Skip to Main Content


  1. Governor
  2. Sister Rivers and Lakes
  3. Capibaribe River - Brazil

Capibaribe River - Brazil 

Map of Capibaribe River in Brazil

Origin – Serro de Jacarará (west of Recife)

Mouth – Atlantic Ocean at Recife

Length – 150 miles/240 km.

Origin of name – Native Tipo word for “capybara”, the world’s largest rodent

Major Cities – Recife

Sister Rivers/Lakes Agreement

Signed on September 26, 2012, by Eduardo Campos (Governor of the State of Pernambuco) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn

Memorandum of Understanding (PDF)

Major challenges

Salinization; heavy metals


The area was among the first in Brazil to be colonized by the Portuguese. The Capibaribe River was used to ship sugar cane and other products to Recife, which has long been a major port.


Recife is known as the “Venice of Brazil” due to its many bridges over the Capibaribe River and other waterways that define it.


Capribaribe River boat tours depart from Recife’s Five Points pier, last around an hour and only cost $12. Catamaran tours are available at ground Zero. In Recife - which recently launched a bike-sharing program (“PedalaPE”) – there are several bike trails along the Capibaribe; bike rentals are available from some hotels. Many bridges over the Capibaribe are good vantage points to celebrate Carnaval.