Rio Sao Francisco, Petrolina

4.8
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. See Rio Sao Francisco and all Petrolina has to offer by arranging your trip with our Petrolina online trip itinerary builder .
map
Create an itinerary including Rio Sao Francisco
Rio Sao Francisco Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
550 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I visited New Delhi in October 2017 and couldn't visit the edge. The São Francisco River is very beautiful, very quiet. Who can, can cross the River to barca to Juazeiro da Bahia. Super cheap, 1.50.
    View original
  • The São Francisco River or ' old Chico ' as it is affectionately called by the sertanejo, 5 States of Brazil and more than 500 municipalities. Is drying and with signs of pollution. But it's still a beautiful postcard of Brazil!
    View original
  • The catamaran by the São Francisco River, in the stretch between Pernambuco Bahia, and very interesting. On this ride today, didn't do the Lock, which is the rise of the Catamaran of the lower part of the Lake. That's because the waters of the Lake are very low and also because the site is in maintenance. Then we boarded the catamaran on the Lake, and continued for about 40 minutes prainha. The catamaran and offered an excellent lunch.
    View original

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.

Where to stay in Petrolina

Much of Petrolina’s activity centers around the snaking Sao Francisco River, and the majority of the city’s hotels can be found here. These vary in quality but offer easy access to restaurants, bars, and stores as well as the city of Juazeiro, which sits just across the bridge. Those who want to enjoy the youthful buzz and affordable eateries that the University provides should look for accommodations near or on Dom Malan Square. Smaller guesthouses and bed and breakfasts tend to be less expensive but are generally tucked away in residential areas.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor