Petrolina is the largest city in the hinterland of Pernambuco

Petrolina e Juazeiro
Petrolina and Juazeiro

Petrolina is a Brazilian municipality in the interior of the state of Pernambuco.

The São Francisco River is the main postcard of the city, it brings life to the city of Petrolina, through its waters the city fertilized its lands and began to produce several varieties of fruit, the main one is the grape, Petrolina is well known for having wines of great quality.

The São Francisco River also provides the visitor with several options for leisure and fun, in Petrolina the river banks are named Beach because of the immensity of the river.

Petrolina antiga
Petrolina antiga

It is possible to practice water sports and take Catamaran rides, the São Francisco riverfront is also quite visited and organized, making this which is one of the largest rivers in Brazil an existing tourist spot.

A bridge connects the Pernambuco state Petrolina, on the right bank of the São Francisco, to Juazeiro, which belongs to Bahia; there are ferries that make the journey between one and the other, crossing the river.

Despite this proximity, Petrolina has its own identity, based on the idea of meeting and mixing – an image that seems to be inscribed in the very name of the municipality, the sum of Pedro (from Dom Pedro I) and Leopoldina (from Maria Leopoldina of Habsburg, empress of Brazil).

Defying the drought, the city, planted in the middle of the sertão, 767 kilometers from Recife, has become the largest exporter of fruit in the country and has been improving its wine production, including Port.

Among the attractions, it is worth mentioning the Ana das Carrancas Cultural Space, with its expressive figures, and the Sertão Museum.

Built on the São Francisco River, the Sobradinho Dam holds the title of being “the largest artificial lake in the world in water mirror”, its area measures approximately 4,214 km2.


Petrolina has no beach, but the waters of the Velho Chico guarantee leisure. On the “edge”, fun is guaranteed because of the restaurants, bars, ice cream parlors, Cooper track.

On Rodeadouro Island, locals and tourists meet to practice sports on the clear and fine sand, take a boat ride and enjoy the bars and restaurants that make recipes based on fish from the São Francisco River, such as fish baked in banana leaves. The island is accessible by boat and transportation is available 24 hours a day.

Petrolina is an oasis in the middle of the sertão due to its proximity to the São Francisco River, and is gaining fame due to the production and export of the refined drink.

Tourists are the winners, who include an exotic itinerary in the program: visit to wineries with the right to walk among the vineyards, monitoring the manufacturing process and tastings.

It is also possible to visit tropical fruit farms, which proliferate in the region.

But not only the wines invite you to visit the city. The recipes based on goat meat are so popular that Petrolina won a complex of restaurants specializing in the delicacy, the Bodódromo.

Petrolina can be reached from Recife via the BR-232 highway; the route, however, is not safe – the road cuts through an area known for frequent robberies, especially in the stretch near the municipality of Salgueiro. Access by ]uazeiro is more recommended.

Petrolina airport receives regular flights from the capital of Pernambuco and São Paulo.

Videos Tourist points of Petrolina PE

Tourist attractions in Petrolina


Over eighty years old, she has been honored by rock bands (os Carrancudos) and maracatu groups (Matingueiros); she won a biography (Ana das Carrancas, a dama do clay, written by Pernambuco journalist Emanuel de Andrade) and usually exports her pieces to Europe.

Ana das Carrancas
Ana das Carrancas

One of the few women dedicated to the construction of carrancas, Ana Leopoldina dos Santos, or Ana das Carrancas, produces works in which the originality stems not only from the use of the material – clay instead of wood – but also from a detail: all her figures have hollowed-out eyes.

The inspiration came from a promise: if the frowns helped her get her blind husband off the streets, where he begged, she would make all her pieces that way. In addition to selling Ana’s work, the space organizes workshops and courses for the community. BR-407, 500, Cohab Massangano.


CATEDRAL DE PETROLINAThe Cathedral of Petrolina was built by the first Bishop of the Diocese, Dom Antonio Malan. The foundation stone was blessed and laid on the site of the old parish cemetery in February 1925 and the inauguration took place in August 1929.

It is an imposing and majestic temple, in Gothic style, which characterizes and gives prominence to the city and the region of Petrolina.

The Cathedral of Petrolina was built in stones taken from the site itself, and from nearby quarries, built in neo-Gothic or late Gothic style, consisting of an imposing facade and a set of 57 stained glass windows (coming from France, similar to those of Notre Dame Cathedral and some of Europe), which became one of the largest and most beautiful in Brazil. and stained glass windows coming from the French region of Grenoble.

The clock mechanism was donated by Father Cícero. Praҫa D. Malan, s/n, Center.

Built facing the west, following the ancient liturgical rule, where the Holy Land is located and therefore the tomb of Christ.

The ceiling and roof are in the shape of a Latin Cross; in the left tower there is a clock two and a half meters in diameter, donated by Father Cícero; there are three bronze bells weighing 1,440 kg present from France; the sacred collection consists of pieces presented by illustrious sponsors, mostly Brazilian and French. There are five chapels among which are the deposits of Dom Malan and Dom Campelo (1st and 4th Bishops of Petrolina).

Museu do Sertão em Petrolina
Museu do Sertão em Petrolina


The diversity of the collection of the Museu do Sertão is the hallmark of this museum, which aims to synthesize the world of the sertão.

There are everything from photos and objects that belonged to Lampião to prehistoric fish fossils (proof that the region was once marine), medicinal plants and a replica of a typical 18th century sertanejo house.

Opened in 1973, the museum underwent renovations and was reopened in 1996. Rua Esmelinda Brandão, s/n, Center.


Bodódromo em Petrolina

Despite the name, none of the eight establishments in the Bodódromo serve goat meat, but mutton.

This is due to two reasons: the ram reproduces twice a year and has up to four offspring – the goat, only one in the same period -, and its meat is softer and has a milder smell than that of the animal that inspired the place. Av. São Francisco, s/n, Areia Branca.


Inaugurated in 1923, its construction shows the neoclassical and neocolonial taste. Listed by the Historical-Cultural Heritage, after restoration, it now houses the headquarters of the Cultural Foundation of Petrolina.


For those who love history, the old station is a tourist spot that should not be missed. The station is well maintained.


Ilha do Fogo

Ilha do Fogo is very visited, especially in the late afternoon, it is from there that you have one of the most beautiful views of the sunset on the old Chico River, as it is affectionately called by the locals.

You can also take the opportunity to dive into the waters of the old Chico. The place is very quiet, with good infrastructure, despite the difficult access, as it is only possible to do it on foot.


The combination of strong sun, soil type and river water provides two annual grape harvests in the São Francisco Valley, a rare feat in the world.

This region, located on the 8th parallel, covers Petrolina and also Juazeiro, in Bahia, and has become a major producer of wines – some of them ranked among the best in the country.

Unlike wines from the South, which are generally aged in oak barrels, those from the Northeast are young, packed in aluminum barrels during the production process.

See Wineries and History of Oenoculture in the São Francisco Valley

Tourism and Travel Guide of Petrolina in the Sertão of Pernambuco

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