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Lencois Maranhenses

Why visit Lencois Maranhenses?

Lencois Maranhenses is a place of extreme natural beauty. The pale, perfect sand dunes stretch into the distance, 70km along the coast and 50km inland. What makes them so unique are the lakes and lagoons that are dotted between the dunes. They are crystal clear and often beautiful shades of blue and green, so inviting. Most people visiting Lencois Maranhenses do so via Sao Luis do Maranhao, the nearest large town, it is about four hours away from the park. This lovely colonial town was founded by the French in 1612 before coming under Portuguese rule. With so many historic buildings, many of which have been preserved, the town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • The beautiful colonial buildings of Sao Luis reflect a period of prosperity and opulence. Superb example of mansions and painted tiles can be found at Barrio de Praia Grande
  • Many houses have been turned into museums, shops and restaurants in a bid to preserve their history. Take a walk around the streets to admire the architecture
  • Spend time visiting Lencois Maranhenses National Park, climbing the dunes and swimming in the pools and lagoons
  • You can explore the park on foot, on horseback and on an organised 4x4 tour. Stick to early morning or late afternoon, as it gets hot here in the middle of the day and there is no shade
  • Take an afternoon tour to experience an unforgettable sunset
  • A scenic flight over the dunes can be an experience to remember. See the dunes in their full majesty. Flights depart from the small town of Barreirinhas

When to go to Lencois Maranhenses

The rains come from January to the end of May. This makes June to August the best time to visit as the lakes and lagoons will still be full of water. It does become rather windy in October and November and many of the water pools will have dried up.

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Lencois Maranhenses accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT -3 hours

Flight time:

Most flights go to Sao Paulo but some airlines have direct flights to Rio de Janeiro, and to North-eastern Brazil. British Airways and TAM have direct flights from London and many European carriers also offer flights to Brazil.

Language: Portuguese is the official language. Spanish and English are understood quite widely.


Not required for British nationals.


There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if you are coming from an infected area. Malaria prophylactics are recommended in the rainforest.



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