Xingó Canyon, on the border between Sergipe and Alagoas, is one of the greatest natural wonders of the Northeast, located 200 kilometers from the capital Aracaju.
Considered the fifth largest canyon in the world and the largest navigable canyon, the site has beautiful rocky walls carved naturally, with the action of climate and winds, for more than 60 thousand years. Find out when to go, what tours are available, among other tips to plan your itinerary:
The city of Canindé de São Francisco, located 213 km from Aracaju, in the Alto Sertão of Sergipe, is the gateway for those who wish to visit the Xingó Tourist Complex, which comprises the states of Sergipe, Alagoas and Bahia.
Every day, tourists from different parts of the country take the tour to the Xingó Canyon, the region’s business card and which has projected the municipality on the tourist map of the state and Brazil.
To enjoy such beauty, tourists can leave from Canindé de São Francisco, a municipality located 220 kilometers from Aracaju SE. The journey from the capital of Sergipe to the city can be done by car or bus.
From Canindé, there are boats (schooners or catamarans) that take visitors to the dammed part of the São Francisco River and its canyons.
It is another three hours’ drive to Canindé de São Francisco in Sergipe – a small town of just over 20,000 inhabitants. On the way, along the SE-230 highway, the dry land and the caatinga reveal themselves.
A landscape that combines shades of green, brown and gray. A different beauty and look who appears to welcome our team: the sertanejo jegue.
The first sight of the São Francisco River or ‘Velho Chico’ is fascinating.
By the São Francisco River we sail to the destination. The catamaran leaves from the pier of a restaurant. The trip to the canyons takes an hour – enough time to enjoy the landscape and discover how it was formed.
Two decades ago the region was dry, covered by caatinga. But in 1994, when the waters were dammed for the construction of the Xingó hydroelectric plant, the scenario changed.
The riverbed rose almost a hundred meters and formed a kind of paradise.
The natural scenery formed by the vegetation of the caatinga and all the exuberance of the São Francisco River can be followed from the beginning of the tour at Porto Karrancas, located on the dam dike of the Xingó Hydroelectric Plant, built in the 1970s, and which gave rise to the 5th largest navigable canyon in the world.
The Xingó Canyon is formed by a deep valley, 65 kilometers long, 170 meters deep and wide ranging from 50 to 300 meters. It is from this point that catamarans leave daily from 8:30 am to 2 pm.
According to geological studies, the site was the bottom of the sea about 65 million years ago. With the division of the tectonic plates, one receded to where it is today and left an open crack.
An hour’s ride later the catamaran docks at a sort of artificial harbor. People can already queue up so they can enter the natural pool.
The curious thing is that the pool is ten meters deep up to the containment net. Down it is another 30 meters.
The water of the São Francisco River is crystal clear, very green, not cold, but very good. For the heat here, it is an excellent option.
On the way back, after a three-hour tour, tourists are welcomed with lunch and music.
In Canindé de São Francisco there are hotels and inns – most near the river.
Video about the Xingó Canyon
When to go to Xingó Canyon
In addition to offering a unique landscape amid the typical drought of the Northeast, one of the best times to visit the region is now in winter, which is even better for those who live in other states and want to enjoy the heat.
From May to July, the rainy season has become famous for offering even more beautiful landscapes and the temperature varies between 26ºC and 28ºC.
From September to March, the beaches are guaranteed. Remembering that there are no inadvisable times to visit this destination, after all, the region yields stops for relaxing baths throughout the year, among other tours.
How to get thereto Xingó Canyon
The Xingó Canyon, located in the municipality of Canindé do São Francisco, 213 kilometers from Aracaju,
To get to the Xingó Canyon you have to navigate 17 kilometers along the São Francisco River from the municipality of Canindé de São Francisco.
The tour can be done by speedboat or catamaran.
Leaving from the main capitals of the region, both from Alagoas and Maceió are at least 3h of travel.
The nearest cities are Canindé de São Francisco, in Sergipe, and the municipality of Piranhas, in Alagoas.