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A Information to Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park, Brazil

Brazil has so many undiscovered and exquisite locations, listed here are a number of of them within the state of Maranhao (MA), within the northeast.

I nonetheless have a ton of household in that space, and I miss them dearly. Once I was there a number of years in the past, B.C. (Earlier than Little one) we went on an in a single day eco-tour tour to Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park that left me amazed, replenished and prepared for extra.

Right here is an summary:

It could sound absurd, however there’s really a desert within the largest tropical rainforest on the earth.

Brazil is happy with the spectacular dune space referred to as Lencois Maranhenses within the north of the nation. Wanting on the photos, you’ll by no means guess that these lovely shifting sand dunes, with their shimmering blue lagoons, are present in Brazil.

In any case, the nation receives monumental quantities of rainfall every year from the Amazon River and the equator. Nonetheless, the dune panorama extends about 40 meters inland and winds alongside the north coast for about 80 kilometers – a lot of it pure desert.

A Information to Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park


Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park – loosely translated to the Maranhenses Bedsheets, referring to the graceful sand dunes! The panorama consists of spectacular dunes that seem like fluttering white sheets stored in movement by the fixed wind. The peak of a few of these sand mountains reaches as much as 40 meters.

However what makes Lençóis Maranhenses really distinctive in comparison with typical deserts are its quite a few crystal-clear lagoons and rivers – as many as 300,000 have been counted thus far.

These waters are characterised by the truth that they’re freshwater lagoons, providing excellent situations for swimming.

Throughout the wet season, between January and June, these lagoons type on account of heavy rainfall. Throughout this time, a wide range of natural world blooms within the space.

Throughout the subsequent dry season between July and December, the lakes step by step dry up and disappear beneath a layer of shifting sand dunes – like magical mattress sheets.
Amazingly, even fish have discovered methods to deal with these inhospitable situations: They lay their eggs within the heat sand in time for a brand new technology to develop within the lagoons at the beginning of the subsequent wet season.

Whereas many of the lagoons dry up fully throughout the dry season, the 2 lagoons Lagoa do Peixe and Lagoa Bonita are blessed with a continuing excellent water degree. This harmonious interaction of dunes, clear water and luxurious vegetation alongside the seashores completes the image.

In accordance with the Nationwide Park web site, the park covers 155,000 acres of untouched nature, dunes, lagoons, and 43 miles (70 km) of seaside.

The locals of the Lençóis Maranhenses Pure Park encourage 1000’s of holiday makers not solely with their lovely surroundings, but additionally with their heat hospitality. The mixture of spectacular environment and pleasant individuals is solely fascinating.

This extraordinary place is undoubtedly one of many nation’s most fascinating sights.

Sunset at the dunes in Lencois Maranhenses, Brazil. Photo credit Otavio Nogueira on flickr.
Sundown on the dunes in Lencois Maranhenses, Brazil. Picture credit score Otavio Nogueira on flickr.

The place is Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park

Lençóis Maranhenses, the biggest Nationwide Park in Northeastern Brazil, stretches about 280 kilometers alongside the coast and reaches as much as 50 kilometers inland.

The park covers the cities of Barreirinhas, Humberto de Campos and Primeira Cruz.

To get to know this piece of paradise, the town of Barreirinhas is the best start line. Town is situated about 270 km from the capital São Luís.

We drove for about 4 hours from the capital, Sao Luis, however there are chartered buses, vans, and single/double engine planes that may additionally get you there. The park entrance is 1.2 miles (2 km) from Barreirinhas, throughout the Rio Preguicas, which we crossed by ferry.

When to go to Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park

The park is open year-round, however the pure lagoons are shaped by rainwater accumulation, and should you go throughout the dry months, as we did, you might need to stroll longer to seek out the few surviving ponds.

It rains all through the primary half of the yr, from December to June, and the rains often finish simply earlier than the beginning of the June festivals (begin of the excessive season in Maranhão).

Ideally, go proper after the wet season.

From Might to September, when the lagoons are stuffed with water and the white of the dunes breaks by means of, is one of the best time to go to Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park. Presently, the vegetation is in full bloom and migratory birds are resting.

From October, the lagoons proceed to shrink and lose their spectacular character till January, after they slowly start to replenish once more. The months between December and February, throughout the top of summer time, are additionally extraordinarily sizzling, so this era is much less advisable.

