Brazil Destinations, Porto Velho

 portovelho  portovelho2

Porto Velho is a Brazilian municipality and capital of the state of Rondônia. With a population of 494,013
inhabitants in 2014, according to estimates by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), it is
the most populous city in the state of Rondônia, the fourth most populous in the North Region, behind Manaus,
Belém and Ananindeua, and the most populous municipality in the region out of Amazonas­Pará axis. Among
all Brazilian municipalities, it is the 45th most populous and ranks in the same year as the 21st state capital of
the country with more inhabitants. It also stands out for being the Brazilian capital with greater land area,
extending for over 34,000 km2 (being more extensive than countries like Belgium and Israel) and is the most
populous border city of Brazil (and the only capital inserted in this context). Near Rio Branco and Teresina, it is
the only state capital that borders the municipalities of another state. It is the only state capital that borders
another country, Bolivia. Situated on the east bank of the Madeira River, in Northern Brazil. It was founded by
the American company Madeira Mamore Railway Company on July 4, 1907, during the construction of the
Madeira­Mamore Railway Road, led by the US magnate Percival Farquhar. On October 2, 1914, it was legally
established as a municipality in Amazonas, becoming the state capital of Rondonia in 1943 when the Federal
Territory of Guaporé was created.
Porto Velho as a city is fairly young. Don’t expect to see fine examples of colonial architecture or even notably
old buildings. At first sight for the traveler Porto Velho has little to offer but a main street with rather
uninteresting shops that can be found anywhere else in Brasil. Look a bit beyond that and you’ll find Porto
Velho a lively community with plenty to keep you occupied. For exploration it is suggested to rent a car for a
few days as there is no tourist infrastructure whatsoever. You will need local help in finding the interesting
places as there is no formal tourist office.
In economic terms, the city has the fourth largest GDP in the Northern Region, after Manaus, Belém and
Parauapebas, in addition to currently being the state capital with the fastest economic growth in the country,
with GDP growth of 30.2% in the year 2009. In 2010, the GDP of Porto Velho was estimated at R$ 7.5 billion,
according to IBGE, accounting for about 1/3 of Rondônia GDP that year.
Porto Velho has a super­humid tropical, transition between the semi­humid climate of the Midwest and the
prevailing equatorial in the North. The annual rainfall is over 2000 mm / year, concentrated between the
months of summer, being January the month of highest rainfall (321 mm). The period of the dry season lasts
for three months and takes place from June to August. The precipitation occurs primarily in the form of rain,
hail and on rare occasions may come accompanied by lightning and thunderstorms and strong intensity. With
almost 2000 hours of sunshine a year, the humidity is relatively high during the year, with monthly averages
above 80%, and the annual average of 86%.
Porto Velho International Airport, located seven kilometers from the city, has as its main access at the Av.
Governador Jorge Teixeira de Oliveira, with two lanes. Buses from downtown run to the airport every hour, and
there is a fleet of taxis serving only the airport. The airport is served by 98 scheduled flights weekly, most going
to other large Brazilian cities. The presence of Porto Velho Air Force Base ensures considerable movement of
military aircraft. The local people refer to Porto Velho International as Belmont Airport because it is located in
this district. It became an international airport in 2002. It was built as a replacement to Caiari Airport, which was
closed on April 16, 1969.