Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cuiaba, Brazil

info from wikitravel and yahoo travel
The capital of Mato Grosso state, Cuiabá is a modern, pleasant town of 500,000 that sits in the middle of Brazilian cattle country. It was not unusual to see folks on the street in cowboy duds, but through recent years, Cuiaba has been greately modernized. And, it's a great place to stock up on boots, saddles, and other western gear. The city serves as the main gateway to the northern part of the Pantanal -- the Transpantaneira Highway starts just 98km (61 miles) away -- and as the jumping-off point to the Chapada dos Guimarães. However While in The City There is So much to do and see. three spacious shopping malls, Amazing restaurants, and A late night clubs. Not to mention The Beautiful open downtown center where you can find live music, open air shopping, street vendors,and fresh coconut water.

Get around
Most people arrive in Cuiabá and immediately leave on a Pantanal tour. The hotels, sights, and restaurants all within walking distance of the town center. The main hotel neighborhood and center of town is quite safe. The only part of town to avoid is along the riverside. Taxis are inexpensive -- R$7 to R$21 (US$2.30-US$6.95) to get around town -- and quick for getting out to the airport or bus station. Lodges will usually arrange transportation and pickup from hotels.
Driving the Transpantaneira -- There are a couple of ironies about the Transpantaneira. Though the name implies that the road traverses the entire flood plain, the highway stops in Porto Jofre, 144km (89 miles) from where it began, and at least that far from the opposite edge of the Pantanal. The other irony is that the project, which if completed would likely have destroyed the Pantanal (by skewing the ecosystem's drainage pattern), has instead, in its unfinished state, become one of the great wildlife-viewing areas of the world. Ditches on either side of the roadbed have become favorite feeding grounds for kingfishers, capybara, egrets, jabiru storks, giant river otters, and caiman by the dozen. Spend but a day on the Transpantaneira, and you'll see more wildlife than you'd see in a week in the Amazon.

additional info by FIFA
Football in Cuiaba
Mixto Esporte Clube, from Cuiabá, is the most important club within the state of Mato Grosso and holds one of the biggest fan bases in the Centre-western region of Brazil. The Tigre (Tiger) hold the record for most state titles, and played in the first division of the Campeonato Brasileiro for 11 straight seasons from 1976. However, Mixto have not rejoined the elite since. Their main city rivals are Cuiabá Esporte Clube and Clube Esportivo Dom Bosco, besides Operário Futebol Clube, from the neighbouring city of Várzea Grande.

The José Fragelli stadium, also known as the Verdão (Big Green), is the temple of football in Mato Grosso. The 45,000-seater ground was built in 1976, and has hosted four of Brazil's friendlies; the most recent one a 6-1 win over Iceland in March 2002.

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