One other plus is the nice evening temperatures within the park, which differ little all year long. Even on cooler nights, the temperature is often a continuing 23°C.

In distinction, the Sahara – the biggest arid desert on earth – is an ocean of stone, sand and rock. It’s scorching sizzling throughout the day and bitterly chilly at evening.

Lagun at the Lencois Maranhenses National Park in Brazil.
Lagun on the Lencois Maranhenses Nationwide Park in Brazil.

What to take

For the tour, deliver and put on as little as doable: a light-weight pack with snacks, water and a digicam; put on shorts, t-shirts, sandals, a washing go well with and DEFINITELY a hat, sun shades and biodegradable sunscreen. Biodegradable insect repellent can also be good to have.

It’s the desert and there aren’t any shaded areas to cover from the solar.

Good to know

When exploring the Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park, you will need to at all times carry biodegradable sunscreen, a hat and loads of water. There’s a strict ban on unannounced climbing and tenting actions.

The spectacular dune panorama of Lençóis Maranhenses can also be residence to small scorpions. Though they’re not often seen, you need to be cautious, particularly when digging within the sand. The sting of a scorpion could also be innocent to people, however it causes extraordinarily painful reactions.

Final observe

By no means go to the Lençóis Maranhenses with no information, whether or not by 4×4, quad bike or boat; these guides are people who grew up within the space and comprehend it just like the again of their fingers. The park is rustic, the character untouched and the dunes go so far as the attention can see. It’s harmful to discover alone!

And clearly, I emphasize the significance of preserving nature. – The Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park is protected by the Brazilian Institute of Setting and Renewable Pure Assets (IBAMA).

Excursions to the Lencois Maranhenses Nationwide Park

Guests to the Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park face a tough choice. There are a number of excursions to select from, with completely different beginning factors and durations: from a leisurely stroll to a lagoon to a multi-day desert trek with in a single day stays in oases, it’s all there.

What kinds of excursions are supplied within the Nationwide Park?

Most guests take day journeys into the park and return to their accommodations in Barreirinhas or Atins within the afternoon, relying on which location they select. Barreirinhas is the vacationer heart of the area and provides many lodging in addition to tour operators. Most excursions begin from right here.

Atins, alternatively, is much less busy and tougher to achieve. The day journeys take you by pickup truck over sandy roads to the park’s borders, after which on foot to varied locations contained in the park.

You can be taken by pickup truck as shut as doable to the lagoons on the fringe of the nationwide park after which must stroll the remainder of the way in which over the dunes. Throughout the week it’s often a lot quieter than on weekends.

The preferred excursions from Barreirinhas take you to the freshwater lagoons of Lagoa Azul and Lagoa do Peixe. These journeys might be finished both within the morning or within the afternoon, however the sundown at Lagoa do Peixe is especially spectacular.

There are additionally excursions to the much less frequented Lagoa Esperança, about an hour’s drive from Barreirinhas. One other lagoon usually visited by tour operators is the enchanting Lagoa Bonita.

For adventurous vacationers preferring an extended trekking tour, there are businesses primarily based in Santo Amaro; nevertheless, such desert treks are additionally supplied from Atins.

In addition to the usual excursions by means of the Nationwide Park, some businesses additionally provide spectacular panoramic flights over the Rio Preguiças and the dunes.

4 hour Bonita Lagoon circuit and sundown expertise

This half day tour to Lençóis provides an unforgettable sundown expertise.

You can be picked up out of your lodge in Barreirinhas round 2 pm and drive about an hour to the vacationer heart of Bonita Lagoon.

A captivating little village awaits us with native retailers, similar to handmade memento retailers and household run snack stands. There’s additionally the well-known stairway to Bonita Lagoon. From the highest of the steps you’ll have a wide ranging view of the fantastic thing about the park!

Then it’s time to discover the lagoons!

Your information will take you thru the realm to 2 or 3 completely different lagoons the place you possibly can swim (about 40 minutes every).

After exploring, you’ll climb the very best dune within the space to benefit from the spectacular sundown over Lençois earlier than heading again to city.

Value: €30
Period: 4 hours
Free cancelation as much as 24 hours earlier than.
Reserve now and pay later.

It’s so lovely that you just rapidly neglect the hour-long 4×4 drive alongside the sandy monitor. It might probably get crowded on the high of the dune, however a ten minute stroll and also you’re alone on one other planet.

