Lencois Maranhenses National Park, Barreirinhas

4.8
#1 of 140 in Things to do in State of Maranhao
On the banks of the Preguiças River, Lencois Maranhenses National Park is quite extensive with 1500 square km (930 sq mi) filled with dunes up to 40 feet tall and freshwater ponds called lagoons--whose waters range from bright green to azure blue. Composed of large, white, sweeping dunes, at first glance Lençóis Maranhenses looks like an archetypal desert. In fact, it outside the Amazon Basin, a region subject to regular rainfall. This causes a peculiar phenomenon: fresh water collects in the valleys between sand dunes, dotting the desert and landscape with blue and green lagoons.

Rare geological phenomenon formed the most famous lagoon called Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon), which is closer and more crowded. Lagoa Bonita (Beauty Lagoon) is further out, less traveled, and famous for its charm and excellent swimming conditions. Since personal vehicles are not permitted into the National Park, you can hire a guide service to take you to the dunes and lagoons with a 4 x 4 Jeep. You can rent a dune buggy, but beware that buggy's are prone to getting stuck in some sands, can run out of fuel, and are not permitted in all places. You can also opt to walk out to the dunes and lagoons, as well as hire a trekking service to escort you across these strange lands. For Lencois Maranhenses National Park and beyond, use our Barreirinhas tour planner to get the most from your Barreirinhas vacation.
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3,909 reviews
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  • August 15, 2017
    Wonderful destination! A must for those who enjoy ecological tourism. Indescribable, does not compare to any place I have visited in the world. Are kilometers of white sand dunes and to my surprise the sand's not hot because of the large moisture that exists in the soil. Numerous ponds of fresh water, clean and transparent. From what I observed, the Park is very well maintained and clean. The guides are all well aware how much the preservation of place and work in partnership with the tax the ICMBio. Access to the Park by 4 x 4 vehicles and a crossing of the River on the ferry, but that lasts about 5 minutes. This place is a treasure and I hope that they keep.
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  • August 14, 2017
    The Lençóis Maranhenses show we, Brazilians, we can Yes, meet abroad, but we need to value more what Brazil has to offer. There you can enjoy the nature in your pure State, with little or no human interference. Access is difficult. Barreirinhas, the largest town near the site, offers no structure to host the most demanding tourists ... the internet is chaotic, the hotels and pousadas are pricey and precarious ... but the people of the place is cozy! But to meet the stunning "Lençois Maranhenses" worth to submit the precariousness of the place. Part of the adventure. When our feet step on those white sands, when we dive into those warm water lagoons and transparent, forget all the mishaps that we had to get up there and tell ourselves: it was worth it!
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  • August 14, 2017
    Is a perfect place, you lose sight of how great is the place, we had the trails to see the Park and worth, went to Atins can't get enough of photograph as it is a unique beauty in every step, whether through the tracks for sands, the scenic flight, stay in the Sun all day
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Where to stay in Barreirinhas

Barreirinhas serves mainly as a jumping off point for visiting the nearby national park, so the town's accommodation options remain relatively limited and fairly expensive. Guesthouses near the town center are probably your best bet, the majority offering clean but very basic rooms with few frills. You won't find any luxurious hotels here, but you can choose between several mid-range establishments providing air-conditioned rooms with parking and tree-shaded outdoor areas.
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