World Cup 2014

Top things to do in Cuiabá

Everything you must see and visit, from outdoor activities and postcards views to restaurants and museums

The Véu de Noiva waterfall in Chapada dos Guimarães: near Cuiabá / Photo: Edu Simões

The Véu de Noiva waterfall in Chapada dos Guimarães: near Cuiabá / Photo: Edu Simões

21.mai.2014 18:24:05 | por Redação VEJA Cidades
Cuiabá is the capital of Brazil´s agribusiness and is known for its hot climate, with daytime temperatures easily hitting at least 30 degrees Celsius. That´s why it comes as no surprise that life is easy going and cheerful when the sun sets. The Popular and Goiabeiras districts which are only three kilometers from the Arena Pantanal World Cup stadium have bars with tables on the sidewalks and evenings are spent drinking draught beer. The main restaurants are concentrated in the center and many specialize in serving typical river fish, such as pintado, pacu, piraputanga and matrinxã. Even when the sun is at its highest, it is worth trying out some great tourists attractions, such as the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho church and the Casa do Artesão handicrafts center. Cuiabá is also the starting point for two iconic ecotourism destinations: the Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Guimarães national park, with its rocky outcrops, cliff faces and waterfalls, and the northern stretch of the Pantanal, a great place to see jaguars, macaws...
 
 
Matches schedule*
June 13 (Friday) - 18:00 - Chile vs Australia
June 17 (Tuesday) - 18:00 - Russia vs South Korea
June 21 (Saturday) - 18:00 - Nigeria vs Bosnia-Herzegovina
June 24 (Tuesday) - 16:00 - Japan vs Colombia
*Local time
 
HOW TO GET AROUND: The bus fare costs R$ 2.80. On match days, special lines will run to the Arena Pantanal stadium (Av. Agrícola Paes de Barros, s/nº, Verdão) from three parking lots – two in Avenida Beira Rio and the third in Várzea Grande. By taxi, the initial fare is R$ 4.80 and R$ 2.82 per kilometer (meter 1) or R$ 3.95 (meter 2).
 
 
Typical party
 
Bolicho is a local term for the old stores that used to sell everything. It gave origin to the name Bulixo market at the Sesc Arsenal (Rua Treze de Junho, s/nº, Centro, 65-3611-0550. Thu.: 18:00/22:00). This place has a party atmosphere and has stalls with handicrafts and regional food, such as maria izabel: rice with dried meat garnished with banana farofa flour.
 
Fish dishes
 
Fish from the rivers proliferate on the menu in Cuiabá´s eating places. One of the most common ways of preparing the fish is known as mojica de pintado, a kind of fish stew enhanced with manioc and fried pacu fillet, known as ventrecha. Other popular choices are piraputanga and matrinxã baked and filled with onions fried in butter or kale flour. A good way of trying various dishes at one sitting is to choose the rodizio system in which for a fixed price you can choose as much as you want from a non-stop selection of dishes. This system operates in most specialist places, such as Lélis Peixaria (Rua Marechal Mascarenhas de Moraes, 36, Duque de Caxias, 65-3322-9195) e do Cacalo (Av. José Rodrigues do Prado, 203, Santa Rosa, 65-3626-1778).
 
Chapada or Pantanal?
 
There are two marvelous trips through beautiful landscapes that can be made around Cuiabá. One is the Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Guimarães national park that is only 70 kilometers from the center. This massive mountainous area has a large number of orange-colored rocky outcrops and cliffs and the biggest sandstone grotto in Brazil measuring 1,550 meters. The Cachoeira Véu de Noiva waterfall, which is one of the most popular snapshots of Mato Grosso state, is also located there. Cuiabá is also the entrance way to another natural jewel, the Pantanal Norte, the largest flooded area in the world. During the dry period (from April to September) it is common to see macaws, jaguars and other creatures from the abundant local fauna. You can travel along the Transpantaneira route from the town of Poconé, 104 kilometers from Cuiabá, or take a boat trip from the town. The travel agency Interativa Pantanal (65-3023-8220) organizes excursions that last a day and cost from R$ 305.00 per person.
 
3 good places for selfies
 
Geographical Center of South America (Centro Geodésico da América do Sul): An obelisk marks the exact center between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Rua Barão de Melgaço, Praça Pascoal Moreira Cabral.
 
Photo: Divulgação
 
Catedral Basílica Bom Jesus de Cuiabá: This cathedral has two concrete towers, each of which has a clock. Pça da República, s/nº, centro, 65-3321-2729.
 
Museu do Morro da Caixa D’água Velha: This underground museum located in the city´s old reservoir has art exhibitions. Rua Com. Costa, s/nº, centro, 65-8463-0968.
 
Near the stadium
 
The liveliest places for night life in Cuiabá are the Goiabeiras and Popular districts which are almost three kilometers from the Arena Pantanal stadium. The most animated bars include the Getúlio (Av. Getúlio Vargas, 1147, Goiabeiras, 65-3624-9992) which has welcoming tables on the sidewalk. If you want to celebrate or commiserate the result of the games, try Stones Bar (Rua Senador Vilas Boas, 182, Goiabeiras, 65-3623-1315) where there is always a party atmosphere with rock shows while the Valley Pub (Av. Isaac Póvoas, 1157, Popular, 65-3054-5879) has lively nights during which sertaneja music is played.
 
Inside the Valley Pub: good bar to go after the game / Photo: Divulgação
 
A perfect day...
 
MORNING:
A good city tour can start at the Casa do Artesão (Rua Treze de Junho, 315, Porto, 65-3611-0500), a handicrafts place with bows, arrows, whistles that make bird calls and ceramic dolls. Then head for the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho church (Morro do Seminário, s/ nº, Centro) which looks a bit like Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The neighboring Museu de Arte Sacra shows sacred art from the 17th and 18th centuries.
 
Casa do Artesão / Photo: Divulgação
 
AFTERNOON:
Don´t miss the Museu do Rio museum and the Aquário Municipal aquarium (Av. Beira Rio, s/nº, Porto, 65-3617-1286), both of which are located in the old fish market dating from 1899. This is where the O Regionalíssimo restaurant is (65-3623-6881). It serves typical fish dishes, such as mojica de pintado and ventrecha de pacu. As the sun starts to lower, spend the end of the afternoon in the Parque Mãe Bonifácia park (Av. Miguel Sutil, s/nº, Duque de Caxias, 65-3623-4965), the biggest green area in the city.
 
NIGHT: For a more sophisticated dinner, try the contemporary restaurant Mahalo (Rua Castelo Branco, 359, Quilombo, 65-3028-7700). The meal can include shoulder of lamb with grana padano cheese risotto and almonds, plus ratatouille and mint chutney. If you still have any energy, the Praça Popular has a number of bars, such as Ditado Popular (Rua Presidente Eurico Gaspar Dutra, 11, Popular, 65-4141-3655).