4 hour Bonita Lagoon circuit and sunset tour.
4 hour Bonita Lagoon circuit and sundown tour.

Full Day – Santo Amaro Lençóis

Expertise a novel full day tour and uncover the hidden treasures of Lençóis Maranhenses. Include us on a journey by means of the paradise of Santo Amaro and discover one of the best sights of the area!

The tour begins at 7:45 a.m. in Barreirinhas, from the place we depart to Santo Amaro. Relying on the situation of your lodge, the journey will final till roughly 8:45 am. As soon as in Santo Amaro, we’ll make a brief off-road drive over the gorgeous dunes, which is able to take about 10 to fifteen minutes, earlier than arriving on the first lagoons (Lagoa do Peixe, Lagoa da Andorinha and Lagoa da Gaivota – relying on the season, these lagoons might change).

Round 13:00 we can have a lunch break (meal not included) and loosen up a bit earlier than persevering with to the opposite lovely lagoons (this tour lasts all day and consists of stops for spectacular views). After the tour, we’ll return to Barreirinhas, arriving round 19:30.

Value: €52
Period: 10 hours
Free cancelation as much as 24 hours earlier than.
Reserve now and pay later.

Included within the tour is:

  • Switch from Barreirinhas to Santo Amaro (pick-up between 7:30 am – 8:40 am)
  • Tour Information
  • Stroll within the lagoons of Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park
Full day tour to Santo Amaro and Lencois Maranhenses National Park, Brazil.
Full day tour to Santo Amaro and Lencois Maranhenses Nationwide Park, Brazil.

Multiday trek

In case you are adventurous, you must positively hike by means of the Nationwide Park. The hikes from the small city of Santo Amaro to Atins are particularly thrilling.

Throughout the trek you’ll move two small oasis settlements the place you possibly can take a break. You’ll spend the evening in hammocks in these charming oases, which have been inhabited by cattle ranchers and fishermen for a lot of generations. It’s as fascinating as it’s spectacular to take part within the life of those individuals.

The primary cease in your journey would be the Queimada dos Britos Oasis. There is no such thing as a electrical energy right here, solely batteries powered by photo voltaic cells that present power for a number of hours. So go to mattress early or lie in a hammock.

That is vital as a result of the trekking begins at three or 4 o’clock within the morning, so that you’ll arrive on the oases not lengthy after dawn. There you’ll spend the day in consolation and leisure.

On the second day you’ll attain the gorgeous Baixa Grande Oasis. As a result of scorching warmth of Lençóis Maranhenses, nobody desires to spend an excessive amount of time beneath the burning solar. Subsequently, you’ll take a while to get to know the native individuals and study extra about their tradition and day by day life.

Throughout your keep within the oases, you can be in direct contact with the native individuals and find out about their lifestyle – far-off from any civilization, they reside right here in isolation. They are going to put together scrumptious meals for you, often consisting of rice, beans, fish or goat meat and salad produced from home-grown tomatoes.

Crossing the Lençóis Maranhenses, swimming within the many clear lagoons in the midst of a sandy panorama and visiting oases are fascinating experiences – distinctive in Brazil.

Between Might and September is one of the best time to swim within the picturesque blue-green lagoons, so should you can, plan your go to throughout this time! It is going to be an unforgettable expertise!

São Luís

If you wish to go to the Lençóis Maranhenses, you possibly can’t miss São Luís.

The capital of Brazil’s “humblest” state will pleasantly shock you with its authenticity. Its skillful mixture of previous and current, in addition to its heat individuals, signify a various Brazil that’s laborious to think about.

The capital of the state of Maranhão is situated on an island and is without doubt one of the most fascinating coastal cities – maybe as a result of it has not been “found” by many vacationers.

The historic heart of São Luís, a World Heritage Website, is an interesting neighborhood of smoking cobblestone streets and pastel-colored colonial homes. A few of these homes have been restored, whereas others are in a state of disrepair.

This charming space has a novel ambiance and is residence to the most effective collections of museums, galleries and craft retailers within the Northeast.

São Luís is residence to a powerful assortment of colonial buildings. Some 4,000 constructions protect the imposing architectural influences of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries in all their glory. The well-preserved outdated city with its colonial structure has even been declared a World Heritage Website.

