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
  • I made this Tour with departure from Sao Louis in November, obviously the lagoons were dry, but the show was exciting anyway, the place is uniquely beautiful, well worth the long journey. I arranged the tour, Brasil Planet, a tour operator based in Sao Louis Italian staff, impeccable organization at competitive prices: a special praise to Valeria, who she followed me from home, answering my mail, with speed, and later during the tour location!
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  • There are no words to define the reaction to see this place. A large white carpet with small "pools" deprived of fresh water and warm. If the day is sunny and clean water becomes even more clear. Any fatigue arising from the ups and downs of the dunes are compensated with a bath in the lagoons. In the Beautiful Lagoon Barrerinhas is prettier than blue. In Atins, recommend Capybara pond. The Lakes tend to be full in the middle of the year, after the rainy period that coincides with the summer. I went in June and the lakes were full. the Lagoa da Capivara in Atins, was so full that I could cover a person. The Jig was up 4 x 4 cars also are nothing compared with the beauty of the sheets. On the way back, before crossing the river Preguiças, enjoy to eat a tapioca with local personnel. If it starts to rain, don't freak out, and soon you can enjoy the Sun.
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  • The most beautiful place I've visited to date. When I went to the lagoons were not completely filled, but even then I could see how wonderful the beauty of that place. Outside the hospitality of the people of Maranhão state that is out of the ordinary. Who gets the chance, go you can't regret.
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