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Vacation at Lencois de Maranheses National Park
Lençois Maranhenses National Park is located in the state of Maranhao (Barrerinhas nearest town) and is considered to be one of the most beautiful places along the Brazilian coastline. It is a sea of sand dunes that covers 70 km of coastline and advances 50 km inland. This formation provides impressive views comprised of countless lakes with blue and green water, which, during the rainy season, contrast with the white sand of the dunes, which can reach 40m in height. Packtours takes you there, consult us!

Vacation / travel service in Lencois Maranheses :
* Transfer: São Luis / Barreirinhas by Air or Car

* Accommodation at chosen guest house, incl breakfast
OBS: Number of nights, according to your inquiry...!
* Activities/Tours provided (See day by day program)
* Transfer: Barreirinhas / São Luis by Air or Car - to airport

* Alternative tours/activities - see links to the left:

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River bank Barreirinhas
River bank Barreirinhas

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FACTS ABOUT LENCOIS MARANHENSES / BARRERINHAS: Barrerinhas is the village is where the visitors of the National Park of Lencois Maranheses have its base. It is here the airport is situated and the road from Sao Luis end. It is also here most guest houses are situated, used by those that want to stay over the night. The distance to Sao Luis is approximately 260km and take about 3,5 hours to go by land and approximately 45min by air. Today it lives approximately 32.000 people in the municipal of Barrerinhas.

HOW IS LENCOIS MARANHESES: One of the most beautiful places along the Brazilian coastline is National Park of Lençóis Maranhenses. It is a “sea” of sand dunes that occupies 70 km of coastline and advances 50 km inland, and its formation provides impressive views comprised of countless lakes with blue and green waters. The national park was created in 1981 and the entire area of protection concerns 155 thousand hectares, to preserve this very special ecosystem. As there is no access by road, so the park must be accessed by “jeep” (4x4) and always accompanied by a local guide. Short journeys can be done on foot, however for the longer ones, 4x4 vehicles, or even the traditional donkeys are advised. The strong heat can be compensated by refreshing baths in the crystal clear ponds.

The “Blue Pond” is the most famous and beautiful lake, and there are two oases inside the Park as well, the Queimada dos Britos and the Baixa Grande. There are large mangrove trees along their banks, and crabs & sea turtles can be seen along the beaches. The ponds are also visited by migratory birds, such as the ruddy turnstone, the blue-winged duck and the tern that stop there to rest and feed. To see this landscape is a unique experience with no comparison in the world and it is recommended to view the park partly by air and partly by land. To see the park from an aircraft is spectacular, simply an amazing view, and after a tour by air, enter the park to really feel the atmosphere, take a fresh bath in one of the lakes – just great. Another adventure is to go by boat along the River Rio Preguiças, until the river month, where the river ends into the Atlantic Ocean. Here is a small charming village located, named Cabure, with several guest houses, where we recommended one night stay as well.

WHEN TO GO / CLIMATE: It is possible to visit Lencois Maranhenses all around the year, but the best period might be from May to September, when the water level and weather conditions are the best. The climate is very hot and dry with an annual average temperature of 26ºC. It is considered “winter time” (rain season) during the months from January to June, when the rain fills up the "dry" lakes. By the end of the year (November & December) it comes a bit windier and the lakes start to be dry (some empty) again, also with some sand in the air – therefore good to avoid this part of the year.

HOW TO GO: Barrarinhas is normally reached by land from Sao Luis, a transport that takes approximately 3,5hours. From this village, Packtours arrange guide tours into the national park. Another way to reach Barrarinhas is by air, via small aircrafts departing on regular basis on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. A flight may take approx 45min and is strongly recommended, as you will visualize the park from the sky – but it is an adventure.

HOW LONG STAY: For the first time visitor we recommend at least one night stay, to able a visit by Jeep into the park. For those with some more time, we suggest one more night in the nearby village of Cabure, reach by small boat via the River of Rio Preguiças. NOTE: It is possible to make a visit during one day, from Sao Luis City, but it will be an early start from Sao Luis and return at late in the evening, and spend approx a total of 7 hours in a car…!


Lençóis Maranhenses
The adventure can be extended for those who wish to know the villages deep within the Lençóis Maranhenses area, such as Queimada dos Britos and Baixa Grande. These journeys take from eight hours to one day and demand the presence of an experienced guide. One option is to go to the tiny city of Santo Amaro do Maranhão, at the other end of the Park – 100 km from Barreirinhas – where the greatest attraction is the Seagull Pond.

Boat Ride
To get to Lençóis, you must descend to the mouth of the Preguiças River along the coast, starting from Barreirinhas. Some boatmen rent their embarkations and also serve as guides. Another interesting alternative is to use the regular line boats that make several stops along the way, making it possible to get in contact with the way of life of the riverside populations. The journey is made along the river’s green waters, flanked by dense original vegetation, where the buriti palm trees predominate. Dunes and ponds similar to those in the park arise along some sections, but they are smaller in size. The riverbanks have tiny villages formed by simple houses – some with handmade roofs made of palm leaves – inhabited by families of fishermen.

The Lençóis area has large ponds, such as the Blue Pond and the Bonita Pond. These are very sought after for bathing because of their crystal blue water. They can be reached by jeep departing from Barreirinhas. To see the Bonita Pond, you must cross the Preguiças River by ferryboat, and then continue for two hours by jeep over a sand trail. Upon reaching there, it is necessary to climb a 40m high dune, with the help of a support rope, of course. It only takes one hour to reach the dunes around Blue Pond, and many people prefer to take this journey at the end of the afternoon to watch the beautiful sunset the location provides.

Panoramic Flight
Flying over the region provides one of the most beautiful angles to see the scenery. From high above, it is possible to see the immensity of the white dunes intersected by the colorful ponds. The flight follows the Preguiças River.

Preguiças River – This is the river that crosses the Lençóis Maranhenses. The name comes from its calm waters. It flows into Atins, a large fishing colony – where it is possible to find fish and shrimp for sale. It is surrounded by native vegetation, especially palm trees.

Village of Caburé
Cabure is a simple, exotic and rustic place, bathed by the Preguiças River on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, where you listen to the Ocean in the light of candles. There are several simple inns and restaurants.

Vassouras Beach
A beach with 5 km of dunes, between the sea and the Preguiças River.

Preguiças or Mandacaru Lighthouse
From the top of its 35m or 160 steps, it is possible to see the Preguiças River, the Lençóis Maranhenses and the white dunes along the margins of the Maranhão sea. It is located in the village of Mandacaru, at the edge of the Park, and it open from 9AM to 12 Noon and from 1:30PM to 3PM. The Lighthouse is closed to visits on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


Arts and Crafts
You can find hats, tablecloths, handbags, purses and backpacks made of buriti straw. Besides the little stands on the Preguiças River ferryboat and in the city, here are some of the best known and most sought after establishments for purchasing souvenirs:
* Artesanato London – Rua Inácio Lins - open from 7:30AM to 10PM.
* Buriti - Rua Inácio Lins - open from 8AM to 12 noon and from 2PM to 6PM.
* Kanto da Praça - Praça do Trabalhador - open from 8AM to 12 Noon, and from 3PM to 8PM.
* Artesanato Rodrigues - Rua Domingos Carvalho - open from 7AM to 7PM.