Espinhaço Mountains

The Espinhaço Mountains (Portuguese: Serra do Espinhaço, IPA: [ˈsɛ.ʁɐ dwis.piˈɲ]) are a mountain range in Brazil. The range runs roughly north and south through the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia, extending for approximately 1,100 km (680 mi).[1][2][3] It forms the divide between the upper watershed of the São Francisco River and those of the shorter rivers which flow east into the Atlantic Ocean, including the Doce, the Jequitinhonha, and the Pardo rivers.[2] Pico do Sol, its highest peak, rises to 2,072 metres (6,798 ft), in Catas Altas town (Caraça National Park). The historical town of Diamantina are located in the Espinhaço Mountains. The Espinhaço Mountains were a major via through which Minas Gerais was settled during the Gold Rush of the 18th century.[1][4]

Espinhaço Mountains
Serra do Espinhaço (Portuguese)
Serra do Espinhaço vista da Lapinha da Serra.
Espinhaço Mountains viewed from Lapinha da Serra
Highest point
PeakPico do Sol (Minas Gerais)
Elevation2,072 m (6,798 ft)
Coordinates17°41′39.9″S 43°46′59.9″W / 17.694417°S 43.783306°WCoordinates: 17°41′39.9″S 43°46′59.9″W / 17.694417°S 43.783306°W
Length1,100 km (680 mi)
Espinhaço Mountains is located in Brazil
Espinhaço Mountains
States/ProvincesMinas Gerais and Bahia


  1. ^ a b "Espinhaço Mountains". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. 2014.
  2. ^ a b Carvalho, Fernanda de (2014). "Relationship between physical and chemical soil attributes and plant species diversity in tropical mountain ecosystems from Brazil". Journal of Mountain Science. Kluwer Academic Publisher. 11 (4): 875–883. doi:10.1007/s11629-013-2792-4.
  3. ^ Rapini, Alessandro; De Mello-Silva, Renato; Kawasaki, Maria (2002). "Richness and endemism in Asclepiadoideae (Apocynaceae) rom the Espinhaço Range of Minas Gerais, Brazil – a conservationist view". Biodiversity & Conservation. Kluwer Academic Publisher. 11 (10): 1733–1746.
  4. ^

Botumirim is a Brazilian municipality located in the north of the state of Minas Gerais. In 2007 the population was 6,435 in a total area of 1,572 km². The elevation is 948 meters. It became a municipality in 1962.


Cristália is a Brazilian municipality located in the north of the state of Minas Gerais. In 2007 the population was 5,731 in a total area of 841 km². The elevation is 728 meters. It became a municipality in 1962.

Crossodactylus trachystomus

Crossodactylus trachystomus is a species of frog in the family Hylodidae. It is endemic to the Espinhaço Mountains in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Doce River

The Doce River (literally the "sweet river"; Portuguese: Rio Doce [ˈʁiu ˈdos(i)]) is a river in southeast Brazil with a length of 853 kilometres (530 mi).

The river basin is economically important. In 2015 the collapse of a dam released highly contaminated water from mining into the river causing an ecological disaster.

Hylodes uai

Hylodes uai is a species of frog in the Hylodidae family. It is endemic to the Espinhaço Mountains in the Minas Gerais state, Brazil, where it is known from the Mangabeiras Park in Belo Horizonte, and another location on the southern end of the Espinhaço Mountains. It is the most-inland species of the genus.


Itacambira is a Brazilian municipality located in the north of the state of Minas Gerais. In 2007 the population was 5,018 in a total area of 1,788 km². It became a municipality in 1962.

Jequitinhonha River

The Jequitinhonha River (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒekitʃiˈɲõɲɐ]) flows mainly through the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Its source lies near Diamantina in the Espinhaço Mountains at an elevation of 1,200 metres (3,900 ft), after which it flows northward and then east-northeastward across the uplands. At Salto da Divisa, it is interrupted by the Cachoeira (falls) do Salto Grande, 43 metres (141 ft) high. The river descends to the coastal plain at the city of Jequitinhonha, beyond which it is also called Rio Grande do Belmonte, and empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Belmonte in Bahia state after a course of approximately 1,090 kilometres (680 mi). The main tributaries are the Araçuaí River, Piauí, São Miguel, Itacambiruçu, Salinas, São Pedro, and São Francisco.

The valley of the Jequitinhonha is one of the poorest regions of Brazil and is still prone to endemic yellow fever. It covers 78,451 square kilometres (30,290 sq mi), twice the size of Switzerland, and has an approximate population of one million people, distributed in about 80 municipalities. The most populous of these is Almenara (36,254 in 2004) located on the middle Jequitinhonha.

The valley is known for its variety of gemstones, colonial-era towns, unique handicrafts and starkly beautiful landscapes immortalized by the Brazilian author João Guimarães Rosa.

Most of the soil is arid and is periodically affected by drought or floods. The economically active population numbers over 400,000, of which 180,000 are in the rural areas practicing rudimentary agriculture and cattle raising. Industry employs 50,000 people and is the most important economic source for the municipalities.

In the past the region was covered by forests and occupied by indigenous people. What contributed to the deforestation and subsequent degradation of the region was the predatory activity of mining and extraction of diamonds.

Today there are attempts to develop the work of local artisans, especially in ceramics. While living in total isolation, they have developed ceramic craftwork that is mainly performed by the women, who belong to associations. They make utilitarian pieces that are ranked as the most creative works of Brazilian popular art. The famous "dolls" from that region are in fact pitchers for holding fresh water, thus losing this function and becoming decorative objects.

