Lencois Maranhenses National Park, Barreirinhas
(4.8/5 based on 3,400+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Just amazing! It's like an oasis in the desert in movie scene. The place is magnificent. One of the more exuberant visions I've ever seen!
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  • One of the best tours I've ever done in my life. Did the trekking during 3 days. A perfection. Not only was better because I wasn't in a good fitness, so my calf bothered, but still managed to finish the tour. The night in network, home cooking, the kindness of the owners of the houses, we receive, all this makes us Marvel even more. This trekking we realize how the simple things are the most important in life, that consumerism is really unnecessary. I'm blown away.
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  • Nice visual, nothing beats is a unique spectacle. Exhausting for seniors, but for at least the first lagoon.
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