Most well-known are the “azulejos”, Portuguese tiles that shield the facades from the nice and cozy, humid local weather – with out them, regular partitions would rapidly grow to be ugly.

Sadly, the streets might be tough to navigate after darkish.

Come and go to one of the genuine historic facilities of Brazil.

Enjoyable Truth São Luís

São Luís, the Reggae capital of Brazil, has created a novel interpretation of this tradition and permits its followers to bop collectively. It’s actually spectacular to see these {couples} embracing one another whereas sustaining a sublime and respectful perspective. It’s positively value going to one of many stylish nightclubs the place this dance is practiced!

Street in São Luís de Maranhao in Brazil.
Avenue in São Luís de Maranhao in Brazil.


Alcântara charms instantly and presents itself to the customer as lovely and welcoming. A visit to this metropolis is nicely value it, because it provides a glimpse into the historical past of the complete area.

Though Alcântara shouldn’t be very well-known amongst vacationers, this stopover leaves nobody untouched.

The charming city of Alcântara will take you again to colonial occasions – a real jewel of the period! This small city, frozen in time, impresses vacationers because it tells its extremely tangible story.

Marvel on the magnificent colonial homes and pattern scrumptious coconut cookies. Immerse your self within the native gastronomy whereas watching majestic birds such because the Scarlet Ibis which have made their residence within the surrounding mangroves. The brilliant pink coloration of their plumage makes for an unforgettable, nearly surreal sight as they flutter over the deep inexperienced mangrove waters.

This heritage of days passed by is situated on the opposite aspect of the Baía de São Marcos, reverse São Luis.

Solely 53 km from São Luís by boat or 408 km by land, this architectural ensemble of cobbled streets, church buildings, palaces and colonial stays has been a protected monument since 1948.

This advanced remembers an period of prosperity and splendor of the aristocracy of Maranhão.

Church in Alcântara, Brazil.
Church in Alcântara, Brazil.


Tucked away within the delta of the Preguiças River lies the idyllic fishing village of Atins, surrounded by intensive shallow water lagoons that emerge at low tide.

Nestled in an limitless sea of sand, surrounded by the Lençóis to the east, the ocean to the north and the estuary to the west, lies this picturesque city. Regardless of these limiting influences, the homes right here nonetheless handle to take root within the skinny sandy soil that precedes the water desk.

Nevertheless, the luxurious vegetation supplies a nice coolness and means that you can absolutely take pleasure in this distinctive place. On this village you’ll have the chance to take part within the “all Brazilian” day by day life, an expertise typical of those distant areas.

Because of the fixed wind, Atins may be very common with the kitesurfing neighborhood, who discover a wonderful infrastructure right here. Most guests to Atins are enthusiastic kitesurfers.

Along with the unbelievable situations for kitesurfers of all ranges, this place additionally provides all different guests an genuine cultural expertise on its quiet and sandy roads.

Alongside the estuary there are lovely spots with charming wood eating places the place you possibly can loosen up with a caipirinha overlooking the water.

On this charming little fishing village you possibly can loosen up between the majestic dunes of the park, the estuary of the Rio Preguiças and the Atlantic coast.

You should definitely go to the charming sand village of Atins on the “finish of the world” – an insider’s tip within the Lençóis Maranhenses Nationwide Park.

Panorama of Foz do Rio Preguiça at Atins in Brazil.
Panorama of the kitesurf paradise Foz do Rio Preguiça at Atins in Brazil.

  • Travel Dudes

    I am certain you have had comparable experiences I had while touring. You are in a sure place and a fellow traveler, or a neighborhood, tip you off on a little-known seaside, bar or lodging. Nice journey suggestions from different vacationers or locals at all times add one thing particular to our travels. That was the inspiration for Journey Dudes.

Rafael Gomes de Azevedo
Rafael Gomes de Azevedo
He started his career as a columnist, contributing to the staff of a local blog. His articles with amusing views on everyday situations in the news soon became one of the main features of the current editions of the blog. For the divergences of thought about which direction the blog would follow. He left and founded three other great journalistic blogs,, and With a certain passion for writing, holder of a versatile talent, in addition to coordinating, directing, he writes fantastic scripts quickly, he likes to say that he writes for a select group of enthusiasts in love with serious and true writing.


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