Serra da Capivara National Park has the largest group of cave paintings

Serra da Capivara National Park
Serra da Capivara National Park

The largest set of cave paintings ever found in the world is in the Serra da Capivara National Park in Piauí, spread over 129.140 hectares of this park, declared a cultural heritage of humanity by Unesco in 1991.

Serra da Capivara National Park is home to more than XNUMX archaeological sites, most of which are under rocks.

Of this total, 128 are open to public visitation and have access infrastructure, a road for trails and safe stairs that allow visitors to get closer to the cave paintings.

Archeologist Niede Guidon, who runs the park with IBAMA, claims that she found evidence of human settlement there with up to 100 years – which goes against classical theories, according to which man would have arrived in America through the Bering Strait some time ago 20 thousand years.

Capybara Piauí National Park
Serra da Capivara National Park

Regardless of the controversies, the Serra da Capivara National Park (in which polished stone artifacts, ceramics and fossils of prehistoric animals such as the sloth and the giant armadillo were found) is pure wonder: rugged terrain can be seen on all sides, huge rocky blocks covered by undergrowth in the lower parts and by forests with trees over 20 meters high on top of the plateaus; the fauna comprises more than thirty species of mammals and two hundred of birds, in addition to lizards, frogs and snakes.

It is possible to visit the Serra da Capivara National Park by car, but those who prefer to visit it on foot can choose between light or heavy trails.

See the map of Piauí

The practice of adventure sports is prohibited, and the accompaniment of a guide, indicated by local hotels or hired at the city's reception desk, is mandatory. It is essential to wear comfortable clothes, sneakers, a hat and sunscreen. Who takes it: Capybara Trails.

Sights of Serra da Capivara

In addition to the archaeological sites, which are the trademark of the Serra da Capivara National Park, there are other options for leisure activities. We list 10 attractions below. Check out!

1. Pierced Stone

An iconic attraction is the park's postcard.

Pedra Furada in Serra da Capivara PI
Pedra Furada in Serra da Capivara PI

2. Cave paintings in Boqueirão da Pedra Furada

The Toca do Boqueirão da Pedra Furada contains about a thousand cave paintings and is considered the Sistine Chapel of Serra da Capivara, its largest archaeological site.

Cave paintings in Boqueirão da Pedra Furada
Cave paintings in Boqueirão da Pedra Furada

Studies indicate that the paintings were made between 3 and 12 years ago.

3. Baixão da Pedra Furada Circuit

The tour, which can be done in one day, starts at the east entrance to the park, with access via the BR-020, passing by the Mocó farm, where there are restrooms, snack bars and even camping.

From the same entrance you can also reach the Meio site, where there are traces of pottery over 8900 years old.

The itinerary includes visits to the Cajueiro, Fumaça, Macário and Fundo do Baixão burrows.

Baixão da Pedra Furada – Serra da Capivara National Park
Baixão da Pedra Furada – Serra da Capivara National Park

The high point is the hole in the mouth of Pedra Furada, the most important archaeological site in the Capivara mountain range, where remains of a bonfire were found that, according to Niede Guidon's team, would prove the thesis that human groups inhabited the region. 100 years ago.

From the basement of Pedra Furada reach the Alto da Pedra Furada Circuit, which also includes the passage through the baixão das Mulheres – a 60-meter high canyon with three archaeological sites – and the top of the Rodrigues cauldron.

The visitor climbs a stairway with 350 steps that leads to the top of Pedra Furada. However, passing over the top of the rock is not recommended for people with heart problems and without physical fitness.

4. Alto dos Canoas and Caldeirâo dos Rodrigues Trail

From the Arame do Sansão burrow, at the bottom of the Pedra Furada low, one walks along a 800-metre trail to the stone stairs that give access to the top of the plateau.

This leads to the Canoas site, with rock inscriptions, from where it goes to the cauldrons, the term used to designate the depressions in the rock surfaces that reserve water after the rain.

From the top of the plateau, it is possible to descend by an iron staircase to the bottom of a valley, called Caldeirão dos Rodrigues II, where there are lucid cave paintings representing scenes of social life.

5. Capybara Canyon

This corner has been traversed for millennia by the inhabitants of the mountains to reach the corners where they sheltered, today known as the burrows at the entrance of Pajaú, Barro, do Inferno, the entrance of the Baixão da Vaca, Pajaú and Paraguaio.

