Sertão

The Sertão region of Pernambuco has great historical and cultural potential, such as Lampião and Cangaço, as well as the cities of Petrolina, Serra Talhada and Triunfo.

The state’s hinterland also has a distinctive climate.

At an altitude of 1,004 metres is the city of Triunfo, the highest in Pernambuco, where every year the Student Festival takes place, with theatre and dance groups, and the Film Festival, at the Cine Teatro Guarany, a heritage-listed building.

Pernambuco also has the Caruaru Fair, the largest open-air fair in the world, considered an intangible heritage of Brazil by IPHAN; the Nova Jerusalem Theatre, the largest open-air theatre in the world where the Passion of Christ is staged every year; the Serra do Catimbau National Park, between Agreste and Sertão Pernambuco, formed by a complex of mountains, valleys and sedimentary rocks, spread over 90,000 hectares, which impresses with its grandeur and primitivism; the Serra Negra, in Bezerros, situated at an altitude of 960 metres with a temperature of up to 9º C, surrounded by an ecological reserve, which makes its beauty a postcard scenery; the São Francisco Valley, with its dozens of wineries, an ideal place for lovers of good wine.

The Sertão of Pernambuco is a region full of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture, offering a unique experience for tourists looking to explore the authentic Northeast of Brazil.

Destinations and tourist attractions in the Sertão of Pernambuco

Main Destinations and Attractions

Petrolina

  • Location: On the banks of the São Francisco River, Petrolina is one of the main cities in the Pernambuco Sertão.
  • Attractions: Vineyards in the São Francisco Valley, where visitors can enjoy tours and tastings; Rodeadouro Island, a popular spot for river swimming and leisure; and the Petrolina Cathedral, an architectural landmark of the city.
  • Events: Festa do Vinho, an annual event celebrating the region’s wine production.

Serra Talhada

  • Location: Known as the “Capital of Xaxado,” Serra Talhada is famous for its culture and history.
  • Attractions: Cangaço Museum, offering a detailed look at the life of Lampião and the cangaço movement; Passagem das Pedras Site, Lampião’s birthplace; and Serra Grande, ideal for hiking and trekking.
  • Events: September Festival, featuring concerts, cultural performances, and religious celebrations.

Triunfo

  • Location: Located in the Serra da Baixa Verde, Triunfo is known for its mild climate and mountainous landscapes.
  • Attractions: Triunfo Cable Car, offering panoramic views of the city; the Cangaço Museum; and the Cine Theatro Guarany, one of the oldest cinemas in Brazil still in operation.
  • Events: Winter Festival, with a varied cultural program including music, theater, and dance.

Floresta

  • Location: A city with significant historical importance, especially during the cangaço period.
  • Attractions: Barra do Juá Dam, a leisure and fishing spot; Church of Our Lady of the Rosary; and ecological tours in the Caatinga.
  • Events: Religious festivities and June festivals are popular in the region.

Exu

  • Location: Birthplace of the King of Baião, Luiz Gonzaga.
  • Attractions: Gonzagão Museum, honoring the life and work of the famous accordionist; Asa Branca Park, home to Luiz Gonzaga’s house and mausoleum.
  • Events: Viva Gonzagão Festival, celebrated in December, marking the artist’s birthday.

Tourist Activities in the Sertão of Pernambuco

Ecotourism

  • Catimbau National Park: Located between Buíque, Ibimirim, and Tupanatinga, it’s the second-largest area of archaeological sites in Brazil, featuring trails, rock formations, and rock paintings.
  • Serra do Pajeú: Ideal for hiking and trekking, with landscapes including canyons, caves, and typical Caatinga vegetation.

Cultural Tourism

  • Cangaço Route: Explore historical sites related to the cangaço, including museums and former hideouts of Lampião and his band.
  • Festivals: Participate in regional festivals, such as the June festivals, marked by quadrilhas (traditional dances), bonfires, and typical foods.

Gastronomy

The cuisine of the Sertão of Pernambuco is rich and varied, reflecting local culture and customs. Typical dishes include:

  • Baião de Dois: A mix of rice, beans, and dried meat.
  • Carne de Sol: Sun-dried meat, served with sides like cassava and green beans.
  • Cheeses and Sweets: Coalho cheese, milk sweets, and guava paste are very popular.

Conclusion

The Sertão of Pernambuco is a destination that offers a unique combination of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture.

From the arid landscapes of the Caatinga to the festive and historic cities, there is much to explore and discover.

Whether for ecotourism, cultural tourism, or simply to enjoy the local hospitality, the Pernambuco Sertão is a region that enchants and surprises its visitors.