Visit Lençois Maranhenses two ways; from the air and from the ground. I guess I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Lençois maranhenses pool

A rainwater pool in Lençois Maranhenses

What is Lencois Maranhenses?

When I first got a glimpse of Lençois Maranhenses, I could not believe how beautiful it was.

A vast expanse of sand and rainwater, from the air it looked as soft as a mattress. I couldn’t see where it ended; a blackblue pattern of dunes and pools without boundaries.

Later I discovered it is as large as the city of Sao Paulo, over a thousand square kilometers. It is not overloaded with visitors, courtesy to the fact that it’s really hard to reach.

Lençois maranhenses national park brazil

Water and sand

From up above it is fantastic, getting up close will blow your mind. The sand dunes were the softest, finest sand I have ever seen. The rainwater pools were a dreamscape of blues, tiny wavelets lapping at the shores, blown by the dry desert wind.

It looks, and feels like a desert; in fact, this is the easternmost reach of the Amazon basin, and it experiences a rainy season between April and June. Water collects in the dips between dunes, and there it stays until October-November, when it dries out.

Lençois maranhenses flight brazil

Lençois Maranhenses from the air

How do you visit Lençois Maranhenses?

Practical Info: There are two ways. For the hassle free way, fly or bus it to Sao Luis do Maranhao, then get a bus to Barreirinhas. For the scenic way, make your own way along the coast from Jericoacoara, as we did during our road trip.

In Barreirinhas there are several tour operators organizing 4WD tours of the national park. Half-day tours cost R$35 per person. If you want to do a scenic flight, go directly to Barreirinhas airport and haggle with the pilots. We paid about R$80 each. Some say it’s also possible to trek independently across the national park and stay with locals. If you do, get in touch!

Lençois maranhenses national park water

Clear (but chilly!) water

Lençois maranhenses national park dune

The sand dunes

Lençois maranhenses flight

Caburè from the air during our scenic flight

Lençois maranhenses park brazil dunes

Goats on the sand dunes

Lençois maranhenses national park clouds

The colours of rainwater pools are different, from green to aquamarine, to deep blue

Lençois maranhenses national park maranhao

Who wants to go for a swim?

5 Responses

  1. Serena @ BlackCatSouvenirs

    And I mean – Wow.
    These landscapes are so stunning they almost look surreal.
    Crystal blue water, white dunes… looks like a paradise!
    It must have been an awesome experience to be able to witness all this from above…

  2. Samantha

    You guys go to the coolest places! I have never heard of this desert but it looks just amazing. Wow! I would be in awe the whole time.

  3. Hannah

    wow! What a neat looking landscape. I’d never heard of it until now but it’s really pretty. I love your photo with the goats!

  4. Jenna

    Wow! Great photos–I had never heard of this place before! I especially love the 2nd and 3rd pics. It seems like such a crazy contrast, so much water and in the middle of all that sand! I really want to visit now!!