Governador Valadares is a Brazilian city in the state of Minas Gerais. In 2006, its population was 260,405 inhabitants. It is an economical center of the middle Valley of the Rio Doce, making a significant influence on the east and northeast of Minas Gerais and local authorities of the state of the Espírito Santo. Governador Valadares sits on the bank of the Rio Doce, 324 km from Belo Horizonte.
The main watercourse through the municipality is the Doce River ("Doce" means sweet in Portuguese) whose basin (of 83,500 square kilometers) is composed of 222 municipalities. Nowadays its waters are very polluted, with little vegetation on its banks and depleted fish stocks.
Governador Valadares is also a statistical micro-region including 25 municipalities: Alpercata, Campanário, Capitao Andrade, Coroaci, Divino das Laranjeiras, Engenheiro Caldas, Fernandes Tourinho, Frei Inocêncio, Galiléia, Governador Valadares, Itambacuri, Itanhomi, Jampruca, Marilac, Mathias Lobato, Nacip Raydan, Nova Modica, Pescador, Sao Geraldo da Piedade, Sao Geraldo do Baixio, Sao José da Safira, Sao José do Divino, Sobrália, Tumiritinga, and Virgolândia. Its population (2006) was estimated by the IBGE to be 407,815 inhabitants in a total area of 11, 327 Sq.Km