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About Cananéia

The city of Cananéia, with about 15,000 inhabitants, was funded in 1532 by Martim Afonso de Souza, a portuguese navigator. It is placed about 270 km far from São Paulo and is inserted in an Environmental Protected Area. This area is considered as one of the three main biological reserves of the Globe in terms of biological prodution. We are presenting three aspects of Cananéia:

History and Sightseeings

Cananéia has a wonderful history and some remnants of it can be found even nowadays when you walk along this beautiful city. Take a look at some pictures.

Martim Afonso de Souza, a portuguese navigator, is oficially known to declare the foundation of Cananéia in 1532. In his honor, this statue was built in the main entrance of the Cananéia city. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)


This is the main entrance to the Cananéia island most populated area. You can observe an old sailing vessel remembering the one that Martim Afonso de Souza was the Captain. He was considered the one that founded Cananéia in 1532. Historical data show that other adventurers had already arrived at Cananéia by the year of 1502. However, some old man say that even before the year that Brazil was discovered (1500), some europeans were already at Cananéia.
(Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

From the top of Morro São João it is possible to observe a small portion of the Cananéia island. The city has a population estimated in 15,000 inhabitants, including the continental portion of the city. The local government must improve local education and human health conditions while there is still time. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

In this picture you can observe the Beira-Mar avenue, an excellent place to rest observing the estuarine waters. Tourists love to walk along this avenue. Along it, the charm of old and historical houses built in the 1500s and 1600s can be appreciated. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

This is the oldest church in the city: It was built in 1758. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

In the main square of Cananéia it is possible to see a church that was built in 1758, and also two cannons that were brought to this city in 1900. Before that, those weapons were used to protect the local estuary entrance. That is why that place is called Ponta da Trincheira (Barrier Point, in English). (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

At the local historical centre it is possible to observe some old houses that were built in the 1500s. Some of those houses are still preserved. The walls of some houses have shells in their structure. To help maintaining the wall structure, the oil that was manufactured from whale blubber was used. Right and sperm whales were hunted along the local coastal waters and their blubber used to be boiled at Ilha do Bom Abrigo. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

The main estuarine entrance. It is possible to observe the Bom Abrigo Island on the top left side of the picture, the Ilha Comprida south portion on the bottom left, and the northern side of the Cardoso Island on the right middle side of this picture. In this area it is possible to find tucuxis, as well as many marine birds such as frigate birds and brown boobies. Local fishermen take much care when crossing this entrance, as many sandy banks were responsible for some accidents when a few boats sunk.. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

This is the Morro São João. It can be found in the Cananéia Island and it provides a beautiful sightseeing of the local ecosystems. It is 98 meters tall and the top can be reached by a soft track.. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)


The scapes from the Serra do Mar shape the image of a giant laid on the floor. That is why those mountains in this picture are called the Giant Man Mountain.. (Photo: Luciana Barão Acuña)

In 1949, the Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo (IOUSP) research station, known as João de Paiva Carvalho base, was settled at the Cananéia island. It is located 270 Km far from the IOUSP headquarters. In this picture you can observe the oceanographic research vessel known as Véliger in front of the base. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

One of the most wonderful places in the world to enjoy a sunset is Cananéia. The sun goes down behind the scapes of the Serra do Mar and the last light shows us the real value of life. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Another wonderful place to enjoy the sunset is at the Ponta da Trincheira, at Ilha Comprida. It is a breathtaking experience! (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

One of the best moments to live at Cananéia: the sunset!
(Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Sometimes in Cananéia you feel that God loves to enlighten His creation. This is one of the evidences. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Fauna & Flora

In this huge place you can find thousands of different live creatures. Brilliant colors, small and big sizes, dangerous and peaceful species. We have a richness called BIODIVERSITY!

This picture shows a great egret (Ardea albus) flying close to a mangrove border. Egrets are common all year round along the coast of São Paulo and Paraná. They prey mainly on fish. This species has a yellow black beak and black feet. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Different from the great egret, the snowy egret (Egretta thula) has a black beak and yellow feet, as well as a lower size. This one in the picture is trying to find small fish at the Ilha Comprida beach. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Along the beaches of Ilha Comprida and Marujá it is common to observe marine birds all year round. One of the commonest birds is the brown boobie (Sula leucogaster). It inhabits some islands and bays along the coast, where they reproduce. They prey on fish that are captured in venturous dives. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

The roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja) was very common in almost all the Brazilian mangroves. Unfortunatelly they have been captured for many years in order to provide feathers for exotic clothes. Along the local mangroves you may have the opportunity to see this beautiful and almost rare bird, mainly in summer. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

The papagaio-da-cara-roxa (known in English as the Red Tailded Parrot) (Amazona brasiliensis) cries for help. Its distribution is restricted to Paraná (PR) and São Paulo (SP) states. Those beautiful birds suffered with the impacts provoked by local forests destruction for road and farm construction, as well as with the illegal trade in and outside Brazil, mainly in Europe and in the United States. They have a characteristic color pattern, with red and purple feathers on their face and chest, after which came their name. They inhabit islands that have Atlantic Forest remnants, as Ilha do Cardoso (SP), Ilha de Cananéia (SP) and Ilha do Superagui (PR). They can make their nest in holes found in trees, where females put to 4 eggs. Males help on nets vigilance, while females hatch the eggs. They eat small fruits found in local forests. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Frigate birds (Fregatta magnificens) are common in almost all the Brazilian coastal areas. They follow fishery boats in order to catch easy food when fishermen throw away the exceeding small fish. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

