11 days from £4265pp plus international flights.
This is a fast paced holiday, crammed full of highlights. From the moment you hit the road on your first morning till the guided tour on your final day, it's an adventure and action packed tour of the northern coast.
This region is remote, wild and intensely beautiful. In Lencois Maranhenses National Park sand dunes stretch off into the far distance, their bases filled with blue-green lagoons, all of which glow orange and red at sunset. How's that for a first day? You might think that couldn't be bettered, but soon you're exploring mangroves, travelling by 4x4, ascending a lighthouse for panoramic views, riding a speedboat into a vast river delta, windsurfing on a lake called Paradise and watching the sunset over the Atlantic from a towering sand dune.
You have time to catch your breath as you sit back and savour seafood by the shore, laze in a hammock, stroll along the beach, join the party set in Jericoacoara and simply pause to take it all in. Better still, you're whisked away to the fabulous island of Fernando de Noronha for some sublime relaxation. Picture postcard beaches, forests, bays, clear ocean waters all combine to make this an island escape par excellence.
To round it all off you fly down to the buzzing capital of Bahia state, Salvador, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to sample the heady Afro-Brazilian culture, dine on the mouthwatering cuisine, admire its elegant colonial architecture and gaze out across the city to Baia de Todos Santos, All Saints Bay. What a way to end a holiday!
On arrival at Sao Luis airport, you are met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Get your bearings and check out the hotel facilities. You are free to explore the city at your leisure as the rest of the day has been kept free for you to take things at your own pace.
After breakfast and a good night's rest you set off for Barreirinhas. It's about a four hour journey broken up with a stop in Morros where you can buy refreshments. After checking in to your hotel, there's no time to waste and the 4 x 4 vehicle collects you, bound for Lencois Maranhenses and the Lagoa Azul Circuit. The park is vast with hundreds of lagoons, and thousands of sand dunes - an amazing sight. Take advantage of the cooling waters as you swim in one of the lagoons. Later in the afternoon you return to Berreirinhas where you have the rest of the evening to yourself. Breakfast.
An early start today as you have an 8am transfer via speedboat on the Rio Preguicas. Highlights of the journey include a stop at Vassouras where you can walk through the dunes and see the local wildlife that inhabits the mangroves. Climb the lighthouse at Madacaru, a fishing village. At the top you have wonderful 360 degree vistas over the local area. The trip continues to Cabure beach, where you can buy lunch at a local restaurant, then walk it off along the beach. Afterwards you return to Barreirinhas for the evening. Breakfast
After breakfast you depart for Parnaiba. First passing through an area of natural beauty and more small lagoons, this area is known as the Pequenos (small) Lencois. You should arrive in Parnaiba around noon. There's time to grab a bite to eat before your transfer to Porto dos Tatus. A speedboat is waiting to whisk you to the delta known as Feijao Bravo, or Angry Bean. The trip will also take in Igarapes dos Periquitos, Igarape dos Poldros, Baia do Feijao, Ilha das Canarias and Morro Branco, before returning you to your hotel. You can spend the evening exploring the historic city centre at your leisure. Breakfast
Today's destination is Jericoacoara, but first you have more time to enjoy the stunning dune and lagoon scenery. Travelling by 4 x 4 and ferry you can admire the white sand and palm trees of the Ilha do Amor, the beach at Tatajuba, Funil dune and Lago do Torta with a stop for lunch. Another ferry ride takes you through mangroves and you arrive in Jericoacoara in time to climb Por do Sol dune for a superb view of the sunset.Take your pick of the many restaurants for dinner before getting a good night's sleep at your beach-side hotel, Essenza. Breakfast
Following breakfast you set off, this time in a dune buggy, for an exciting ride to two of the most popular sites in the area, Blue Lagoon and Paradise Lagoon. The names alone are enchanting. The deep blue-turquoise waters of the former contrast with the pale sand. Nearby Paradise Lagoon extends for some 15 km, and offers opportunities for sailing and windsurfing, with no motorised water-sports allowed. Your trip includes time for lunch and a stop at Pedra Furada, a huge stone arch formed by the corrosive forces of the sea and wind over the centuries. You return to the hotel and the rest of the day is free. Breakfast
