Parnaíba River Delta

Most countries would consider an ecosystem like the Parnaíba river delta to be their Crown Jewel. In somewhere as blessed as Brazil, it is overlooked. This is an environment of international significance. The local fisherman appreciate what they have. Unfortunately the developers and businessmen don't. I fear that the impulse to make a quick buck might, in ten years, turn the area into another tacky resort, like those lining the coast of neighbouring Ceara. There is a difference in cultural understanding. Where we see tawdriness, they see development.
Where we see unspoilt, they see backwardness.

The mangrove forest is threatened by developers and also by the shrimp farming industry. The shrimp farming also threatens the mangrove mud crab industry in the delta. In April 2002
Sebastian Marques de Souza, a fisherman and father of four leading opposition to the shrimp industry was murdered by two men believed to be connected with the shrimp industry. Development of the shrimp industry is funded by Brazil's development bank in accordance with Brazilian government policy who are painfully slow in understanding the value of the mangroves to the environment and the future development of Piaui.

While 65% of the Parnaíba Delta is in the neighbouring state of Maranhão, access is through Piaui.

The best time to visit is from April to July, after the rains have replenished the lakes and the birds gather for breeding.

Locals reckon Atalaia and Praia dos Coqueiros are the best two beaches.

Getting There

Parnaiba is unspoilt because it is difficult to get there!

Flying. Currently there are no airlines serving Parnaiba. For those who can afford it, there are air taxis.

Bus. The bus takes around five hours from Teresina and nine hours from either Fortaleza or São Luis. Obviously there is car rental too.

Car. If you are driving (for example from Fortaleza) try to leave early in the morning so you can reach your destination while it is still light.

Where to Stay

Casa Inglesa Hotel is the smart place to stay in Parnaiba.

Hotel Portal dos Ventos

Pousada Santa Luzia

Pousada Chalet Suiço, at the budget end of the market, is run by a Swiss-Brazilian couple.

Most promotional material for the
Parnaíba Delta is produced by Morais Brito, a travel agency, so it seems only fair to show their video here.

Parnaiba Delta

The state has created a directory of addresses of use to the visitor.

Luís Correia

Praia de Coqueiro

Praia da Barra Grande

Cajueiro da Praia


Barra Grande



29 June, the fishermen's festival of Bom Jesus dos Navegantes. This is an authentic religious festival celebrated by the local community. Numbers are swelled during election years when all the politicians turn up...

According to legend, an image of Jesus was discovered by fishermen on 29 June and taken to the church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição in Luis Correa. The statue answered prayers and was responsible for miracles. Now, every year on the anniversary the fishermen don't go to work but instead parade the statue around the town and sea.

Luís Correa - Religious Procession by Boat


Special events for the holiday season


Regional games

Igaraçu canoo regata


Salt Festival

Cashew Festival

New Year

Festival of Nossa Senhora da Conceição