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Guaratinguetá is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. It is part of the Metropolitan Region of Vale do Paraíba e Litoral Norte. The population is 119,073 (2015 est.) in an area of 752.64 km². It is located in the region of Vale do Paraíba; prominent individuals from the area include Saint Frei Galvão, Brazilian President Rodrigues Alves and the cardiologist Dr Euryclides de Jesus Zerbini. The name of the city derives from the words in the Tupi language: gûyra (heron), tinga (white) and etá (many), resulting in Gûyrating'etá (meeting of white herons).HistorySince early times,Guaratinguetá was known by the Indians of the region for the abundance of herons that lived on the edges of the Paraíba do Sul river. The first Portuguese settlers arrived at the end of the 16th century, after rumours of mineral wealth hidden in Serra da Mantiqueira, in the lands known today as Minas Gerais. The settlement of the region began in 1628, with the donation of lands by Jacques Felix and his children. On June 13, 1630, construction began of a chapel, that was registered first in Livro-Tombo da Matriz of Santo Antonio.
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