Today you head southeast along the coast to the city of Fortaleza, a drive of around 4 hours, and Hotel Gran Marquise, where you spend the night. With nothing planned for the afternoon you are free to relax at the hotel. Facilities include an outdoor pool and sunbathing deck, a state of the art spa and 2 restaurants. The hotel faces Iracema Beach, popular with both locals and visitors, with many bars and eateries. Breakfast
This morning you are driven to the airport for the flight to the island of Fernando de Noronha. Beautiful beaches lapped by azure waters, and a lush hinterland make this as near to a tropical island fantasy as you could wish. Pousada Maravilha, overlooking Praia de Sueste, is a suitably exclusive hotel from which to enjoy the island. You may wish to do little more than laze by the infinity pool, feast on seafood on the dining terrace and enjoy the amazing views, though there are bikes you can use to go exploring if you wish. Breakfast
Enjoy island life! If you want some exercise you can take to your feet and enjoy some walking, though the primary attraction is the coast. Some beaches are perfect for sunbathing, others lend themselves to swimming and some are ideal bases from which to go snorkelling, exploring the coral reefs and watching fish and turtles in this national marine park. Boat trips are another great way to observe the island's natural beauty. After a busy day out you might want to opt to stay put tonight and dine at the hotel restaurant, which, unsurprisingly, specialises in seafood. Breakfast
After breakfast at the pousada, you are driven to the airport to board the plane bound for Salvador de Bahia. This lively coastal city was the first capital of Brazil, founded by the Portuguese in 1549. It was a major slave port and has a strong Afro-Brazilian heritage that distinguishes it from other cities in the country. You stay in Hotel Villa Bahia in Pelourinho, in the city's historic heart, the perfect place from which to explore the plazas, churches and fine colonial buildings of the district. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from, or you can enjoy dinner at the hotel, as you prefer. Breakfast
After breakfast in the restaurant or courtyard you are taken on a tour of the main sights of the city, which include the Farol de Barra, the lighthouse which is part of the Santo Antonio de Barra Fort, the affluent Vitoria neighbourhood that runs from the Bay of All Saints to the Old City, and the Old City itself. You have time to take in the view from the top station of the Lacerda Elevator and enjoy a guided walk. On conclusion of the tour you are driven to the airport for your onward flight. Breakfast
Guide price from (pp sharing): £4265 (ex. international flights)
Accommodation on a twin share basis, private transfers, 4x4 vehcile in Lencois Maranhenses, in Paulino Neves and between Parnaiba and Jericoacoara, guided tour of Lencois Maranhenses, speedboat trips on Rio Preguicas and in Parnaiba River delta, 2 ferry crossings between Parnaiba and Jericoacoara, half day dune buggy ride from Jericoacoara, half day guided tour in Salvador, meals shown as included
International flights, departure taxes, domestic flights Fortaleza to Fernando de Noronha and Fernando de Noronha to Salvador, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, meals not shown as included, drinks, optional tours, personal expenditure, tips
This holiday starts in Sao Luis do Maranhao and ends in Salvador. We recommend international return flights into either Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, from about £750 per person, depending on season and availability, and taking domestic flights from there. We usually book these flights for you.
Please note that the holiday price does not include the domestic flights within Brazil. These will be priced up with the international flights when we provide a personal holiday quotation.
Departure dates: This is a private tailor made holiday that can begin on the day of your choice, subject to availability.
Several islands make up this national park 215 miles off the mainland. Its varied marine life makes for good snorkelling and diving, and it has 3 of Brazil's best beaches.
Salvador da Bahia, to give the city its full name, is situated on the Bahia de Todos os Santos, a lovely bay dotted with 36 islands.
A popular, high quality hotel on the seafront in Fortaleza, with restaurants, a rooftop pool and spa.
A well equipped seafront hotel with an outdoor pool in the historic town of Sao Luis.
A city centre hotel in 2 historic mansions with courtyards, cosy rooms and a rooftop terrace.
An exclusive pousada with 8 rooms all overlooking the ocean on the tropical island of Fernando de Noronha.
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Find the best time to visit Brazil
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.
Visas: Not required for British nationals.
Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if you are coming from an infected area. Malaria prophylactics are recommended in the rainforest.