Capivara Canyon Circuit in Serra da Capivara PI
Capivara Canyon Circuit in Serra da Capivara PI

In the canyon there is a lookout with a panoramic view of the São Francisco plain.

From this circuit it is possible to reach two others on foot: the Veadinhos Azuis, a set of cave paintings in which the color blue was used (the first of this color to be discovered in the world), and the mouth of Paraguay, a refuge in that prehistoric man, among trees in the Atlantic forest preserved in the middle of the caatinga, left paintings that depict human figures decorated with geometric lines.

Access to the Capivara canyon is via the guardhouse located on BR-020, right after the town of Coronel José Dias.

6. Middle Site

It represents one of the most important shelters in world archeology. In this site were found the oldest pieces of pottery in the Americas, from 8.960 years ago, and the first American artifact in polished stone.

Archaeological sites – Serra da Capivara National Park
Archaeological sites – Serra da Capivara National Park

7. Blue Deer Site

In it were found the first prehistoric paintings in blue color. Currently, another site, in Colombia, has been discovered with blue prehistoric paintings.

In addition to this archaeological rarity, the tour is worth it for the wonderful landscape that can be seen from above.

8. Bastion of the Swallows

It corresponds to a gorge from where it is possible to watch, at the end of the afternoon, the spectacle of the swallows returning to a cave.

9. Making Jurubeba Interpretive Trail

It is part of the historical trails “No Rastro da Maniçoba” and shows aspects of colonial occupation in the region. It takes about 2 hours of walking. This trail passes through the Toca da Dama and Toca da Ema sites. Along the way you can see some ruins of XNUMXth century houses.

10. Cycle tourism

The region is also suitable for cycling. There are some drivers, specialists in the sport, who offer light or heavy rides. However, it is necessary to bring a bicycle, as the Park does not yet have a rental/bicycle storage service.

11. Local crafts

In the surroundings of the unit it is possible to discover the production of ceramics with cave paintings and the work of artisans.

12. Lookouts

Along the way to the sites, it is possible to find several viewpoints that lead to beautiful points, such as: Alto da Pedra Furada, the Panoramic View of Pedra Furada, Serrinha, Toca do Conflito, the BR-020 Lookout, among others. .

13. Museum of American Man

It consists of a collection composed of skeletons, ceramics and other artifacts from the archaeological excavations of Serra da Capivara. In addition, it has a panel with an exhibition of cave paintings from archaeological sites in the region.

How to get to Serra da Capivara

By air

São Raimundo Nonato (PI), the main headquarters of the Park, can be reached via Serra da Capivara Airport, which opened in November 2015. It is located on the road to Dirceu Arcoverde. However, it should be noted that this airport is still not fully operational, with very few daily flights. Another option is the Nilo Coelho International Airport, which is located on BR – 235, in Petrolina (PE) and is 303 km from São Raimundo Nonato (PI).



Teresina (PI) has a daily bus, which runs three times a day, departing from the Governador Lucídio Portella Bus Terminal, which is located on Rodovia Gov. Lucidio Portella, s/nº, Bairro Redenção. Petrolina (PE) offers daily buses, once a day, from the Governador Nilo Coelho Bus Terminal, which is located at Avenida Nilo Coelho, s/nº, Bairro Gercino Coelho.


Leaving Teresina (PI) on the BR-316, it is necessary to continue on the BR-343 until Floriano, turn right to the BR-230, then follow the PI-140 and continue on the BR-324 until São Raimundo Nonato (route with 520 km).

Leaving Petrolina (PE), take BR-235 to Remanso (BA), continue on BR-324 to São Raimundo Nonato. After the town of Remanso, there are about 100 km of unpaved roads (route with 303 km).

Where to stay

The Park does not have areas for camping or overnight stays for visitors.

However, in Sao Raimundo Nonato There are several accommodation options, in hotels or inns. In Coronel José Dias, in addition to the inns, there is a Camping in the village “Sítio do Mocó”.


The Serra da Capivara National Park can be visited throughout the year. It is open from 6 am to 18 pm.

Tickets can be purchased at the entrance gates until 17 pm. Over 60s and under 12s do not pay. 

Requests for exemptions for the entry of groups of students in environmental education activities and similar cases must be requested by email or by fax (89) 3582-2085, at least 2 business days in advance.

Serra da Capivara National Park Tourism and Travel Guide

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Landmarks and history of Piauí - Tourism Guide - videos

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *


seven − one =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your feedback data is processed.

Hide picture