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
  • Difficult to get there, but definitely worth it. Beautiful paradise on earth. Do not forget to take with you bathing suit, sun block, repellent, and something to cover from the sun. 
  • Several dunes with logos in some deserted other near the landing point of 4 x 4 are full; A good time to visit is to wait for the Sun
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  • All Brazilian citizens should have the opportunity to visit this site. Is paradise on Earth. With full or empty ponds always worth a visit.
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