Piauí is a state in the northeast of Brazil. Piauí has the shortest coastline of any of the non-landlocked Brazilian states at 66 kilometres, and the capital, Teresina, is the only state capital in the northeast to be located inland. The reason for this is, unlike the rest of the area, Piauí was first colonised inland and slowly expanded towards the ocean, rather than the other way around. In the southeast of the state, the National Park of Serra da Capivara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park has more than 400 archaeological sites and the largest concentration of rock paintings in the world, in a landscape dominated by canyons and caatinga.
Piauí is bounded on the west by Maranhão, on the east by Ceará, Pernambuco and Bahia, and on the south by Tocantins. It has a short Atlantic coastline on the north. The Parnaíba River forms the boundary with Maranhão throughout its entire length; the state lies almost entirely within the basin of the Parnaíba and its tributaries. Part of the state on the Atlantic coast and along the lower Parnaíba is low, swampy, and historically malarial. South of this the country rises gradually to a high plateau with open campos. This plateau region is watered by numerous tributaries of the Parnaíba, chief of which are, from south to north: the Poti, which has its source in the state of Ceará; the Longa; the Canindé and its tributary the Piauí, which is navigable for boats of one-meter draft up to Nova York, a few miles above the mouth of the Gurguéia. The river valleys are separated by flat-topped plateaus called chapadas, including the Serra Uruçui, which lies between the Uruçui-Preto and the Gurguéia, the Serra da Capivara National Park, which lies between the Gurguéia and the Piauí, and the Chapada das Mangabeiras, which forms the southwestern boundary of the state, separating the upper basin of the Parnaíba from that of the Tocantins.
The climate is hot and humid in the lowlands and along the lower Parnaíba, but in the uplands it is dry with high day-time temperatures and cool nights.
Teresina and Parnaíba both have small airports receiving domestic flights. Both airports are accredited to receive international flights. An Italian charter airline has occasional flights to Parnaíba. Generally the fastest (not necessarily cheapest) way to reach Piauí from abroad is a direct flight to Fortaleza, Ceará, and a connecting flight to Teresina. Most international flights to Piauí are routed through first São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro and then Brasilia.
Travel to Piauí in most cases will be by bus from other Brazilian states. Teresina has regular bus links to Fortaleza and São Luis and it is also possible to get a bus to Brasília or the big cities in the South-East (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte) but these destinations are over 48 hours away by bus and the roads entering South Piauí are in a terrible state.
The Piauiense coastline is one of Brazil's main crab-producing areas so on the coast don't miss out on all the crab specialities. The state also grows a lot of cashew trees - you can eat the fruit, the toasted nuts and they even make alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from the juice, not to mention caramelized sweets from the fruit itself.
Local specialities include:
Cajuína, a soft drink made from cashew fruit, is produced in Piaui. Caetano Veloso, one of Brazil's best-known singers, wrote a song about Piauiese cajuína.
We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Piaui
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License