The high season in Lençóis Maranhenses starts at the end of June and continues until September, when they start to dry up. But the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is open for visitation all year round.
With a good tourist structure, Barreirinhas in Lençóis Maranhenses is the main base to explore the crystalline lagoons that form with rainwater in the middle of the dunes.
The main attractions of Lençois Maranhenses are the freshwater lagoons, which fill up between January and June, during the rainy season.
There is beauty in the lagoons of various levels: from very full lagoons, which overflow and form amended areas, to those that are already shallower due to the drying process and where it is even possible to see algae in the background.
No one needs to change their holiday plans because of the level of the lagoons.
August is the month when it is windiest, so some of them are already starting to dry up.
The ones that receive the most visits are the ones that usually dry out first, but the park is huge and there are beautiful lagoons to visit all year round, bathe and have fun.
.When the nearest ones dry up, we take tourists to the more distant ones and the show is the same. Seven days is enough to explore the lagoons and São Luís, the capital.
Main Villages in Lençóis Maranhenses
Barreirinhas is the main base to get to know Lençóis Maranhenses. The city has a more complete structure to receive tourists, especially groups with families.
Two unmissable tours include a visit to the Bonita and Azul lagoons.
You can choose one to do part-time, depending on the time available, but some agencies opt for full-day tours, including both points of the circuit.
With one more day available, take the speedboat ride along the Preguiças River.
There are stops in Vassouras, Mandacaru and Caburé, where you can have lunch, rest in a hammock or pay for an ATV ride along the beach to the giant wind turbines that produce wind energy.
Atins is a fishing village that is part of the municipality of Barreirinhas. In addition to the nearby lagoons, it has a beach and is one of the most popular destinations for those who practice kitesurfing.
Among the three options, the town of Atins is the most rustic and least known by travellers. However, this does not mean that the small fishing village is not un-lum-bran-te.
Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the mouth of the Preguiças River, the municipality is perfect for recharging your energy. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Short on time? You can do a round trip to get to know the corners of Atins and lagoons like Capivara.
Some agencies make the journey by 4×4, others by boat, which can be direct or with stops in neighbouring villages.
If you have a few extra days, stay in one of the inns in the village and take a free day to walk through the soft sandy streets to the beach. Enjoy the local cuisine in one of the charming restaurants in the village or the buzz of the bars by the sea.
You can do a round trip from Barreirinhas to Santo Amaro, but there are so many cool tours that it is worth staying there to make the most of the region.
On the other hand, if you enjoy simplicity, you will love the rustic beauty of the town.
Tours in Lençóis Maranhenses
The main attraction is the tour of the Emended Lagoons, held in the afternoon – it ends with a breathtaking sunset;
Lagoa das Emendadas is located between two huge dunes
Another tour is the Betânia Circuit
.It lasts the whole day, contemplates several lagoons, has a stop for lunch and also ends after sunset. Do not be fooled into thinking that the itinerary is similar, the landscape changes every day.
If you have the opportunity, include the sunrise in the dunes in your itinerary.
When to go
As the main attractions of the Lençóis Maranhenses are the natural pools, the best time to visit the destination is between the months of June and September, since this is when the natural pools reach their highest water levels.
Always stay tuned to the news about the region to know if it has rained enough for the pools to be full. Remember that everything depends on nature and things don’t always turn out the way we want them to.
São Luís do Maranhão
Before your flight home, take time to walk among the historic houses of São Luís, a World Heritage Site. Take a short trip to Raposa to discover the Fronhas Maranhenses.
The tour can last from 2h30 to 4h. By boat, you walk along the river (with a stop for swimming) until you reach the Carimã Dunes;
Lençóis Maranhenses Tourism and Travel Guide