The electrical company of Minas Gerais (CEMIG) constructed a hydroelectric plant on the river between Berilo and Grão Mogol. The Usina Presidente Juscelino Kubitscheck, the hydroelectric plant powered by Irapé Dam, has an installed capacity of 360 MW and regulates the waters of the river which periodically flood. CEMIG began the work in 2002 and in April 2003 diverted the river to two tunnels with a length of more than 1.2 km (three-quarters of a mile). The dam and power station were completed in 2006.


Josenópolis is a Brazilian municipality located in the north of the state of Minas Gerais. In 2007 the population was 4,440 in a total area of 536 km². It became a municipality in 1997.

List of mountain ranges

This is a list of mountain ranges on Earth and a few other astronomical bodies. First, the highest and longest mountain ranges on Earth are listed, followed by more comprehensive alphabetical lists organized by continent. Ranges in the oceans and on other celestial bodies are listed afterwards.


Minasia is a genus of Brazilian plants in the evil tribe within the sunflower family.

SpeciesAll known species are native to the Espinhaço Mountains in the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil.

Mouse-coloured tapaculo

The mouse-coloured tapaculo or Serra do Mar tapaculo (Scytalopus speluncae) is a species of bird in the family Rhinocryptidae. It is endemic to humid highland forests in southeastern Brazil, where it ranges from southwestern Espírito Santo to northeastern Rio Grande do Sul. Most of its range is in the Serra do Mar, but it also occurs further inland in Paraná and Santa Catarina. Until 2005, the Planalto tapaculo was included in the mouse-coloured tapaculo.Here we follow SACC, but the taxonomy is extremely complex, and it is possible the correct scientific name of this relatively dark species is S. notorius, in which case the closely related paler species from the Espinhaço Mountains region would be S. speluncae.

Odontophrynus carvalhoi

Odontophrynus carvalhoi (common nane: Carvalho's escuerzo) is a species of frog in the family Odontophrynidae. It is endemic to eastern Brazil and found east of the Espinhaço Mountains between northern Minas Gerais and Paraíba at altitudes higher than 500 m (1,600 ft) above sea level.

Ouro Preto

Ouro Preto (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈoɾu ˈpɾetu], Black Gold), formerly Vila Rica, is a city in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, a former colonial mining town located in the Serra do Espinhaço mountains and designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO because of its outstanding Baroque architecture.

Ouro Preto is located in one of the main areas of the Brazilian Gold Rush.

Officially, 800 tons of gold were sent to Portugal in the eighteenth century, not to mention what was circulated in an illegal manner, nor what remained in the colony, such as gold used in the ornamentation of the churches. The municipality became the most populous city of Latin America, counting on about 40 thousand people in 1730 and, decades after, 80 thousand. At that time, the population of New York was less than half of that number of inhabitants and the population of São Paulo did not surpass 8 thousand.

Padre Carvalho

Padre Carvalho is a Brazilian municipality located in the north of the state of Minas Gerais. In 2007 the population was 5,828 in a total area of 450 km². It became a municipality in 1997.

Rock tapaculo

The rock tapaculo or Espinhaço tapaculo (Scytalopus petrophilus) is a species of bird in the Rhinocryptidae family. It is endemic to altitudes of 900–2,100 metres (3,000–6,900 ft) in the central and southern Espinhaço Mountains, and the Mantiqueira Mountains in Minas Gerais, Brazil, though it may also occur in adjacent parts of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. It is found in shrubby and grassy habitats in rocky regions, and in elfin and cloud forests. It closely resembles the Diamantina tapaculo and Planalto tapaculo in appearance and voice (especially song; less so in call).Here we follow South American Classification Committee (SACC), but the taxonomy is extremely complex, and it is possible the correct scientific name of this relatively pale inland species is S. speluncae, in which case the closely related darker species from the Serra do Mar region would be S. notorius.

Rupirana cardosoi

Rupirana cardosoi is a species of frog in the family Leptodactylidae. It is monotypic within the genus Rupirana. It is endemic to northern Espinhaço Mountains, Bahia, Brazil.

Its natural habitats are banks of small streams in high-altitude (about 1,200 m (3,900 ft) asl) grassy vegetation. It is threatened by habitat loss. Part of the range is within the Chapada Diamantina National Park.

Santo Antônio River (Doce River)

The Santo Antônio River of Brazil rises in the Espinhaço mountains, in the district of Santo Antônio do Cruzeiro, city of Conceição do Mato Dentro, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Running to the east, after a journey of 287 km, will pour its waters into the Rio Doce.

The bandeirantes used the river as a transportation route during the Brazil Gold Rush. Today it is used for fishing and gold panning, as well as leisure and tourism.

The Santo Antônio River is notable for its rocky course with a number of waterfalls, including Bahia Falls and Tabuleiro Falls (rated in the 2005 edition of Guia 4 Rodas as the prettiest in Brazil).

Serra do Cabral State Park

The Serra do Cabral State Park (Portuguese: Parque Estadual da Serra do Cabral) is a state park in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The Priest and the Girl

The Priest and the Girl (Portuguese: O Padre e a Moça) is a 1966 Brazilian drama film directed by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, based on Carlos Drummond de Andrade's poem of the same name. The directorial debut of Andrade, it was shot on São Gonçalo dos Rios das Pedras, Gruta de Maquiné, and Espinhaço Mountains, all locations of Minas Gerais.

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