This six-day trip through two regions of Brazil provides a great combination of culture and adventure. Begin in the charming island city of São Luís. Embark on a sightseeing tour of all the main streets, avenues, and squares. Then, travel to Barreirinhas, your home base surrounding Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. Boat along the Preguiças River, Atins Circuit, and Lagoa Azul Circuit, trek the dunes, and swim in lagoons along the way.

Highlights

  • Go sightseeing in the charming island town of São Luís
  • Climb the dunes to the highest point of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
  • Embark on a speedboat tour around Preguiça River
  • Explore the dunes and deserted beaches along Canto do Atins

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in São Luis São Luís
Day 2 São Luis - City Tour São Luís
Day 3 Transfer to Barreirinhas + Lagoa Bonita Circuit Barreirinhas
Day 4 Preguiças River Boat Tour Barreirinhas
Day 5 Atins and Canto de Atins Circuit Tours Barreirinhas
Day 6 Lagoa Azul and Lagoa do Peixe Circuit Tour and Depart From São Luis  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in São Luis

São Luís City
São Luís

Welcome to São Luís! Meet your driver at the airport and transfer to your accommodation. Spend the rest of the day exploring the city at your own pace.

Day 2: São Luis - City tour

Take a city tour of São Luís
Take a city tour of São Luís

Get to know the charming São Luís on a tour of the city today. There is great contrast to the times of the colonial era mixed with the modernization of the city. In addition to the historical, natural, and cultural riches, São Luís offers a great tourist infrastructure, providing visitors with plenty of scenic walks and entertainment. The city is a large architectural complex with mansions erected by UNESCO, the strong cultural influence of Africans and indigenous people, beautiful beaches, and the diverse legends that surround the island—you will get to experience all of this on your city tour.

In the morning, exit the hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle, and ride through the new part of the city to the point-of-stop in the historic center. With an English-speaking guide, disembark and start a light walk through the old city, visiting the main points offered on the itinerary. Some of the attractions to bookmark include the below:

  • Avenida Litorânea
  • Lagoa da Jansen
  • Coastal Spike
  • Gonçalves Dias Square
  • Beira Mar Avenue
  • Dom Pedro II Square
  • Palace of the Lions

After the 3.5-hour tour, return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day and evening at your leisure.

Day 3: Transfer to Barreirinhas and tour Lagoa Bonita Circuit

Dunes of Lençois Maranhenses
Lençois Maranhenses

Early this morning, board an air-conditioned vehicle and ride to the city of Barreirinhas—the gateway to the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. The route is about 165 miles, and takes about 4 hours, with a quick pit stop to use the facilities and grab coffee and snacks.

Upon arrival, check-in at the accommodation. At 2 pm depart in a 4x4 vehicle for the Lagoa Bonita Circuit, which will lead you to a ferry to cross the Preguiças River, which provides direct access to Lençóis Maranhenses. The course of the trail is 12.5 miles, and it takes around 1 hour until arrival at the dunes. Then, ascend the first dune, which is almost 200 feet high, with the aid of a rope and a guide to reach the highest point of the national park. Take in stunning views of the regional panorama. Then, your guide will lead you on a walk through the Lençóis. Visit—and swim in—several lagoons, and take in the sunset.

Following the long day, kick back and relax in Barreirinhas overnight.

Day 4: Preguiças River boat tour

Community of Caburé
The community of Caburé

After breakfast, depart from the hotel to the Beira river and take a speedboat to the Rio Preguiças Circuit, an environmentally protected area. During the course of the trip, take time to appreciate the landscape of the typical mangrove vegetation, as well as the animals and birds of the region.

The first stop is in the community of Vassouras (Pequenos Lençóis, where there is a preservation of guariba monkeys), followed by Mandacaru (the Preguiças Lighthouse, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the park), and Caburé (a beach that is divided from the river and the sea).

Take a lunch break on your own. Then, at 3 pm, depart to Barreirinhas. Transfer to the hotel and enjoy a free night.

Day 5: Atins and Canto de Atins Circuit tours

Atins
Take a dip in the lagoons of Atins

Today, depart in a 4x4 vehicle that will lead you to a ferry crossing over the Preguiças River, which provides access to Lençóis Maranhenses and the mouth of the river. The trail is around 18.5 miles, and it takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes with your guide.

The first stop is at the beginning of the dunes, where all the dune formations begin. Then, visit Atins to see the mouth of the river Preguiças, where the river meets the sea. From the mouth, venture to Canto do Atins on a 20-minute drive. Arrive at the dunes, and your guide will take you for a walk to discover the lagoons and deserted beaches. Around 1:30 pm, stop for lunch in a rustic restaurant to try the regional food.

Following the tour, return to Barreirinhas for your final night of the trip.

Day 6: Lagoa Azul and Lagoa do Peixe Circuit Tour and Depart from São Luis

Farewell, Lençóis Maranhenses!
Farewell, Lençóis Maranhenses!

At 9 am, depart in 4x4 vehicle for the Lagoa Azul Circuit. Take a ferry over the Preguiças, and continue by trail to the stopping point—about 40 minutes in. Begin a light walk through the dunes to Lagoa do Peixe, passing by the Lagoas Azul and Lagoon of the Preguiça, with stops for swimming and taking in the beautiful scenery all around.

Following the tour, arrive back in Barreirinhas in the early afternoon, and head to São Luis for your departure flight home.

Map

Map of Explore Brazil: São Luís to Lençóis Maranhenses - 6 Days
Map of Explore Brazil: São Luís to Lençóis Maranhenses - 6 Days