The worldwide known kelp gull (Larus dominicanus) is also common at Cananéia and northern Paraná coasts.. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

The carcara (Polyborus plancus) can be found in almost all the Brazilian territory. Prey items may vary and include worms, small rodents, frogs, snakes and lizards. Along the beaches of Ilha Comprida, Marujá and Deserta, it is common to observe those birds feeding on other animals corpses (e.g. crabs, fish, turtles and dolphins).. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

What is a cayman doing at the beach? Sun bathing? Unfortunatelly no! This alligator known as jacaré-do-papo-amarelo (Cayman latirostris) was dead and had marks of some gun shots. Its total body length was 1.87 meters and was found at Ilha Comprida. They are usually found at Ilha do Cardoso, where probably this individual was captured and tied for later scrapping. Illegal trade of leather and meat has reduced their numbers in the wild. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

This is the green snake, commonly found in local forests and sometimes along local beaches.
(Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

A huge white shark (Carcharoron carcharias) was captured along the coast of Ilha Comprida in 1992. It was a 5.2 meters long pregnant female and the 10th report of this species in Brazil. Just to give an idea about this huge predator: added to some other shark species, this female had the remnants of adult spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) in its stomach. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Most jelly fish are beautiful, however some species can be dangerous to human beings. Those species have urticant cells that can produce some damage when in contact with our skin. It is usual to observe some jelly fish spread along local sandy beaches.
(Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

The portuguese-man-of-war is beautiful, however it is dangerous to human beings. Those species have some urticant cells that can burn humans skin.. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

The local mangrove is considered as one of the most important biological reserve in the world. It is about 160 km long from Iguape (SP) to Paranaguá (PR). It is a relevant nursery ground for many species of fish, oysters, crabs and shrimps.. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Many people have a wrong idea about mangroves after visiting one. They claim about the smell and the difficulty to be standed up on the mud. However, those people need to understand that this ecosystem is fitted exclusively to some marine and terrestrial organisms needs. Many species that are considered as common food resourses to human beings depend on those muddy areas to reproduce and grow. But those areas are in risk all over the world. Many businessmen and industries are trying to destroy those ecosystem to make money. So... ask them what kind of value this money will give them if one day they may not have any food to eat? (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

The flower of the "Bromélia" is exuberant and common along all the Cananéia estuary borders. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Depending on the month you visit Cananéia, you will find different colors in Nature. This is what we can call TRUE COLORS! (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Local Community

Local people are simple, honest and happy. Their lives are not so stressed as in big cities. They are not financially rich... but we are sure that their richness will never be found in big cities. We selected some images that show their simply, but happy lives.

Local fishermen respect the nature. They only take what they need to survive. If juvenile fish are caught in their nets, they give them back to nature. If a dolphin is incidentally captured and found dead, they became sad. If they find an incidentally captured dolphin alive, they will do their best to save the dolphin’s life. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)


This traditional fishing art comes from fathers to sons. The use of a special net called "tarrafa" is a tradition in south and southeast Brazil. Fishermen learn to observe fish schools travelling from local beaches. When the school approaches those beaches, the fishermen throw his "tarrafa" that usually captures mullets. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Mr. Santino and his son Pedro wake up early and check their artisanal trap to catch mullets. Both are special friends that sometimes give us a ride to study local tucuxis. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Local fishermen sons usually have toys that are related to their main survival activity. This boy, with this small wooden made boat, is playing and learning the best way to encircle fish schools in shallow waters. This is one of his natural "video game". (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

A common scene in local estuarine waters: local tucuxis swim in peace when close to local small and low speed boats. The respect between local fishermen and dolphins is amazing. Unfortunatelly, the same does not occur when we compare the relationship between some tourists and dolphins. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Mr. Antônio is a fishermen who became very happy to help the Projeto Atlantis research team. Living in an isolated house at Ilha do Superagui at the Paraná state, he used to cross the local beach which is 24 km long with his bycicle in a daily basis to look for dead cetaceans. We helped with clothes, food and books. Mr. Antônio proved that human’s richness can only be found if you have close friends with whom you can share knowledge and life experiences.
(Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Mr. Aroldo is our boat pilot. A special friend that has been helping us in approaching local tucuxis with care. He is a polite and gentle local citizen that is proud of working with nature conservation. He knows where to avoid every sand bank and believe us...he is more precise than our GPS!!!!!! (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

Some locals like to see the pictures we take and in many occasions they say: "Oh my! This picture was not taken here, was it?". And we just answer: "You must take more time to appreciate your richness... dolphins, nature, marine birds, the sunset, the sunrise... so, start now!" (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)

In the early beginning, few locals believed that we could recognize local dolphins through pictures. In recent years, more and more citizens have been convinced mainly after observing part of our catalogue. In this picture, a local citizen recognizes the female KN # 003. (Photo: Marcos César de Oliveira Santos)