PNZ - Petrolina


From water to wine

At the edge of the São Francisco River, Petrolina is a dynamic oasis in the sertão. The city transforms the waters of the "Velho Chico" (a fond nickname) river into a source of energy for undertakings and adventure.

Along with Juazeiro, on the opposite side of the river, Petrolina makes up the largest urban agglomeration in the Brazilian steppe. It has just become the home of a new federal university. And it is also the country’s primary exporter of fruit. For some time, however, the city hasn't stopped at cultivating grapes – it has also become a producer of increasingly-complimented wine, which is developed with consulting by foreign enologists.

Petrolina is very close to Piauí, in Pernambuco’s far west – and for this reason provides easier access for those who want to visit world-famous Serra da Capivara National Park, with its cave paintings and archeological sites.


Have you ever dreamed of riding the waters of the São Francisco on a boat? Cross to Juazeiro and board one of the boats that travel the river. While there, visit the historical center and the Regional Museum, reminiscent of the steam boats that used to circulate up and down the river.

Back to Petrolina, don’t forget to visit the Bodódromo – even if only to take a peek at the dozens of bars and restaurants that prepare the fine delicacies of the sertão in every way: coal-roasted, marinated in wine, and the traditional “buchada.”

Downtown, there’s also the Sertão Museum and the Ana das Carrancas Cultural Center – set aside some space in your suitcase to take home a “carranca” figurine. Outside of town, visit the wineries - hire a tour guide to visit the grapevine farms and watch the harvest.