Goiás lies wholly within the Brazilian Highlands, which are located in the center of the country. It occupies a large plateau, the vast almost level surface of which stands between 750 and 900 m above sea level and forms the divide between three of Brazil’s largest river systems: to the south.
The most central of the Brazilian states and the most populous of the region, Goiás is characterized by a landscape of chapadões (plateaus). Other attractions are the historical city of Goiás (or Old Goiás), 132 km (82 mi) from Goiânia, established in the beginning of 18th Century, and Caldas Novas, with its hot water wells attracting more than one million tourists per year.
Goiás is covered with a woodland savanna known in Brazil as campo cerrado, although there are still tropical forests along the rivers. This cerrado has been seriously diminished in recent years due to cattle raising and soybean farming with great loss of animal life and forest cover. The climate of the plateau is tropical.
Average monthly temperatures vary from 26 °C (79 °F) in the warmest month to 22 °C (72 °F) in the coldest. The year is divided into a rainy season (October–March) and a dry season (April–September). Average annual rainfall is about 1,700 millimetres (67 in), but this varies due to elevation and microclimate.
The service sector contributes the largest percentage to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state, followed by the industrial and agricultural sectors. Cattle farming continues to generate an enormous revenue for the inhabitants, while the agriculture of sugarcane, tomatoes, rice, cotton and beans also plays a major role.
1 Goiania – Population 1.318.148
2 Aparecida de Goiania – Population 465.092
3 Anapolis – Population 338.544
Modernization work will soon get under way at Santa Genoveva Airport in the northeast side of Goiânia. With nominal yearly capacity of 600,000 passengers, in 2004 it received 950,000. With its new terminal, it will be able to handle up to 2 million users a year.