Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is one of South America’s nature jewels, a remote coastal place where dunes of white sand host multicolored lakes and ponds. Its striking beauty and unique visual composition attracts every year numerous nature photographers and searchers of the genuine Brazil.
The park is located in Maranhao state, in northeastern Brazil, stretching between the banks of the Preguiças River and the Atlantic Ocean. To get into here, you will have to arrive in the municipality called Barreirinhas, situated at a distance of about 260 km from Sao Luís, the capital of Maranhao State.
The trip from Sao Luís can be made by bus (there are direct routes) or by renting a 4X4 car that will be very useful during your adventure into the protected park. You can also go further and reach the coast, to the small village of Atins (at only 20 km away from Barreirinhas) where you can find basic accommodation and food.
However, please keep in mind that the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park has no direct access roads and most vehicles are not permitted.
Lençóis Maranhenses may look like a desert, but in fact this surrealist landscape is the stunning result of erosion and the annual floods. As it lies just outside the Amazon Basin, the region passes through a rain season at the beginning of the year. During the heavy rains, fresh water is collected in the small valleys around sand dunes and it forms lakes (thanks to the impermeable rock that lies underneath the sand).
The result is a beautiful white desert with hundreds of blue, green and black lagoons. The period when Lençóis Maranhenses reaches its fullest is between July and September.