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Lençois Maranhenses Trek

5 Days / 4 Nights

Your Hiking Tour of the Lençois Maranhenses National Park in 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, for day hikes in the dunes, a boat ride down the Lazy River to the disappearing village of Cabure, and the spectacular three day hike through the park.

Hiking Tours of Brazil

Our Hiking Tours of Brazil are all basic ideas that can be tailor-made to match your requirements. Any tour can include one or more destinations, and can be purely dedicated to hiking, although some mountains may include a little climbing that is still suitable for those without much experience. We can also arrange serious climbing trips. We can also mix them with other activities such as climbing, kayaking or tandem hang-gliding flights, some regular tourism, and some nightlife. We include all that you need during your trip, the accommodation with breakfast; all airport transfers and other road journeys; any activities and excursions with English-speaking guides and relevant entrance fees; plus some popular extras. For our Hiking Tours of Brazil, you only need to bring your favourite hiking boots and regular outdoor clothing and equipment. Any parts where a little climbing is necessary will include ropes, helmets and safety harnesses. All hikes and climbs are undertaken with an experienced, qualified local guide, with activity insurance included. 
Your Hiking Tour of the Lençois Maranhenses National Park in 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, for day hikes in the dunes, a boat ride down the Lazy River to the disappearing village of Cabure, and the spectacular three day hike through the park.

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: Adventure
  • Activities: Hiking & Trekking - 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 : Lençois Maranhenses Hike
Barreirinhas to Atins
In the early 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 hike between Lagoa do Peixe and Lagoa Bonita, spending the morning leaving footprints in miles of empty white sand and refreshing in the blue lakes between them. After lunch in Barreirinhas, you take the boat down the Lazy River to Atins, stopping along the way at the Mandacaru Lighthouse, and the community of Vassouras with its friendly monkeys.
Day 3 : Trekking Through the Dunes
Atins to Baixa Grande
Your Lençois Maranhenses National Park Trek begins… in the dark! The heat of the day this close to the equator, and with white sand to reflect the sun, make an early start essential as after 10am is usually too hot to handle! You begin the walk out of Atins and along the flat sand of the coastal plain before entering the dunes themselves. Walking barefoot on the cool white sand under a starry sky, with the dark shapes of the dunes outlined against it is a special moment. If the moon is out then you get a little extra help, but if not then you have to be careful not to bump into a sand dune! On arrival in the tiny community of Baixa Grande, you stop for the rest of the day.
Day 4 : Oases in the Desert
Baixa Grande to Queimada dos Britos
The two communities of Baixa Grande and Queimada dos Britos are the only parts of the national park with water and people! These two oases in the desert are very simple places, with water pulled from wells and electricity provided by generator if possible. The middle of the day is for relaxing in hammocks and cooling in the small lakes nearby. A short hike to the highest point in the area for sunset is another highlight. Meals are eaten with the families, and accommodation is also in the hammocks. Early nights and early starts are the order of each day! You should also likely be lucky enough to enjoy all your trek with the tranquility of solitude, as the areas you cross have few visitors.
Day 5 : Walking Away from Maranhao
Queimada dos Britos to Santo Amaro & Sao Luis
The final part of the trek takes you to Santo Amaro, a small village on the edge of the national park, and from there you drive back through the afternoon to Sao Luis, where you fly away to your next destination, either in Brazil, or connecting to flights home via Sao Paulo, Rio or Brasilia. This 3-Day Trek through the Lençois Maranhenses National Park is a tough proposition for anyone, a serious undertaking of some 70km, all of it on soft sand and sometime through the shallow waters. If you can handle the hard slog and the simple lifestyle encountered, then the endless photogenic views of one of the most beautiful parts of Brazil are very rewarding.
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