When I planned my trip to Brazil I already had most of my destinations presented on a silver tablet. Places like Rio de Janeiro or Foz do Iguacu were obvious and of course I didn’t want to miss them. Also, did I knew that Brazil has a lot more to offer: Just like this place that should take my breath. A good friend from Sao Luis told me about it and the first moment I saw the pictures it was no question for me that I have to see it with my own eyes. Therefore I will tell you about my experiences and what’s the best time to visit Lencois Maranhenses.
How you get to Lencois Maranhenses
That is already the trickiest part of the whole trip! Lencois Maranhenses is a national park located in the northeast of Brazil in the state of Maranhao. There is a small airport next to the national park, though it is only operated by private companies and thereby quite expensive. So your best bet is to take a plane from one of the huge Brazilian airports like in Sao Paolo or in Rio de Janeiro and reach the airport of Sao Luis. From there several companies and agencies organize buses on a frequent basis for an affordable price. The ride itself takes around five hours for one way. But believe me, it’s absolutely worth it. Once you reach Barreirinha you will get into a huge beach buggy that will bring you to the dunes itself.
What is the best time to visit Lencois Maranhenses?
Finally, we’re coming to the main point of this whole article: the best time to visit Lencois Maranhenses. What makes Lencois special is that the water that fills the dunes is actually rainwater. What? Yes, during the rainy season this beautiful desert gets filled with much rainwater. Because there are impermeable rocks under the sand it doesn’t percolate. It is not advisable to visit Lencois during the rain season – but right after it. From July to September the dunes are still filled with the beautiful blue and green water and look like lagoons out of a fairytale. You can then enjoy the place to its fullest: Swimming in fresh, clear water in the middle of a desert without annoying rain. After the month of September, the water starts to dry out which erases the lagoons slowly but surely. Locals told me that it’s the best time to visit Lencois Maranhenses in July or August since the lagoons are the most beautiful in these two months. I was there in July and can just agree with that. And the best thing about the Northeast of Brazil: The weather is hot there all year long!
Some personal recommendations
Most of you will know the feeling: After a trip, I always realize what I could’ve done better and sometimes I even regret some chances I didn’t take. This was also the case in Lencois Maranhenses for me. I just stayed there for one day (including the long trip with the bus) and would do some things different in retrospective. Let me tell you my personal recommendations: Firstly I would definitely stay there for a bit longer: You can stay in Barreirinha which is close to the park and you will have the chance to make different tours on different days. The National Park is huge and offers different activities that all looked quite interesting and special. Secondly, I would definitely leave my camera gear at home (find out which gear I use for all my pictures) and just enjoy the pure nature and maybe make some pictures with my smartphone. Last but not least I would go for a plane ride over the whole National Park. Why? Sure, it is amazing to chill in the lagoons and wander around, however, you have no chance to capture the whole beauty of this place just while walking around with your foot. It will cost you some extra money – but at the end of the day, it will make your journey unforgettable. For me, Lencois Maranhenses should be part of every journey through Brazil! If you are looking for some more inspiration you should have a look at this South America Bucket List, including many amazing places.