Governador Valadares is a Brazilian municipality in the interior of the state of Minas Gerais, in the southeastern region of the country. It is located in the Vale do Rio Doce and is located about 320 km east of the state capital. It occupies an area of just over 2,342 km², of which approximately 58 km² is in an urban area, and its population in 2020 was 281,046 inhabitants, positioning itself as the ninth most populous in the state of Minas Gerais.
The exploration of the region of the current city began in the sixteenth century, on expeditions like the one of Sebastião Fernandes Tourinho who followed the course of the Doce River in search of precious metals on its banks. However, the settlement was only started between the 18th and 19th centuries, with the installation of barracks designed to monitor attacks by the Botocudos Indians against colonists and traders who sailed on the Doce River. With the lease of EFVM, around 1907, the settlement was consolidated, whose location close to coffee producers and logging favored commercial development and population growth. Thus, the municipality was emancipated from Peçanha in the 1930s.
After the 1940s, the extraction of mica and precious stones brought a strong population growth, alongside livestock and trade. However, with the decline of natural resources and agriculture, capital turnover was only possible with the inflow of income sent by emigrants who went to other countries, especially the United States. Commercial activity is the main source of income generated in the city, along with agro-industry and the processing of regional products.
The city is bathed by the Doce River and has as its important natural landmark the Pico da Ibituruna, which can be seen from almost the entire municipality and offers the opportunity for free flight climbing and jumping, including national and international championships of this modality. Events such as GV Folia and Expoagro GV are also the main attractions.