Exploring Lencois Maranhenses

Authentic South American Stories

Montse & Ale’s trip to Lencois de Marenhenses

Get ready for an exciting adventure! Our intrepid travelers, Montse (Montserrat) and Ale (Alejandra), have just returned from a breathtaking journey along Brazil’s northern coast. They explored the vibrant São Luís, marveled at the beauty of Santo Amaro, and ventured deep into the captivating wonderland of Lencois de Maranhenses National Park.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there. In this newsletter, we’re about to unveil the thrilling tales of their journey that will ignite your wanderlust. Be prepared to be transported to the lively culture and stunning landscapes of Barreirinhas and Jericoacoara, as Montse and Ale’s escapade continues to amaze and inspire. So fasten your seatbelts and get ready to join them on this unforgettable ride!

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Sao Luis & Santo Amero

Sao Luis may not be the tourist hotspot, but it’s got a unique charm. Imagine strolling down narrow cobblestone streets, gazing at beautifully tiled and marbled houses. When the sun sets, the city comes to life with lively bars and restaurants offering live music. You’ll even catch locals dancing in the streets! If you’re feeling adventurous, consider checking out the Reggae Reggae Museum of Maranhão. The city’s nickname, “Brazilian Jamaica,” stems from having the most reggae music enthusiasts in Brazil.

Now, as you move on from here, don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a hat, and maybe a long-sleeved shirt for sun protection. You’ll also want to brace yourself for some wind when you hop on that 4×4 vehicle!

After a scenic 4-hour drive from Sao Luis, you’ll reach Santo Amaro, the grand gateway to the dunes. Many folks say this is the park’s most beautiful area, as it’s less crowded and oozes authenticity.

Here, you’ll be treated to jaw-dropping views of immense dunes and sweet, warm-water lagoons. Most of your activities will be in a nifty 4×4 vehicle (locals call it a “Jardinera”), and just getting on board is an adventure in itself! You’ll take a thrilling ride through the dunes, chill by the lagoons (like Gaivota and Andorinhas), and relish some breathtaking sunsets.

Santo Amaro’s center may be small and not much to write home about. English isn’t widely spoken here, but you can manage with a few Portuguese phrases like “obrigada” (thank you), “Banheiro” (bathroom), and “Bom dia” (good morning). You’ll be good to go!

Our choice of hotel, ‘Rancho das Dunas,’ is fantastic! Located about 3 km from the center, it boasts a lovely atmosphere and a top-notch restaurant with delicious lunch and dinner options. Enjoy! 😊


Hold on tight, because after a 2-hour drive, you’ll hit Barreirinhas. It’s bigger than Santo Amaro, but still pint-sized and perfectly safe for leisurely strolls. ♥

The town center is where the real party’s at. You’ll find local crafts, a smorgasbord of restaurants, and cool bars right by the river pier. Here’s the scoop: you absolutely cannot leave without trying the mind-blowing cashew chestnut ice cream. Seriously, it’s a taste explosion you have to experience!

Now, let’s talk tours. You’ll be hopping into those trusty 4×4 vehicles for some bumpy but insanely fun rides. Our advice? Nab a seat up front and prepare for a rollercoaster on the dunes. At first, the bumps will have you laughing, but after a while, you might beg for a breather 😊. Alongside these wild 4×4 jaunts, you’ll explore dunes, take refreshing plunges into lagoons, and bask in the glory of epic sunsets. Get ready, because more thrilling adventures are just around the corner!


Our visit to Atins was a whirlwind one-day tour, but it didn’t take long to realize this place is a hidden gem for those seeking a mix of Lencóis beauty, sandy beaches, and tranquility. Be warned, though – all the streets here are sandy (and super hot, so keep those flip-flops handy 😊). Atins is also a kite-surfer’s paradise, a water sports enthusiast’s dream!

For those who savor peace and quiet, this village is your sanctuary. You’ll find a slew of restaurants and bars right on the beach, making it a perfect spot to unwind after your adventures.

Now, let’s talk about your transfer to and from Atins. The majestic Rio Preguiças offers a serene journey with its calm waters. Our ride along the river was pure relaxation.

Paranaiba Pit Stop

Let’s be honest, Paranaiba didn’t win the award for the most attractive city around Lencoise Maranhenses. We arrived late at night, and the city’s charms were tucked in for the evening. Plus, locals advised us that it’s not the safest place to roam after dark. So, what’s the plan? We kicked back at the cozy Pousada Vila Parnaiba and surrendered to the enticing aroma of a mouthwatering pizza (trust us, it smelled divine!).

But wait, it’s not all dull in Paranaiba! We had an incredible adventure exploring the Delta of the Parnaiba River. Picture dunes, the winding river, mangroves, and the mesmerizing moment when the river meets the sea. Oh, and the birds – there were over 400 of them! Every evening, like clockwork, they flocked to a tiny island just as the sun dipped below the horizon and the moon took its stage. It was pure magic! 🌅✨



Jericoacoara or simply Jeri (because who can pronounce that!), much like the other towns we’ve visited, is a quaint village with sandy streets, shaded by trees, and cozy low houses made of tile or even thatch. But, getting there is half the fun – you can only access it via those trusty 4×4 ‘jardineras.’

What makes Jeri stand out is its bustling hotel scene, a wide range of culinary delights, bars with live music, all while retaining the charm of a fishing village. As you wander its streets, you’ll likely run into families of free-roaming donkeys that peacefully coexist with the locals and tourists – it’s a heartwarming sight! ♥

And Jeri is the perfect spot to wrap up your adventure. Your planned excursions are a fantastic blend of 4×4 thrills and dune adventures, plus a twist – Jeri is the only place in Lencois where locals have introduced adventure games (think dune slides). Don’t miss out on trying them! 😊

Exploring Lencois Maranhenses

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