Delta do Parnaíba

The Parnaíba Delta is in a nook between the coasts of Piauí and Maranhão. The Parnaíba River meets the ocean and forms the only open sea delta in all of America.

Water mirrors, mangroves, dunes, lagoons, wild animals, rivers and beaches with paradisiacal landscapes.

All this, with the sun shining brightly all year round, is the scenery that tourists will find in the Parnaíba River Delta, a 2,700 square kilometre archipelago made up of more than 70 islands, located on the coast of Piauí.

The tour of the archipelago in the Parnaíba Delta begins at the port of Tatus, in the town of Ilha Grande, 9 kilometres from Parnaíba, the second largest city in the state and the capital of the Delta, where every day at this time of year speedboats and boats take tourists to see the region’s ecological sanctuary.

A trip along the coast of the Parnaíba Delta is an unforgettable route in the north-east of Brazil and an excellent option for wildlife lovers.

One of the most popular destinations in the Parnaíba Delta, Ilha das Canárias, the second largest in the Parnaíba River Delta after Ilha Grande, is home to a fishing village with more than 2,500 inhabitants.

The Parnaíba Delta is one of Brazil’s most fascinating regions, located in the north-east of the country, between the states of Piauí and Maranhão.

It is the only open sea delta in the Americas and one of the only ones in the world.

The Parnaíba Delta is known for its natural beauty and ecological diversity, and is a popular destination for ecotourism and outdoor adventures.

Features of the Parnaíba Delta


  • Location: The Parnaíba Delta is located between the states of Piauí and Maranhão, flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Extent: The delta extends over approximately 2,700 km², with more than 80 islands.
  • Formation: Formed by the mouth of the Parnaíba River, the delta is divided into five main arms: Igaraçu, Canárias, Caju, Melancieira and Tutóia.


  • Mangroves: The region is rich in mangroves, which are essential for the reproduction of various species of fish and crustaceans.
  • Dunes and Beaches: The delta has several mobile dunes and white sand beaches, such as Praia da Pedra do Sal.
  • Forests: The delta’s islands are home to floodplain forests and areas of Atlantic rainforest.
  • Fauna and Flora: The delta is a habitat for a wide range of species, including migratory birds, caimans, capybaras, manatees, and various species of fish and crustaceans.

Tourism in the Parnaíba Delta


  • Boat Trips: One of the main tourist activities is the boat trip through the delta, where visitors can explore the channels, mangroves and islands.
  • Fauna and Flora Observation: The delta is an excellent place for observing birds and other animals. Photo safaris are popular with visitors.
  • Beaches and Bathing: The deserted beaches and calm waters of the lagoons are ideal for bathing and relaxing.
  • Hikes and Trails: There are several ecological trails that allow you to explore the delta’s diverse landscapes and ecosystems.
  • Fishing: Sport fishing is a popular activity, especially bass and tucunaré fishing.

Main Tourist Attractions

  • Canary Island: One of the largest islands in the delta, known for its beautiful landscapes and biodiversity.
  • Cashew Island: Famous for its mobile dunes and the richness of its fauna and flora.
  • Ilha do Guarás: Known for its colonies of guarás (red coloured birds) which can be seen in large numbers.
  • Pedra do Sal: A popular beach for surfing and for those looking for a busier place with tourist infrastructure.

Access and Infrastructure

  • Starting Point: The city of Parnaíba, in Piauí, is the main starting point for exploring the delta. Parnaíba has an airport and a good infrastructure of accommodation and restaurants.
  • Means of Transport: Trips through the delta are made on regional boats (voadeiras), speedboats or schooners.
  • Local Guides: It is recommended to hire local guides to explore the delta in a safe and informative way.

Sustainability and Conservation

The Parnaíba Delta is a sensitive area of great ecological importance.

Efforts are being made to preserve its unique ecosystems and promote sustainable tourism. Visitors are encouraged to respect the environment, avoid pollution and support local communities.


The Parnaíba Delta is a natural treasure of Brazil, offering a unique combination of natural beauty, biodiversity and adventure.

It is an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking authentic and unforgettable experiences amidst the lush northeastern landscape.