Lencois Maranhenses National Park, Barreirinhas

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National Park Nature / Park
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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19 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Barreirinhas BY A USER FROM ITALY August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Jijoca de Jericoacoara, Barreirinhas & Rio de Janeiro BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND November, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 51 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM ISRAEL July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Barreirinhas BY A USER FROM BRAZIL July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 32 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM EGYPT June, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Barreirinhas, Sao Luis & Lencois Maranhenses National Park BY A USER FROM BRAZIL April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 24 days in Brazil BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND August, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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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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  • I already had high expectations of the place from the pictures I saw online but it actually managed to still take my breath away the days I visited it: I went twice to the national park for the Lagoa ...  more »
  • Infos: Went at end of May, sunny, not crowded. The lagoons were at he fullest. Caribbean blue lagoons surrounded by snow whit sand duns. It's other worldly. But, there were also many lagoons brownish ...  more »
  • This is a MUST do activity: walk on the white sandy dunes to the varios small lakes. The Lencois are really like white bed linings, reason for the name. Although we only found one lake with water so w...  more »