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Piauí: cave paintings, spectacular rocks and rivers

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Piauí is a state in the north-east of Brazil, which has the particularity of the Brazilian states to have the shortest stretch of coast among those facing the ocean. In fact, it extends along the Atlantic Ocean for just over 60 km east of the delta of the Parnaíba river.


The Parnaíba River marks the western border with the state of Maranhão, while the Serra Grande divides it from Ceará. To the south-east the Piauí borders Pernambuco, to the south with the state of Bahia, and to the south-west for a very short stretch with that of Tocantins.

The Piauí territory is made up of about 50% of flat areas below 300 meters high, these areas are mainly located in the northern part of the state. The remaining part of the territory, the one located to the south, is made up of highlands and low mountain ranges.

Along the eastern and southern borders there are some low mountain ranges often tabular in shape, such as the Chapada das Mangabeiras, the Serra da Tabatinga, the Serra do Piauí, the Serra dois Irmãos and the Serra Grande. In the central-southern area of Piauí there are the mountain ranges of Serra Uruçui, Serra da Capivara, Serra da Gameleira and Serra Bom Jesus da Gurguéia. At the southern end of the state, in the Chapada das Mangabeiras, which reaches 880 meters above sea level, there is the highest point of the Piauí.

As regards the economy, Piauí is one of the poorest states in Brazil. The economy is mainly agricultural (rice, soy, cotton, sugar cane) and the industry is linked to the transformation of agricultural products. Finally, breeding and mineral resources (nickel, iron, diamonds and opals) are important. Tourism, especially eco-tourism, has excellent potential. One of the most interesting areas from the tourist point of view is the Serra da Capivara National Park. Here there are spectacular rock formations and prehistoric cave paintings are visible.

The climate of the Piauí.

  • Area: 251.529 km²
  • Population: 3,119,015 (2010) (mulattos 71.80%, whites 23.36%, blacks 4.60%, Amerindians 0.47%, Asians 0.17%)
  • Capital: Teresina
  • Time zone: UTC-3



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