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Dunes & Lagoons of Lençois Maranhenses

5 Days / 4 Nights

Your tour of North-East of Brazil begins on arrival in Sao Luis, the state capital of Maranhao. You travel into remote and beautiful coastal lands, with dunes, lagoons and stunning natural scenery. A 4x4 journey takes you across the Lençois Maranhenses National Park, to visit the only desert with its own lakes, before a boat ride down the Lazy River to the disappearing village of Cabure.

Your tour of North-East of Brazil begins on arrival in Sao Luis, the state capital of Maranhao. After a quick look at the historical side of the city, you travel into remote and beautiful coastal lands, with dunes, lagoons and stunning natural scenery. A 4x4 journey takes you into the Lençois Maranhenses National Park, to visit the only desert with its own lakes, before a boat ride down the Lazy River to the disappearing village of Cabure. You also head into the dunes close to the Atlantic Ocean by Atins. 

The return journey can be made to Sao Luis, or you can continue onwards, heading through the smaller dunes to the Parnaiba Delta and Jericoacoara, before finishing in Fortaleza. 


  • Destinations: Sao Luis & Lençois Maranhenses
  • Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
  • Trip Style: Traditional
  • Activities: Ecotourism - Beaches

Brazil Adventure Tours provide you with ideas for tours of Brazil and South America, with all being completely flexible with regards to dates, duration or the tours, activities and classes that we can include. Our website tours are our recommendations based on our experience of how to make the very best of your time in South America. We can adjust these details in any way that you wish, with a little advice from us of course. We can combine any of our destinations that you wish to visit into one tour, and for however long you wish to visit them. Any of our Traditional and Adventure tours can also be combined in whichever way you prefer. We are here to organise a tour that suits you after all, not the other way around!

Day 1 : All the Way to Maranhao
Sao Luis to Barreirinhas
On arrival in Sao Luis, the state capital of Maranhao in the north-east of Brazil, you will be welcomed at the airport and transferred through the rugged and remote interior of the coast to Barreirinhas. The 3hr journey on the modern highway gives you a chance to appreciate the flora and fauna of this region, plus the climate so close to the equator on the north-facing coastline. On arrival in Barreirinhas, you can check in to your hotel and then have the rest of the afternoon to explore the town. Barrerinhas sits amongst the dunes and vegetation that border the Rio Preguiças, the Lazy River. The pace of life here is as laidback as the river, with restaurants on decks overlooking it.
Day 2 : Dunes and Lagoons of Lençois Maranhenses
Barreirinhas
In the morning you head into the dunes of Lençois Maranhenses, the only desert on the planet with its own freshwater lakes. This national park is one of the most photogenic areas of Brazil, with wind-carved dunes curving into the distance and the clearest water forming lakes between them. You can spend the morning leaving footprints in miles of empty white sand and refreshing in the blue lakes between them. Lagoas Azul & Peixe are the morning options, with Lagoa Bonita best visited in the afternoon. Lunch can be eaten in town during the break between them, with the hot sand best avoided during the middle hours of the day! Evening is free.
Day 3 : The Shifting Sands of Maranhao
Barreirinhas to Atins
After breakfast, a boat trip takes you down the Lazy River past the Mandacaru Lighthouse, with unparalleled 360° views of Mandacaru, Atins and the smaller dunes of Lençois. Your launch takes you to explore the community of Vassouras with its friendly monkeys. You reach Cabure before lunch, the village built on a disappearing sand-spit that separates the river from the ocean. The village has already moved location at least twice! You continue to Atins on the other side of the river and have time to check in, have lunch and relax a little. In the late afternoon you visit the dunes closest to Atins for sunset and finish the day with a final stop to enjoy the finest prawns in Brazil!
Day 4 : Lençois Maranhenses Options
Atins to Barreirinhas
The morning is free to explore the creeks of Atins, possibly by canoe. The slow-moving river out front and the beach it protects are also worth a wander. Atlantic waves break along the shore just around the corner, and kite-surfing is popular here both in the ocean and in the lagoons! Your boat takes you back to Barreirinhas in the afternoon. Other options in the area include quadbike trips around the smaller dunes outside of the park, or horse-rides through them. You can also float gently down the Rio Cardosa. Hiking through the dunes across the national park is also possible. Flights over the dunes are also possible for the finest way to see the Lençois Maranhenses National Park.
Day 5 : Sao Luis to Finish
Barreirinhas to Sao Luis & Away
Depending on the time of your flight away, you make the journey back to Sao Luis, with time for a look at the city known as the Reggae Capital of Brazil! Sao Luis was founded by the French over 400 years ago and colonised by the Portuguese, and the marks of colonisation can still be seen in architecture of the city and neighbouring Alcantara across the estuary. Your flight away can take you to Sao Paulo, Rio or Brasilia for international connections, or we can combine this fabulous Lençois Maranhenses National Park.Tour with any of our other fantastic destinations in Brazil, including the spectacular 4x4 journey along the coast to Jericoacoara, and even all the way to Natal!
PRICES Simple 3 Star 4 Star Luxury
Per Adult * US$ 525 US$ 550 US$ 975 US$ 1,225
Domestic Flights ** On Request


Suggested Hotels Simple 3 Star 4 Star Luxury
Sao Luis & Lençois Maranhenses On Request Pousada do Buriti Encantes do Nordeste Porto Preguiças

 

* Prices vary depending on travel dates and flight availability. Peak periods in Brazil including Carnaval, public holidays and Christmas/New Year usually require a minimum number of nights, so in these cases itineraries may need to be changes. ** Domestic flight prices are estimated on typical values when reserved 6 months before travel. Prices can never be guaranteed until reservations are made though, and do usually become more expensive closer to the travel period.

Do I require a Tourist Visa to enter Brazil and other countries visited during this tour?

Citizens of many countries require a Tourist Visa to enter Brazil, organised in advance at your nearest Brazil Consulate.
Please check details for visa requirements for your country on our Brazil Tourist Visa page.
Also, for details of your nearest Brazil Consulate in case you do require a Tourist Visa, please visit our Brazil Consulates page.

Do I need any special vaccinations for the areas visited during this tour?

Visitors to Brazil and South America are advised to always check the latest health information from your local doctors or travel clinic.
You may be advised to take a course of Malaria tablets. Yellow Fever Vaccine is highly recommended/essential for the Pantanal & Amazon region, plus the certificate to prove it, and possibly Hepatitis A and B Vaccines.
Please check our Brazil Vaccinations for further information.

What is the best time of year for this tour?

April - May - June - July