By P. Szwarc
Soon to be discovered by the whole world, Lençóis Maranhenses still remains the paradise of Brazil. Located in the northeast of Maranhão, this national park attracts tourists worldwide due to its one of a kind beauty.
Known to be the giant ‘desert’ of Brazil, the fascinating dunes formed by the wind are filled with crystal-like rainwater between the months of March and June. In addition to providing sightseers with incredible views, the site also enables you to refresh yourself in the world’s most extraordinary naturally heated lagoons.
How to get there?
The main cities that offer access to visit the park are Barreirinhas and Santo Amaro. However, I would opt to access Barreirinhas as it has a better infrastructure and it’s a shorter drive from São Luís, the capital of Maranhão. Also, there are various hotels for you to stay during your trip.
When should you go?
The coast of Maranhão presents two distinguished seasons all year round: the rainy season, and the dry season. After the rainy season, Lençóis completely transforms, and its beautiful scenery comes to life. Having said that, I would recommend going between the months of June and August as the lagoons will still be full even though rain won’t be as constant. Also, this is the best time of the year if you are looking to enjoy the warm heat of the sun.
What is there to do?
I will tell you right now that when exploring both cities, you will realize that there are many other options despite the national park. For example, in Barreirinhas, there is a breathtaking river called “Rio Preguiças”. There you will be able to find typical vegetation from Maranhão, and you will also spot some dunes along the way. In this tour, a ‘floating’ motorboat will guide you along the river so be ready for an adventure! Also, you can’t come to Barreirinhas and not visit the “Farol de Preguiças”. This lighthouse situated in Mandacuru provides panoramic views of the river. At the same location, tourists will encounter playful monkeys along the way that will do anything to steal your bijou, handbags or even so your sandals.
How long should you stay?
From my personal experience, I would suggest spending a total of four nights at the park. If you are willing to experience every single bit of what the park and other local attractions have to offer, I think that seven nights would be ideal. If you are looking for a faster pace trip, I would recommend spending two nights as you will still be able to visit the main lagoons: “Lagoa Azul” and “Lagoa Bonita”.