Trip Planner:   South America  /  Brazil  /  State of Pernambuco  /  Petrolina  /  Nature  /  Rio Sao Francisco
Rio Sao Francisco, Petrolina
(4.7/5 based on 460+ reviews on the web)
Affectionately known as “Velho Chico”--“Old Frank”--, at 2,914 km (1,811 miles) long Rio Sao Francisco is the longest river to run entirely in Brazilian territory and cuts a blue-green course through five states, uniting the diverse regions. You will see several pretty colonial towns sitting on its banks, as well as impressive landscapes, including the desert backlands of Minas and Bahia, and the dramatic gorges of Alagoas. The natural power of the river has been harnessed by six hydroelectric plants, supplying electric power to the whole of Northeastern Brazil and then some. However, these dams, along with deforestation, and excessive agriculture changed the nature of Rio Sao Francisco, affecting fish populations and passage of larger boats. The history of the river is still celebrated today in songs and legends, and you can buy miniatures of the carrancas--a kind of grotesque--used to ward off river demons in souvenir shops across the country. Put Rio Sao Francisco at the forefront of your travel plans using our Petrolina trip itinerary maker.
map
Create a full Petrolina itinerary

Plan your trip to Petrolina

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in State of Pernambuco by other users

26 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM LIBYA January, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 55 days in South America BY A USER FROM NAMIBIA January, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 22 days in South America BY A USER FROM SPAIN August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in South America BY A USER FROM JAPAN July, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM CROATIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM BRAZIL December, kids, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in South America BY A USER FROM INDIA March, outdoors, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM BRAZIL December, kids, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, kids, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in South America BY A USER FROM IRELAND February, culture, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Blumenau, Fernando de Noronha & Maragogi BY A USER FROM BRAZIL June, culture, romantic, beaches, shopping, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 10 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM CANADA February, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Wonderful choice for those visiting Petrolina. Well worth the tours of the Old Chico and the wineries.
    View original
  • The river deserves a visit. Can be done only to walk, but also for trips. There are bars with a view to the river.
    View original
  • I live in Petrolina and always cross the bridge to rent kayaks. The location is quiet, safe and we can admire the sunsets between the two cities Juazeiro (BA) and Petrolina (PE), in addition to get rid of daily stress
    View original