Pelotas is a Brazilian municipality (município), the third most populous in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. Pelotas is located 270 km (168 mi) from Porto Alegre, the capital city of the state, and 130 km (80.8 mi) from the Uruguayan border. The Lagoa dos Patos lies to the east and the São Gonçalo Channel lies to the south, separating Pelotas from the city of Rio Grande.
In the 19th century, Pelotas was Brazil's leading center for the production of dried meat (charque), a staple food made by slaves and destined to feed the slaves of sugarcane, coffee and cocoa plantations across the country.
Currently Pelotas hosts two major universities, the Federal University of Pelotas, and the Catholic University of Pelotas. Together, they account for a population of 22 thousand higher education students.