Parnaíba is a city in Piauí. Most tourists pass by here for visiting the river delta, or on their way between Lençois Maranhenses and Jericoacoara. However, Parnaíba has its own charm, including nearby beaches, and could be worth a couple of days.
A modern bus terminal lies on the southeastern outskirts of the city, where Rua Ceará Chaval and Avenida Deputado Pinheiro Machado intersect, about 5 km from the center. Most long distance buses are handled by Expresso Guanabara .
- To Teresina(5 hours) via Piripiri(2,5 hours) every 2-3 hours.
- To Fortaleza (8-12 hours) 5 times daily.
- To Tutóia (from where you can move on to Paulino Neves and Lençóis Maranhenses) by São Francisco or Continental. R$ 14, 3 hours bumpy ride. This bus stops by the companies´ own bus station near the center, and waits there for half an hour before continuing.
There is also a flourishing market for "alternative" buses, at somewhat discounted prices, by the downtown end of Avenida Capitão Claro (a continuation of Avenida São Sebastião).
Airport at the northern outskirts of the city. Apparently no regular traffic.
There used to be a daily boat leaving for Tutóia on the western rim of the river delta. Now (August 2007) the only waterway alternative seems to be renting a motor launch at R$ 400 (up to 4 people). If you are on a budget, go by bus.
- Buses run from the bus station to the center via Avenida São Sebastião. Few buses after dark.
- Taxis don´t have meters, and are fairly expensive, but negotiable. Center to bus station should be about R$ 15.
- Mototaxis will take you anywhere in town for R$ 3-4, even with a large backpack.
The northern part of the center, near the bridge and Praça Nossa Senhora das Graças, is quite pleasant with well preserved colonial buildings.
Take an evening stroll along Avenida São Sebastião, from the Balão (roundabout, also known by its restaurant, O Mirante.) towards the center. Dozens of snack bars.
There is a cinema around the corner from Hotel Delta, showing the most mainstream from Hollywood.
Local handicraft specialties are made from a certain palm tree´s leaves.
- Flor de Liz, Avenida São Sebastião. Grilled meats and pizzas. Dishes for 2 at around R$ 25. edit
- Sabor e Arte, (Right by the bridge). Pleasant environment, most of the art is for sale. Many dishes around R$ 25. edit
- Biola, Praça Santo Antônio, Center. Wide selection of burgers and sandwiches. edit
- Restaurante Popular de Parnaíba. Must be the cheapest place to eat in all of Brazil. R$1 for a full plate of food.. edit
- The liveliest area is Beira Rio, 1 km north of the center, with several restaurants-come-bars.
- Pride Solutions. Gay edit
- Trilhu´s. Bar on the outside, club further in. One forró stage and one electronica room. Small draught beer R$ 2. edit
A few places opposite the bus station, not very convenient unless you are only staying a night or two in between buses:
- Pousada Litoral, Avenida Deputado Pinheiro Machado (Right in front of the bus station.). checkout: Noon. Very basic. Rooms with fan (A/C) Single R$ 20(28) Double R$ 30(40). edit
- Pousada Toca do Coelho, Avenida Deputado Pinheiro Machedo (200 m from the bus station). Bright and clean, good breakfast. Room with fan (others have A/C) Single R$ 35. edit
- Hotel mar das Gaivotas, Rua 08, casa 04 (Sligthly on your right from the bus station), ☎ +55 86 3323 2812. Clean and friendly. Single w/fan R$ 30, double R$ 40, add R$ 10 for air con. edit
Following Av Dep Pinheiro Machado north there are several more, and then a couple along Avenida São Sebastião:
- Pousada Santa Luzia, Avenida São Sebastião 1436, ☎ +55 86 3322 3553. Bright and clean, high ceilings, restaurant. Good location. Single with fan (others have A/C) R$ 25. Also monthly rates.. edit
Higher standard options near and in the center, but also a few low costs, including a youth hostel:
- Porto das Barcas, . Single R$ 35, double R$ 55. edit
- There is an hourly bus (packed on Sundays) to the beach Pedra do Sal, about 15 km north of town. Many shacks selling drinks and fried fish.
- Tours to the delta of the river Parnaíba leave daily at around 9 AM from Porto de Tatus (Sometimes referred to as Morro de Mariana), around 15 km northwest of town (Taxi from center R$ 25), returning around 3 PM. Several agencies arrange these at R$ 45, including pick up at your hotel. If you want to stay a night in the delta, Ilha das Canárias is an option, Ilha do Caju another, and Ilha dos Poldros a third.
- Minibuses leave every half hour or so from Praça Santo Antônio for Luís Correia and the beach of Atalaia, R$ 2, 30 minutes.
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