The tour to see these animals was created by the community itself and is the most popular among tourists. Visitors take an ecological trail through the mangroves and streams and have deeper contact with nature, with the opportunity to see seahorses up close.
To take this ecological tour, you start at the headquarters of BarraTur, which is the Association of Tourist Drivers of Barra Grande, which is located on Rua das Flores, s/n, in the center of Barra Grande, close to Churrascaria Recanto. Contact is made with Marcos Cazuza, who can also be contacted by phone (86) 99931-0176. This association is made up of children of fishermen from the native community who saw ecotourism as an opportunity for employment, income and social improvements for themselves and their families. Furthermore, they are very knowledgeable about the entire region, so you also get a real environmental education lesson during the tour. From the BarraTur headquarters, you hire transport, which is initially done by means of an animal-drawn cart. The vibe is the same, rustic, adventurous and very natural. It is important to highlight that everything is thought of with minimal care, and the animals that drive the carts are well treated and fed.
The carriage ride lasts just 15 minutes, but it's enough time for you to learn a little about what you'll be exploring and feel a more intimate atmosphere with nature. Once this land journey is complete, the water journey begins, which is done by canoe and with the necessary safety equipment, such as a life jacket. At this point you will immerse yourself in the middle of mangroves and streams and see crabs, herons and other native animals, in addition to the vegetation and types of mangroves.
At a certain point, there is an area suitable for bathing. At this place, if tourists so wish, the canoe stops and people get out to take a bath, go into the mangrove, whoever prefers, and watch how crabs are caught. They are caught there just for presentation to the visitor, then returned to their natural place. All this with the greatest respect for the environment and everything being explained by the guides. The entire canoe trip lasts around 30 minutes.
Afterwards, you return to the canoe, which travels to the point where you can see seahorses, the exotic species hippocamppus. Threatened with extinction, these beautiful animals found their refuge in the warm waters of Piauí. Due to this threat and the fact that it is a highly sensitive animal, the guides handle it with great care and place it in a glass container so that tourists can see it up close. After visitors look, the seahorses are returned to their natural habitat, so that there is no problem that could cause an environmental imbalance for them. After that, the canoe returns to the beach, where the cart picks up the tourists again, who move close to the sea, taking in a bit of the water from the waves, the wind and the entire vibe of this place.
Time, price and days for the tour
The complete tour of the seahorse ecological trail takes about 2 hours. For those who want to do this itinerary, tour times in the morning are from 9 am to 11 am, and in the afternoon, from 2 pm to 4 pm. The tour costs R$65.00 per person. One tip is that you should also bring a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun, as well as mineral water to hydrate you during the route.