Beachside in Parnaíba
The state of Piauí has just a sliver of coastline in comparison to the other northeastern states in Brazil, but it is no less gorgeous. My original plan had been to take some kite surfing lessons in the region with a friend I had met while staying in Jericoacoara. This particular part of the Brazilian coastreceives enough strong and constant wind to be one of the best places in the world to practice the sport. Well, for about eight months of the year… guess I didn’t get the memo because I, as luck would have it, arrived in the off season. So no kite surfing, but my friend and his sister were nice enough to do a mini tour of some of the Parnaíba beaches.
Parnaíba was once the capital of Piauí, but they changed it to Teresina for strategic reasons. These days it seems like Parnaíba and the adjacent Luís Correia are mostly beach central, with a small historic area and a lot of waterfront to enjoy chilled coconuts and a selection of seafood.
The best spot we went to was Praia do Itaquí, a beach which actually lies just outside of Parnaíba in Luís Correia. It’s absolutely brilliant, the water a perfect mirror for the clouds and palm trees. That insanely blue water from Jeri is here as well, but there’s hardly anyone here to enjoy it. There’s so many beaches in Brazil that are still, for the most part, pristine. It’s only a few locals hanging out in the beach huts and a few wind sport enthusiasts. I’m sure during the season there must be more kite surfers there who stay in the tiny Vila Itaquí and do nothing but hit the water for a week. People pop in for new years celebrations and carnival, but the other 90 percent of the year it’s nearly abandoned it seems.
I didn’t get to go on any manatee tours, but there is also a wide range of wildlife living in the surroundings, from the sand dunes to the waters. Luís Correia has around 46 km of coastline, which makes up about half the coast of the entire state. Lucky them:)
Overall, it was just a lazy beach day — very Brazilian. Everyone just hangs out, has a drink, eats some food, and stares out at the waves. There’s a little lighthouse to climb up to as well. We ended the day driving into another dazzling sunset.
One thing is for sure, if you’re going to visit now is a good time to do it… these stunning beaches won’t stay hidden forever. Plenty of westerners come to practice wind sports and just end up setting up camp permanently.
Guess I’m not the only one dreaming of making the Brazilian coast my semi-forever home.