Lencois Maranhenses National Park

Vast sand dunes interspersed by freshwater lakes of crystal blue waters

Lencois Maranhenses National Park

Say to most people you are going on holiday to Brazil and visiting Lencois Maranhenses National Park and 99.9% of people will say “where?” This spectacular coastal park is relatively unknown outside of Brazil but is an incredible destination.

Located in eastern Maranhao, close to Sao Luis, it is a vast expanse of sand dunes separating land and sea. The dunes which rise up to 50 metres high stretch out in long flowing patterns and from the air look like giant bed sheets (lencois in Portuguese). Between December and June the dunes are interspersed by freshwater lakes creating a dazzling sight of crystal blue waters amidst a sea of white sand sparkling under the tropical Brazilian sky.

Visits to Lencois Maranhenses National Park can be arranged as day trips from Sao Luis but it is better to do the area justice and spend at least one night on the edge of the park in Barreirinhas or Atins where there are some lovely pousadas.

Alternatively, if you have time, make it part of a journey along the northern coastline to or from Jericoacoara taking in the Parnaiba Delta. It’s a stunning addition to any Brazil holiday.