Find out the best place to stay on your trip through Serra da Capivara

THE Serra da Capivara National Park reserves one of the main prehistoric treasures of humanity, in a region equivalent to the 85% of the city of São Paulo. Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1991, the destination located in the backlands of Piauí, has become the favorite of historians, archeology students and tourists interested in history, anthropology and culture.

São Raimundo Nonato is the largest and most important municipality in this region, concentrating the main shops, markets, banks, inns and restaurants. The other cities in the surroundings are smaller, offering simpler accommodations and with fewer shopping options, but just as surprising. The interior climate is quite noticeable in the villages located around the National park and it can be a good place to use as a base, if you want to sleep in a small village surrounded by beautiful walls.

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This is a part where the customs of the Piauí hinterland mix with the modernity brought by the visitors. Much of this influence is due to the researchers who chose these regions as their home, and in addition to them, the two universities of São Raimundo Nonato also brought new residents to the surroundings of the Serra.

One of the universities, the UNIVASF, offers 32 higher education courses specialized in different areas, including undergraduate and graduate courses in archeology, the most recognized courses precisely because of the archaeological importance found in the Serra da Capivara region.

More than a thousand cave paintings were found in this region. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Students have field classes in the Park itself, in addition to helping with FUMDHAM, in laboratories, museums and research centers dedicated to the study and preservation of found relics.

Despite the distance of 25 km between São Raimundo Nonato and Serra da Capivara National Park, many tourists choose to choose the city as a base to explore the landscapes, viewpoints and archaeological sites of the Park. This can be a recommended alternative for those looking for a place with better infrastructure, pizzeria options, cafes and bars.

Another lodging option, much closer to the Park, is the friendly town of Coronel José Dias. The city is practically within the Serra da Capivara National Park, allowing for much easier logistics for those who have fewer days to enjoy the trip and are looking for a quieter place to stay overnight. Want to know more about this part of Piauí? Understand a little about each of these regions and choose the best place to stay in Serra da Capivara.

Through the trails of Serra da Capivara. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Saint Raimundo Nonato


São Raimundo Nonato serves as a gateway for tourists visiting Serra da Capivara National Park and is among the cities of Teresina (PI) and petrolina (FOOT). Land access is mainly made by these two routes, being the place that tourists most choose to stay. The university city also has an excellent infrastructure of restaurants and inns. The Museum of the American Man, one of the main attractions of Serra da Capivara, is also in the city and can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm.

Serra da capybara where to stay

Museum of the American Man in São Raimundo Nonato. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Human bones found in the Serra da Capivara region. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Colonel José Dias and Sítio do Mocó


There are less than 5,000 inhabitants living in Coronel José Dias, and despite being a small municipality, it is the closest city to the National Park and the recently opened Museum of Nature. At the Sítio do Mocó, a village that is part of Coronel José Dias, the landscape between the mountains is even more incredible, located at the foot of the cliffs in a valley protected by rocks, shared by about 70 families who live in the community.

Staying at Sítio do Mocó it is possible to get to know some points of the Park without requiring your own vehicle, but as most of the attractions are far away, having a car can be a salvation to enjoy your trip even more. If this is not possible, there are guides in both cities that offer the service with the vehicle included in the daily rates.

Sítio do Mocó can also be an option for those visiting the Museum of Nature, opened in December 2018, the museum is located less than 3 km from the village and is an essential stop to discover part of the large collection of fossils that have already been found. in the surroundings of Serra da Capivara.

Sítio do Mocó

Aerial view of Sítio do Mocó, Serra da Capivara. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Sítio do Mocó

Cave paintings found near Sítio do Mocó. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Distance between cities in Serra da Capivara


– The distance between Teresina and Sítio do Mocó is 555 km
– The distance between Teresina and São Raimundo Nonato is 530 km
– The distance between Petrolina and Sítio do Mocó is 330 km
– The distance between Petrolina and São Raimundo Nonato is 300 km

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Mocó, a species of rodent found in the sertão. Photo: Gustavo Albano

How to get to Serra da Capivara


By bus: Buses to São Raimundo Nonato depart from Petrolina (PE) operated by the company Gontijo. The company also operates on the Teresina x São Raimundo Nonato (PI) stretch, together with Southern Princess Express. For those who are in Bahia, departing from the municipality of Remanso there are vans and line cars to São Raimundo Nonato.

By car: Land access can be made via highways PI 141 and PI 144 or via federal highway BR-020, BR-343 or BR-316.

By airplane: The closest capitals are Teresina (PI) or Recife (PE). After disembarking, head overland to the municipality of São Raimundo Nonato.

Serra da capybara where to stay

Urn on display at the Museum of American Man. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Is there an airport in Serra da Capivara?


São Raimundo Nonato airport has been in operation since October 2015, but unfortunately it does not have the capacity to receive large domestic flights. The closest airport to Serra da Capivara only receives chartered planes and helicopters.

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