Have you ever heard of "Governador Valadares"? If the answer is no, do not worry: most Brazilians have not either! This is such a huge country that the smallest cities are often only known by the locals of each state. But be warned, when I mean “smallest” I mean a town whose population is over 250 thousand people! Almost impossible to think based on the European standards, right?
Governador Valadares is in the east of the state of Minas Gerais and, although it is not very touristic, on its surroundings, there is a very famous mountain: the Pico do Ibituruna. The name of this peak may sound different because it comes from tupi, an indigenous language. It means “black mountain,” since its peak is mainly dark because of the color of its rocks.
Adventurers from all over Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, and many other states and countries come to see the Pico do Ibituruna in person and enjoy the view from its 1.123 meters height. As there are no other mountains nearby, hang gliders, and other free flight athletes enjoy the bright landscape to take long flights and even to compete. The warm weather and excellent climate conditions are also a plus to ensure that their flights will be safe. For hikers and climbers, this is also the right spot, because the trails can be challenging, offering routes that take more than five hours on foot.
Either way, if you are not an adventurer but like to travel, you can rent a car and go to the peak driving. From the city center to the top of the mountain it takes about 30 minutes. The brick road is extended and safe, so even if the weather is not perfect, you will enjoy a good ride. If you get to Governador Valadares by bus, you can also pay for tour guide services- the locals are very welcoming and prepared to give you all the information you need.
There are also hotels around Pico do Ibituruna and an excellent restaurant on the top, so there is no need to worry about running out of food. Besides, staying in these hotels is a good way to enjoy the countryside of Brazil and discover its different options.
When you are heading to Governador Valadares, a few kilometers before you arrive, you will see the incredible composition formed between Pico do Ibituruna and Rio Doce. This large river surrounds the mountain and the vegetation, and the contrast of colors enrich the landscape: the brown river, the green trees, and the black mountain (Ibituruna) are the perfect match to enjoy nature.
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