Cuiabá is a boomtown basking in the relentless Mato Grosso sun. It's actually two sister cities separated by the Rio Cuiabá: Old Cuiabá and Várzea Grande (where the airport is located).

The town’s name is an indigenous Bororo word meaning ‘arrow-fishing,' though it was first gold and later agriculture that led to the city becoming one of the fastest-growing capitals in Brazil over the last 30 years. A lively place with a vibrant dining scene and some beautiful colonial architecture around its main square, Cuiabá is an excellent starting point for excursions to the Pantanal, Chapada dos Guimarães and Bom Jardim.