State (pop., 2003 est.: 2,651,335), southwestern Brazil. It covers an area of 348,788 sq mi (903,358 sq km), and its capital is Cuiabá. It is bounded by Bolivia on the southwest and west. Cuiabá was founded in 1719 after gold was discovered nearby. In 1748 Mato Grosso became an independent captaincy, in 1822 a province of the empire, and in 1889 a state of the federal union. One of the few great frontier regions still in existence, it consists of grassland, dense forest, and highland plains, with some areas that remain largely unexplored.
Learn more about Mato Grosso with a free trial on Britannica.com.