Teresina is the capital of the State of Piaui, Brazil. It is a hot, sleepy, unpretentious town. Most foreign visitors quickly pass through on their way to other places. Teresina is not for those who want to tick off a list of tourist attractions. People who want to know and understand the real Brazil will be rewarded by a few days in this green and hot city.
Formerly called Nova Vila do Poti, Teresina replaced Oeiras as capital of Piauí in 1852. The city was named after the Brazilian Emperor's wife.
Aeroporto de Teresina/Senador Petrônio Portella
Teresina – PI
Tel.: (86) 225-2536
Fax: (86) 225-2992
576 km from Fortaleza
Bus Station: Terminal Rodoviário Governador Lucídio Portela, BR-343, Bairro da Redenção
Tel: 218-1514 / 218-2259
O Encontro dos Rios. Teresina, like Manaus, has a "Meeting of the Waters", although somewhat smaller! The river Poti flows into the river Parnaíba on its way to the Atlantic. While not as big as the Amazon, these are huge rivers by any other standard. The meeting is easily accessible from the city at Av. Boa Esperança.
Procissão de São Pedro. The pilgrimage of St Peter on 29 June involves a penitential procession of boats on the river Parnaíba.
Parque Potycabana. Potycabana Park is Teresina’s water wonder-world, situated in front of Teresina Shopping. It has a skating track, swimming pool with waves, water tabogan, small bar and stage for shows.
Mercado Troca-Troca. Brazil does not get more real than this. Troco-Troca means “barter". Troco-Troca is the sort of flee-market that has been gentrified out of existence in Europe and America. It is a place to exchange your kitchen sink for an old bicycle rather than buy a memento of Brazil. The market started under the vast fig tree that now stands behind the permanent roofing. Troca-Troca is situated on the banks of the River Parnaíba, by the Piauí-Maranhão border. Its fun for those who like a good rummage; the more refined may wish to give it a miss.
The market gets a mention in a samba (‘Teresina’) by Aurélio Melo and Jose Rodrigues.
Catedral de Nossa Senhora do Amparo
Museu Histórico do Piauí. This state museum is divided into a series of exhibition rooms devoted to the history of the state; religious art; popular art; archaeology; fauna, flora and minerals; and an eclectic assortment of antique radios, projectors and other ancient wonders. Hidden in the corner of one room is a pathetic cabinet containing a flag, kerchief and some scribbled notes from comunistas, a flexible term used here to describe a group of independent thinkers, who were wiped out by the government in 1937. Admission is free, and the museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 8 to 11 am and 3 to 6 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to noon.
Palácio de Karnak. This Greco-Roman structure once functioned as the governor's residence and contained valuable works of art and antiques. In the late '80s, the outgoing governor made a quick exit, together with many of the valuable contents.
Parque Zoobotânico do Piauí, Rodovia PI 112, KM 5, Tel.: (86) 232-4093, Fax: (86) 222-1415. The botanical park is on the road going north from Teresina towards União. The zoo part of the park is fifty years behind the West with bored unhappy animals (including a blind lion) in cages and insects on pins. Happily the armadillos (tatu) are not in cages and are free to wander around the park with the visitors. Don’t swim in the lake – it is full of caimans (jacaré). The main attraction of the park is the collection of local flora.
February - Carnival.
June-November. River Beaches. The rivers levels fall between June and November exposing large sand banks known as the “crowns of the rivers”. These are turned into popular river “beaches” complete with life-guards and vendors selling fried fish straight out of the rivers.
June 29 - Procissão de São Pedro. A penitential procession of boats on the river Parnaíba.
July - Teresina hosts the three-day Micarana festival, attracting top artists and visitors from all over Brazil - and no tourists.
November - Teresina hosts the Salão Internacional de Humor. The city is given over to cartoons and caricatures, attracting participants from Brazil and abroad.
The Albertão Stadium (officially called Estádio Governador Alberto Tavares Silva) is the place to watch local football/soccer matches. The stadium has capacity for 60,000 people.
Centro Artesanal. This is an outlet for artesan products from all over the state. Items on sale include: leather articles; furniture; lacework; hammocks; opals and soapstone (from Pedro II); and liqueurs and confectionery made from genipapo, caju and maracujá.
Camarão do Elias. Fish, especially crabs. Av. Pedro Almeida 457
O Pesqueirinho. Rua Domingos Jorge Velho 6889 (by the river)
Cajuína is non-alcholic, non-fizzy, slightly syrupy, very sweet soft drink made from the cashew fruit. It's available in a couple of other north-eastern states like Ceará and Maranhão, but nowhere more prevelant than in Piauí and especially in Teresina. This link was imortalized in the Caetano Veloso song "Cajuína"
Hotel São José, Rua João Cabral, 340 - Sul, CEP: 64000-030, Tel: (0xx86) 226-1166 / Fax: (0xx86) 226-1244.
NT, Rua Dr. José Ribamar Pacheco, 156, CEP: 64800-000 - Floriano/PI, Tel: (0xx86) 522-1039 / Fax: (0xx86) 522-1545.
Pousada dos Ventos, Av. São Sebastião, 2586 , CEP: 64215-020 - Parnaíba/PI, Tel: (0xx86) 322-2177 / Fax: (0xx86) 322-2901.
Rio Poty Hotel, Av. Mal. Castelo Branco, 555 - Bairro Ilhotas, CEP: 64001-810, Tel: (0xx86) 223-1500 / Fax: (0xx86) 222-6671.
Rio Poty Hotel Praia, Av. Dos Magistrados, 2350, CEP: 64220-000 - Luís Correia/PI, Tel:/Fax: (0xx86) 367-1277.
Royal Palace Hotel, Rua 13 De Maio, 233 - Centro, CEP: 64000-150, Tel:/Fax: (0xx86) 221-7707.
Lord Hotel, Av. Getúlio Vargas, 2021 - Bairro Redenção,
Tel: (86) 2106-5500, Within walking distance of the bus station.