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Parnaíba - the gate to the delta

With its 130,000 inhabitants Parnaíba is one of the smaller cities in Brazil's Northeast. The region saw its first settlers in the 18th century and obtained the status of a city in 1844. Thanks to the wax of the Carnauba palm tree (Copernicia prunifera) Parnaíba experienced a modest economic boom. In factories the wax was generated from the palm tree's leaves. It was used for lip sticks and car wax. The historic wax boom lasted until the 1940s, when World War II and chemical products stopped the city's development. Whereas the cities of Fortaleza or Sao Luis were of comparable size until the 1960s, the lack of a sea port kept Parnaíba from becoming bigger. However, its old buildings remained untouched. Parnaíba's inner city has hardly changed in the past forty years. The following picture gallery shall give you visual impressions of what you may expect during a trip to the Parnaíba area with its marvellous river delta.

 Porto das Barcas - Parnaíba
The Delta

Im Parnaibadelta

The Parnaíba Delta fascinates through a unique variety of animals and plants. One of the biggest rivers of South America, the Parnaíba river, flows into the Atlantic here. Although the Parnaíba river can be compared with the Nile and the Mekong, it is the river's mouth surrounded by several islands that makes the delta so unique. In order to discover the delta and the beauty of the mangrovian landscape visitors may either hire their own boat with a captain or take part in an organised boat trip. The most interesting way to discover the river is the boat line that takes the traveller from Parnaíba to Tutoia in Maranhão. The small steam boat needs eight hours for this trip and you can relax in your own hammock on deck. With a bit of luck you may even see a Kaiman, the lizards reach a size of 1 ½ metres around here. Part of the picture are the many fishermen, of course, and, crab hunters.

Picture Gallery:

Riverside at Barras Grande/Piauì

Atlantic coast of Piauì

Serra da Capivara national park in the south of Piauì

Sete Cidades national park in the north of Piauì

Waterfalls at Ubajara in Ceará

Dune surfing on the Ilha Grande near Parnaíba

Horse riding trip on the Ilha Grande near Parnaíba

Jeep safari on the coast of Maranhão

Serra do Ibiapaba in Ceará

One of the rare Aras in Piauì

© 2002 IDLP