Renowned for its religious architecture and historic feel, the town of Goiás Velho is the main settlement west of Goiânia. But it is the huge Rio Araguaia, one of the Amazon’s main southern tributaries, that attracts most Brazilians to Goiás. Even though most of the river now falls within the state of Tocantins, the Goiás section has hundreds of fine sandy beaches suitable for camping, and some well-established resorts, very popular with the residents of Goiânia and other towns in Goiás. Rich in fish, the Araguaia is particularly busy during the dry season from May to September when the water level drops, and serious anglers come from São Paulo and Goiânia to compete. The gateway to the river is ARUANÃ, a small town served by only a few hotels, just over 380km northwest of Goiânia.

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