Lençóis Maranhenses Trip Details
Lençóis Maranhenses national park is a sand dune and lagoon complex that covers 1,500 km2.
Our tour will encompass three days of trekking, but will also have a few days of 4WD tours into nearby sand dune complexes. There is a real mixture here of river boats, trekking and 4WD that make this an unforgettable adventure.
During our tour, we will traverse this dune complex by foot. Sometimes by barefoot, other times with socks in the soft cool sand of the early morning hikes.
We will have mules to carry our barest of essentials with us, but we have to cary our cameras and tripods. So packing light with 1 camera and 1 zoom lens is recommended.
The scenery here is beautifully abstract, with soft tones abound, and each evening we will return into the dunes from our oasis to photograph in the evenings.
If you are a regular hiker, love trekking and do regular exercise then this trip will be ideal for you.
Getting to the trip
There are regular flights to Sao Luis, from Sao Paulo or Rio de Janiro.
Upon booking the trip, you will be forwarded onto Andean Trails (South American travel specialis) who can arrange flights and excursions for you.
We will meet in the city of Sao Luis at our hotel for evening dinner on the first night.
7:00 - 9:00pm
Dinner with the group, hosted by Bruce
DAY 1: SÃO LUIS
Transfer from the airport to the hotel. (Individal transfers costed in) Welcome dinner. Single superior room, breakfast included, Hotel Luzeiros. (D)
DAY 2: SÃO LUIS / BARREIRINHAS / ATINS – 3-4
Transfer (between 6h50 and 7h30) to Barreirinhas (260km - by a paved road), stop in Morros for snacks (not included) arrive in Barreirinhas. Seedboat to Atins, down the River Preguiça. No stops. In the evening tour to nearby lagoon by 4WD. Single standard room, breakfast included, Pousada Jurará (B)
DAY 3: ATINS / BAIXA GRANDE – 3-4 hours
After early breakfast, private transfer to river mouth of the Rio Negro (20km by the coast). Walking 9km in 3-4h to Baixa Grande (Snacks on the way included), an oasis inside the National Park where 7 families live. During the trek, made barefoot or only with socks, there are plenty of photo opportunities and time for a swim in the lagoons. A local lunch and dinner will be provided at Baixa Grande, sunset on a dune and overnight in hammocks at Baixa Grande. Overnight location has one bathroom and cold shower. (B,L,D)
DAY 4: BAIXA GRANDE / QUEIMADA – 4-5 hours
After early breakfast we leave for our second day of trekking. Walking 9km in 4-5 hours to Queimada dos Britos (Snacks on the way included). Arrive at Queimada, another oasis inside the National Park where 12 families live. Lunch and dinner will be prepared by the locals. Overnight location has one bathroom and cold shower. (B,L,D)
DAY 5: QUEIMADA / SANTO AMARO – 6-7 hours
After extra early breakfast (3:30 AM) depart to Betânia. Walk 17km in 6-7 hours (Snacks on the way included). Arrival around 1000, visit the Alegre River and lunch (included) at Betânia. After lunch private transfer to Santo Amaro, and mid afternoon departure to visit the Gaivota Lagoon by 4WD for sunset, swim and return for dinner (not included). Single chalet, breakfast included, Ciamat. (B,L)
DAY 6: SANTO AMARO / SÃO LUIS
After breakfast, private transfer to Sangue Village (01 hour - sand and paved road), then change vehicle and continue to São Luis (03 hours – paved road), stop for lunch (not included) in Rosário and straight to the hotel. Single superior room, breakfast included, Hotel Luzeiros. (B)
DAY 7: SÃO LUIS
Single transfer to the airport.
Daily Schedule OutlineAt the start and end of this tour, we will have access to the dune complex by 4WD and river boat. So a good degree of photography can be done before we start the trek.
One we are on the trek, amenities are basic and we will sleep in tiny vilage oasis in the middle of the park. We will trek during the early mornings, setting out before sunrise and shooting while we trek.
Our trekking daily schedule will look something like this:
5am: Early morning breakfast and depart for 9km trek.
5am - 9am: Shoot the landscape during our trek across the dunes and around the lagoons.
9am: Arrive at next desintation, trekking in coolest temperatures. Rest in hammocks or take time out for the rest of the morning.
12 noon: Lunch in village oasis.
4pm: Venture out to the lagoons and dunes for evening shoot, and if we have time, to swim in the lagoons.
6pm - 7pm: Sunset shoot.
7pm - 7:30pm: Walk back to village.
7:30pm - 8:30pm: Dinner at local village.
A Trekking Tour across sand dunes and through lagoons
To get the most out of this trip, you need to be a keen, regular outdoor walker / trekker. We will do a lot of walking:
Trekking Day 1 :
Morning trek of 6 miles (9km) (3 - 4 hours), evening visits to local dunes of up to 20 minutes walking each way.
Trekking Day 2 :
Morning trek of 6 miles (9km) (3 - 4 hours), evening visits to local dunes of up to 40 minutes walking each way.
Trekking Day 3 :
Morning trek of 11 miles (17km) (6 - 7 hours), evening visits to local dunes via 4WD
A Regular Walker's Tour
If you are regularly active and are more than happy to walk for 4 hours over sand dunes and through lagoons while carrying your camera gear, then you will find this trip mostly easy with it being a little bit tiring on the last day of walking.
If you don't do regular exercise then you may find the going much harder, and we would advise that you prepare for this trip by doing some some regular hiking with a backpack for 4 hours at a time over the coming months. It will help you be ready for the adventure.
It is a condition of booking any of our workshops/tours that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover you for trip cancellation (by you), activities involved and destination. This cover should include repatriation costs, air ambulance and helicopter rescue. We work with Travel Nomads, who offer insurance solutions to people in more than 140 countries across the world. Should you decide not to purchase this insurance, you must provide us with details of your alternative insurance with or before your final payment.