Teresina is the capital of the State of Piaui, Brazil. It is a hot, sleepy, and unpretentious town. It is not a coastal city and it has a small-town feeling. The city sits between the Parnaíba and Poti rivers. It is one of the hottest cities in Brazil, and is also an important center for hospitals and other health-related institutions.
Formerly called Nova Vila do Poti, Teresina replaced Oeiras as capital of Piauí in 1852. The city was named after the Brazilian Emperor's wife.
Teresina Airport/Senador Petrônio Portella, Praça Santos Dumont, s/n - Bairro Aeroporto, ☎ +55 86 3133-6270. (IATA: THE) Located in the northwestern region of the city off of Avenida Centenário, the airport is served by Gol, TAM, Azul airlines, and two very small regional carriers called Sete and Piquiatuba. Similar to other smaller destinations in northern and northeastern Brazil, fares in and out of Teresina are much more expensive than central and southern Brazil. Plan ahead when booking. Last minute fares through Teresina are extremely expensive.
Rodoviária de Teresina (Rodoviária Governador Lucídio Portella), Rodoviária Governador Lucídio Portella, s/n - Bairro Redenção (The rodoviária (bus station) is located to the east of the traffic circle where Avenida Presidente Getúlio Vargas crosses Rua Palmares/Avenida Principal. Another point of reference, the rodoviária is located about 800 meters southeast of the Alberto Silva Stadium. The bus station (tel 3218 1514) is about 8 km southeast of the centre — taxi R$ 15.).
- To Piripiri by Guanabara, 5 daily, 3 hours, R$ 26.
- To Parnaíba and Luis Correa by Guanabara, 5 daily, 6 hours, R$ 45.
It is best not to drive at night through the remote highways of the Brazilian North and Northeast. Lack of shoulders and tall farm crops growing right up to the roadside make visibility difficult on curved stretches. You may hit a farm animal, such as a burro, and damage your car and injure yourself and passengers. Driving at night can also be dangerous since thieves and gangs can more easily create roadblocks at night to rob drivers.
- 593km (368mi) from Fortaleza (via BR-222 and BR-343 through Piripiri, PI).
- 1,127km (701mi) from Recife (via BR-232 and BR-316 through Salgueiro, PE).
- 1,695km (1053mi) from Brasília (via BR-020, BR-242, BR-135, BR-343, and BR-316).
Municipal bus service is provided by SETUT and costs R$2.10 (2013). Buses carry about 225,000 passengers a day in the city and you can get most anywhere you need to by bus. Don't take valuables with you if traveling by bus.
Taxis are affordable in Teresina and are a good alternative to renting a car if you don't plan on traveling too far outside of the city.
Teresina has a light rail system with 9 stations that was built on tracks laid in 1922 (it is referred to as a metro, but is completely an above-ground system). The rolling stock is new, but the stations are dilapidated and, with the exception of two stations (Engenheiro/Bandeira and Frei Serafim), are nowhere near where you would travel in Teresina as a visitor or even as a member of the upper poor class or higher. Most of the stations on the east side of the Poti River are on narrow, dead end streets in poor neighborhoods with no commerce nearby and no bus terminals. Station names can be a point of confusion for both locals and visitors. The west side terminus is referred to as "Bandeira" station, yet the station's official name is "Engenheiro Alberto Tavares Silva." "Novo Horizonte" is sometimes referred to as "Parque Ideal." Other stations on the east side also vary in name and have no signage to indicate which station you are at (e.g., Mercado, Itararé, Novo Horizonte).
Approximately 8,000 people ride the metro per day (225,000 ride buses per day). Although it was started in 1991 around the same time as larger and more successful metro systems in central and southern Brazil, the Metro appears to be more of a vanity project for local politicians than a useful transportation alternative to buses.
- Benedict the Moore Church (Igreja São Benedito).
- João Isidoro França Sesquicentennial Cable Suspension Bridge (lookout tower), Av. Raul Lopes (access road - lookout is on Av. Rio Poti), Bairro Fátima, ☎ +55 86 3215-7472. The 312 foot lookout tower in the middle of the bridge is accessible by elevator with 360 degree views of the city and natural surroundings beyond.
- O Encontro das Aguas, Rua Des. Flávio Furtado, 1421-1589 - Olarias. 'The river Poti flows into the river Parnaíba on its way to the Atlantic, 8 km north of the center. In the dry season their colour difference is very distinct, and they continue flowing side by side, even when merged into one body. There is a floating restaurant, a monument over local fishermen´s legend and boat trips are offered for R$ 3. The meeting is easily accessible from the city at Av. Boa Esperança.
- Museu Histórico do Piauí, Praça Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca , S/N, Centro, ☎ +55 86 3221-6027. Tuesday to Friday from 8 to 11AM and 3 to 6PM, and on Saturday and Sunday from 8AM to noon. This state museum is divided into a series of exhibition rooms devoted to the history of the state; religious art; popular art; archaeology; fauna, flora and minerals; and an eclectic assortment of antique radios, projectors and other ancient wonders. Hidden in the corner of one room is a pathetic cabinet containing a flag, kerchief and some scribbled notes from comunistas, a flexible term used here to describe a group of independent thinkers, who were wiped out by the government in 1937. Admission is free.
