Barreirinhas is the gateway to Lençóis Maranhenses

Barreirinhas nos Lençóis Maranhenses
Barreirinhas in Lençóis Maranhenses

Barreirinhas is the city considered the main gateway to the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park and is home to most of the tourism agencies.

Although it is also possible to get there by the neighboring Santo Amaro do Maranhão and by Primeira Cruz, it is there that tourists concentrate more.

The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park consists of a vast area of high white sand dunes and lakes and lagoons, also known as the “Brazilian Desert”.

The main access is through the MA-402 highway, with asphalt in good traffic conditions.

The city of Barreirinhas has a structure for lodging and food and several tourism agencies provide tours to the National Park and other attractions, such as the speedboat ride to the mouth of the Preguiças River and the boia-cross on the Formiga River.

For those seeking more adventure, another access route is via Paulino Neves/MA. This stretch is part of the “Route of Emotions”, a tourist route that starts in Ceará, crosses the coast of Piauí and ends in Maranhão. On this route it is possible to visit 3 federal conservation units: Parque Nacional de Jericoacoara, Parnaíba Delta Environmental Protection Area and the Lençois Maranhenses National Park.

The access to the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park from Barreirinhas begins with the crossing of the Preguiças River by ferry. From there on, only vehicles with 4×4 traction equipped with snorkell continue the journey.

Mapa do Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses
Map of the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

Videos about Barreirinhas and Lençóis Maranhenses

Tourist spots of Barreirinhas MA

Circuit of the Blue Lagoon

This is the most visited attraction of the Conservation Unit. After 12 km of trails in the sandbank, the tour continues through the dune field on a trail of approximately 02 km.

Along the way, visitors can visit the Preguiça lagoon, the Esmeralda lagoon, the Blue lagoon and the Peixe lagoon, the only perennial lagoon with water throughout the year.

This attraction is the only one where there is permission for access by traction vehicle to the limits of the Preguiça lagoon, but only for visitors with locomotion difficulties and upon communication and obtaining authorization from the National Park administration.

Circuit of the Boni Lagoonta

Lagoa Bonita is located 15km from Barreirinhas, the attraction has a medium degree of difficulty of access, as it is necessary to climb a steep dune of about 30 meters high. There is a rope to assist the climb.

But the effort is rewarded with the beautiful view of both the dune field and the restinga vegetation of the National Park.

After the climb, the visitor walks a few hundred meters to the Bonita lagoon. In this attraction it is also possible to visit the lagoon of the Clone, baptized with this name because it was where scenes of the soap opera ‘O Clone’ of Rede Globo were recorded.

Lagoa da Esperança

It is the interruption of the course of the Rio Negro caused by the encounter with the dune field. This lagoon is perennial and is not located within the dune field, but on the edge of it.

In this way it is also possible to walk through the dune field. Because it is perennial, this lagoon is ideal for visiting during the dry months, when the lagoons of the other attractions are dry.

The lagoon of Esperança makes the geographical limit of the municipalities of Barreirinhas and Santo Amaro.


The population of Atins is located in front of the mouth of the Preguiças River, outside the National Park, but very close, making it easy to walk along the beach, sandbank, dunes and fields.

The village of Atins has a simple structure and is sought after by visitors seeking tranquility and a closer contact with nature and the local community.

In Atins it is possible to practice sports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking, stand up paddle, bike rides, surfing among others.

Canto dos Lençóis

Located inside the National Park, the corner of the sheets, formerly called Canto do Atins, is a small village formed by traditional fishermen.

It has a beautiful view of the dune field and is close to the beach. The village has no energy but there are community restaurants that serve typical food and offer simple accommodation.

It is a great support point to start trekking and cross the dune field to the municipality of Santo Amaro.

Mouth of the Negro River and Lagoa Verde

The route to the mouth of the Negro River is carried out along the beach of the National Park, leaving Atins. The meeting of the Negro River with the sea is the main attraction, where the visitor can bathe in the small waterfalls by the sea.

This attraction is only available when the Negro River has water, so inquire in advance with the administration or with the local receptive.

In the circuit it is also possible to visit some interdunar lagoons such as the Green Lagoon, near the beach, is a 30-minute walk through the dune field, and remains with water for much of the year.

Passeio no Rio Preguiças

A journey rich in adventure and unforgettable landscapes.

  A must-see tour for those planning to visit Lençóis Maranhenses is the speedboat ride along the Preguiças River.

During the journey, tourists can be surprised by the rich vegetation of the state, the mangroves and even see some dunes along the way. The first stop is in Vassouras, which has small Lençóis and a very varied fauna.

Following the river, the tourist makes another stop in Mandacaru, a village known for the presence of the Farol das Preguiças. From the top of the Lighthouse, it is possible to have a privileged view of the entire region.

The last stop is in Caburé, where it is possible to bathe in the sea and river, take a quad bike ride and even stay overnight.

Primitive Zone in Lençóis Maranhenses

Queimada dos Britos and Baixa Grande

Located within the dune field of the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, these two patches of restinga vegetation are true oases and a perfect overnight shelter for those seeking to trek across the park.

According to the zoning of the National Park, these regions are the Primitive Zone, where visitation can only occur at minimum impact levels.

Thus, it is forbidden to carry out tourist tours or visit the locality in motorized vehicles of any kind. Despite this, about 30 families reside on the site, being allowed to them, and only them, the traffic in motorized vehicles for reasons of lifeguard and transportation of people, food and materials.

It is undoubtedly the best attraction of the unit! The walks, which last up to 5 days, are carried out by the beach and the dunes, with baths in the lagoons to refresh. Overnight stays are held in the communities, being a great experience of interaction with the traditional population.

The oases have the greatest diversity in vegetation and birds in the National Park and have bathing lagoons for much of the year, both inside and in the dune field.

It is mandatory to hire a Visitor Driver to make the crossing, since you will have access to the Primitive Zone of the unit.

It is very easy to get lost in the dune field, in much of the way there is no cell phone coverage and many places go for days without the passage of people. You are responsible for your safety, do not venture to cross the National Park if you are not sure you have all the necessary physical conditions.

Barreirinhas Tourism and Travel Guide in Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

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