Dunes and Lagoons
Stunning sand dunes between the Amazon and the ocean...
This is a fascinating taste of Brazil's lesser-known but equally stunning natural scenery and biodiversity. Lençóis Maranhenses National Park has over 1,500 km² of undulating sand dunes, extraordinarily wedged bewteen the rainforest and coast. What better way to cool off than to run down a dune and dive into a freshwater lagoon in this surreal desert?! Explore the Parnaiba River Delta and its' 80 islands, mangrove forests and amazing array of birds and wildlife. And no trip to Brazil would be complete without relaxing on a stretch of gorgeous white-sand beach!
Arrive in São Luis and welcomed by your guide at the airport. Transferred to Hotel Luzeiros to stay for 1 night. If time allows, enjoy a private-guided visit to the old town and its attractions such as museums, churches, theater, markets and squares. Also pass through the new part of the town and see the contrast.
Early morning private transfer to Santo Amaro (between 3-4 hours) with an en-route stop at the city of Axixá. Check-in at the Rancho das Dunas, to stay for 2 nights. At around 3pm, departure on a 4WD vehicle towards the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park to visit Lagoa da Gaivota (Seagle Lagoon) or Lagoa da Andorinha (Barn swallow Lagoon). Hike the dunes and bathe in the gorgeous lagoons.
After breakfast, depart in a 4WD vehicle to Betania village. Upon arrival, board a local boat (called a rabeta) and navigate in the dark waters of the river until reaching the lagoons of Betania. Free time to enjoy the lagoons and the surroundings. Return to the village for lunch (not included) at a local restaurant. Return to Santo Amaro after lunch and rest of the day at leisure.
Departure at 08:30 towards Barreirinhas port (approx. 90 mins). Board a speedboat to Atins, navigating the Preguiças River with stops at Vassouras (Pequenos Lençóis Environmental Protection Area) for lunch and at Mandacaru (fishing village). Late afternoon, on the way to Atins, one more stop to watch the Guará birds (Scarlet ibis) flock nestling to sleep. The red colour vibrancy of their plumage is due to their feeding specially of small crabs, shrimp and other crustaceans that produce the pigmentation. Arrival at Atins port and short 4WD transfer to Atins Charme Chalés, to stay for 2 nights.
After breakfast, leave on a 4WD vehicle to the lagoon circuit at Ponta do Mangue to enjoy the many crystal-clear freshwater lagoons formed by the rainfall. Return to Ponta do Mangue village for lunch at a local restaurant (not included). Take some time to get to know the village and its inhabitants. Return to Atins at around 2pm and rest of the day at your leisure.
After breakfast, transfer to Atins port and board a speedboat to cross Preguiça river until Caburé (15 minutes). Upon arrival, transfer in a 4WD vehicle until Tutóia (approx. 2 hours). Board a speedboat for a tour in the Delta where it is also possible to spot many different species of bird. By the end of the afternoon, watch the Guará birds (Scarlet ibis) flock nestle on a small island. Arrival on Canárias Island after the sunset, at around 6.30pm, and check in at Casa de Caboclo to stay for 2 nights.
Departure time will depend on the tide for a half day tour (around 4 hours) to another area of the Delta called Feijão Bravo Bay. Depending on the season and the rainfall, it is possible to experience lagoons imbedded in sand dunes like in the Lençóis Maranhenses. After a short walk crossing these sand dunes, arrival at a desert beach. Time to go for a swim at the beach or in the lagoons. Return to Canária Island and rest of the day free at leisure to relax or explore the small village.
Late morning, at around 11.30am, board a speedboat to Tatus Port, in Parnaíba (around 30 minutes) where a car will be waiting for a land transfer until Barra Grande (approx. 90mins). Check-in to Pousada BGK for 2 nights. The rest of your day is at your leisure.
Enjoy a tour on Camurupim River and its mangrove area. It can be done in canoes, kayak, stand-up paddle board or floating wearing lifejackets (depending on the moon and the tide). There is a chance of spotting seahorses (depending on the chosen equipment), among other wildlife like crabs and birds. The entire tour takes approximately 3 hours. Return to your accommodation at the end of the tour and have the rest of the day at leisure.
Departure (according to the tide) on 4WD vehicle until Camocim (approx. 90mins). En route stop at Chaval and Barroquinha. In Chaval, there are two different walks in the Monoliths Municipal Park. One track takes to the top of the rocks and requires more effort. The other is an easy track, mainly plain, that takes to the Grotto of Nossa Senhora. Both spots reveal a beautiful landscape of the region and of the monolith set. In Camocim, you will be required to exit your transfer vehicle in order to cross the Coreaú river. After the crossing, the trip continues now on the sand and by the sea when tide allows; passing by beaches, lakes, sand dunes and mangroves. Another river crossing (Guriu river) in a very rustic floating facility built and operated by locals that will take to the other side of the river, entering now the Jericoacoara National Park. Continue the land transfer bordering Jericoacoara village until reaching Preá beach. Check-in to your Beach Bungalow at Rancho do Peixe and stay for 2 nights.
After breakfast, you have a full day (6 hours) tour to Jericoacoara (although some folks chose to stay and relax at Preá Beach for the day). At Jericoacoara National Park, visit the main attractions such as the Pedra Furada (Holed Stone), Lagoa do Paraíso (Paradise Lagoon), Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon), Jericocoara village and its sand dunes among others. Mid-afternoon, depart Preá Beach for a visit to a lagoon in the National Park to watch the sunset.
After breakfast, depart to Fortaleza airport depending on the time of the flight. The transfer takes between 4-5 hours on paved road and there are stops available for snacks along the way. It is recommended to allow about 2 extra hours to be safe. Your guide will assist with check-in procedures at the airport and end of services.
Please note the cost of this itinerary does not include flights and is on a Bed & Breakfast basis.