Travel package Lençois Maranhenses
Arrival at San Luis airport, transfer by small plane to Barreirinhas ( 40 min ) Transfer to the pousada. In the afternoon, we take a tour by special Toyota Jeep and visit the Natinonal Park of Lençois Maranhenses. This tour will take us through fantastic dunes and beautiful blue lagoons ( about 4 hours ). Return to the pousada with overnight stay.
Exploring the Enchanting Beauty of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting a place that’s both reminiscent of a desert and a tropical paradise, then Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is the destination for you. This Brazilian marvel, often referred to as the “Brazilian Sahara,” spans an impressive 155,000 hectares, surpassing even the size of the bustling city of Sao Paulo. However, despite its desert-like appearance, this unique landscape sets itself apart in many ways.
A Desert Like No Other
Unlike the arid African deserts, Lençóis Maranhenses receives three times more rainfall. This phenomenon occurs during the rainy season, which lasts from November to June, creating enormous temporary lagoons filled with crystal-clear freshwater.
A Natural Spectacle
These seasonal lagoons become home to various fish species, ultimately serving as a vital food source for migrating birds, including the Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) and the Treinta y tres.
The park boasts meadows of white and golden sands that continuously change shape under the influence of the ever-creative winds. Stretching over 90 kilometers of coastline, these beaches are both beautiful and deserted, making them perfect for solitude seekers.
Location and Unique Features
This ecological marvel is nestled in the State of Maranhao, in northeastern Brazil. What truly sets this area apart is the remarkably shallow underground water reserves. Just a two-meter pipe can extract this life-giving liquid with a powerful gush.
During the rainy season, some families migrate to the savannahs of Maranhenses, constructing makeshift huts atop the meadows to capitalize on the abundant fishing resources in the temporary lagoons. When the dry season arrives, they return to farming along the riverbanks.
A Desert Oasis
Visitors to this part of Brazil are greeted with expansive white meadows that seem to stretch endlessly under the sun. These meadows consist of fine quartz grains, with some formations reaching heights of up to 40 meters, often clustering along 50 meters of beach and inland desert.
The Magic of the Lagoons
The lagoons, with their surfaces rippling under the strong trade winds, display an array of pigments, ranging from blue-turquoise to green-emerald. The sky overhead alternates between brilliant blue and cloud-covered.
Vegetation in this area is limited, primarily found in mangroves nourishing the damp and marshy regions near main or secondary river courses, as well as along the ocean’s edge. Notable mangrove species include the red mangrove, white mangrove, and Siriba mangrove.
A Haven for Wildlife
Lençóis Maranhenses is a sanctuary for diverse migratory birds, such as the blue-winged Cassin’s auklet (Ptychor amphus aleuticus australis), which arrives from territories within the United States between February and April. The woodcutter deer, Southern Spectacle Caiman (Caiman jacare), and Paca (Agouti paca) also inhabit the mangrove stands.
The climate here features an average temperature of over 18 degrees Celsius, but it can soar to 40 degrees Celsius during the day. The region experiences only two seasons: the rainy season and the dry season.
Exploring the Lagoons
Access to the lagoons is challenging, as there are no roads leading directly to them. It is advisable to use a sports utility vehicle. Common entry points include Barreirinhas, Bella Balsa, Atins, and Sucuriju in the westernmost tip.
Blue Lagoon: With its transparent waters and depths of 3 meters, this lagoon is located on the park’s border. A 30-minute drive from Barreirinhas will take you there.
Boa Esperanca Lagoon: Ideal for refreshing baths and canoe rides, this lagoon holds water only during the rainy season. It’s a 40-minute drive from the park’s center.
Bonita Lagoon: An attractive natural pool with perennial waters, situated on the park’s edge along the route to the Blue Lagoon. Among tourists, it is one of the most popular.
Santo Amaro Lagoon: The largest in Lençóis, it mirrors permanent waters, offering a unique spectacle.
Baixa Grande: A remote village with families maintaining traditional lifestyles, located deep within the park. Access is challenging but rewarding.
Sucuriju Village: Another charming village near the park’s southern limit, reachable only by a sports utility vehicle.
Quemada de los Britos: An oasis amid meadows, situated on the edge of the Rio Negro River. It’s approximately a four-hour drive from Sucuriju, accessible only with a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
How to Get There
To reach this natural wonder, you can take a single-engine plane from Sao Luis to Barreirinhas. The flight lasts about an hour.
Tips for a Memorable Visit
- Ensure you are in good physical shape, as you will embark on long hikes through beaches and meadows.
- Hire an expert guide who is well-acquainted with the region.
- Protect your skin from the sun’s intense rays with sunscreen and sunglasses.
- Always travel with company; never explore alone. Familiarize yourself with basic first aid and orientation techniques.
- Carry an ample supply of water, as the region experiences warm weather.
- Be environmentally conscious; pick up your trash and dispose of it properly in the city.
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is a true gem of Brazil, where the stunning contrast of sand dunes and freshwater lagoons creates a landscape unlike any other. Prepare for an adventure like no other as you explore this captivating natural wonder.