- Parque Zoobotânico do Piauí, Rodovia PI 112, KM 5, ☎ +55 86 3216-2060, fax: +55 86 222-1415. The botanical park is on the road going north from Teresina towards União. The zoo part of the park is fifty years behind the West with bored unhappy animals (including a blind lion) in cages and insects on pins. Happily the armadillos (tatu) are not in cages and are free to wander around the park with the visitors. Don’t swim in the lake – it is full of caimans (jacaré). The main attraction of the park is the collection of local flora.
- Parque Potycabana. Potycabana Park is Teresina’s water wonder-world, situated in front of Teresina Shopping. Closed for renovation (March 2009)
- Mercado Troca-Troca ("barter"). This a place to exchange your kitchen sink for an old bicycle rather than buy a memento of Brazil. The market started under the vast fig tree that now stands behind the permanent roofing, on the banks of the River Parnaíba. It is fun for those who like a good rummage; the more refined may wish to give it a miss.
- Catedral de Nossa Senhora do Amparo
- Palácio de Karnak. This Greco-Roman structure once functioned as the governor's residence and contained valuable works of art and antiques. In the late '80s, the outgoing governor made a quick exit, together with many of the valuable contents.
- Alberto Silva Stadium (Located at the corner of Avenida Industrial Gil Martins and Rua Motorista Joça.). The Albertão Stadium (aka Estádio Governador Alberto Tavares Silva) is the place to watch local football/soccer matches. The stadium has capacity for 60,000 people.
- February - Carnaval.
- June-November. River Beaches. The rivers levels fall between June and November exposing large sand banks known as the “crowns of the rivers”. These are turned into popular river “beaches” complete with life-guards and vendors selling fried fish straight out of the rivers.
- June 29 - Procissão de São Pedro. A penitential procession of boats on the river Parnaíba.
- July - Teresina hosts the three-day Micarana festival, attracting top artists and visitors from all over Brazil - and no foreigners.
- November - Salão Internacional de Humor. The city is given over to cartoons and charicatures, attracting participants from Brazil and abroad.
- Central de Artesanato Mestre Dezinho, Praça Pedro II, Centro, ☎ +55 86 3232-0245, e-mail: email@example.com. This is an outlet for artisan products from all over the state. Items on sale include: leather articles; furniture; lacework; hammocks; opals and soapstone (from Pedro II); and liqueurs and confectionery made from genipapo, caju and maracujá. The building housing the arts and crafts center was the Military Police headquarters during the era of the military dictatorship and some of the small cells can be found and accessed below the shops.
- Riverside Walk Shopping, Av. Raul Lopes, ☎ +55 86 3230-2030.
- Shopping da Cidade, Av. Maranhão (Near the Troca-Troca (barter market)).
- Shopping Natureza, Avenida Marechal Castelo Branco S/N e Avenida Raul Lopes S/N, ☎ +55 86 8828-7804.
- Celso's. Piauíese specialities. Rua Angélica 1059, Fátima
- Panela de Barro, Av. Pedro Freitas 1965
- Camarão do Elias. Seafood, especially crabs. Av. Pedro Almeida 457
- O Pesqueirinho. Rua Domingos Jorge Velho 6889 (by the river)
Cajuína is a sweet soft drink made from the cashew fruit, which link with Teresina was immortalized in the Caetano Veloso song "Cajuína"
The local cachaça brand is Mangueira.
Most nighlife is in the vicinity of Shopping Riverside. A few clubs along Avenida Nossa Senhora da Fátima
- Pirilanches, Rua das Tulipas, Fatima. Live music in weekends Large beer R$ 3,40, cover charge R$ 3.
A few cheapies in front of the bus station, although this location is inconvenient if you don´t have your own car. The area between the centre and the hospital zone, south and east of Avendida Frei Serafim, is dotted with cheap pensões, although many of these seem more like hospital waiting rooms.
- Hotel Pio, Av. Centenário, 1785, Aeroporto (Right in front of the airport - you can walk there from the terminal although you should be careful doing so at night), ☎ +55 86 3214-4234, fax: +55 86 3214-4234.
- Hotel Itapoã, Rua Olavo Bilac 2222, Centro (Four blocks from Banco do Brasil at Frei Serafim), ☎ +55 86 3222-7017. Single R$ 50, Double 80, Triple 110, Quadr 130.
- Ibis, Rua Primeiro de Maio 450, Centro, ☎ +55 86 2106-2000. Single/Double R$ 75, breakfast R$ 8.
- Hotel São José, Rua João Cabral, 340, ☎ +55 86 3226-1166. Sul, CEP: 64000-030.
- Rio Poty Hotel, Av. Mal. Castelo Branco, 555, ☎ +55 86 3223-1500. Bairro Ilhotas, CEP: 64001-810.
- Royal Palace Hotel, Rua 13 De Maio, 233, ☎ 64000-150, fax: +55 86 3221 7707. Centro, CEP.
- Lord Hotel, Av. Getúlio Vargas, 2021 (Within walking distance of the bus station), ☎ +55 86 2106-5500. Bairro Redenção,
- Wash-Tec, Rua Olavo Bilac 2406, Ilhotas (Near the railway), ☎ +55 86 3222-8736. Closes at 12 on Saturdays. Next day service Wash and dry large load R$ 25.
- There are a few internet spots in the center at R$ 1-2/hour, but they all close Evenings, Saturday afternoons and Sundays. Head for more expensive places at the shopping malls.