranging from three to six months of drought and rainfall of 1500-1800 mm, with average temperatures 21-26 ° C, increasing to the north.
Lard the counties of Goiás, Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Pará. In the years of major floods, invades the Cerrado and Amazonian jungle, setting its width up to 60km, fueling on both shores thousands of lakes, true natural ponds of all sorts of fish of its peculiar ichthyofauna. The terrain is flat and high fertility soil.