Trekking at Lencois Maranhenses National Park – Maranhao – Brasil

Lencois Maranhenses National Park at Brazil protects a special dune desert containing more than 5000 crystal lagoons annually formed by rain waters, unique throughout the world for its beauties and peculiarities.

Detailed description of the 5-day trekking for now is only in Portuguese, but you can ask me  directly some questions regarding this trekking or try to use the language selected on the portuguese version.

I have been there twice. First, at 2002, to photograph to a tourist agency. Second time at 2017, for doing this trekking. Bellow, you have the text of 2002, but it still gives you an idea about this interesting place.

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Trekking Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses

Trekking no Parque Nacional de Lençóis Maranhenses - Maranhão - Brasil

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Paisagens espetaculares no Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses

Lençóis Maranhenses, Brasil

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Brazilian Deserts?

It is even hard to believe but, besides beaches, forests, mountain ridges and the Pantanal swamplands, Brazil still keeps another beautiful and rare scenery for its dwellers and tourists: a desert with scattered fresh water ponds. This region is part of the Lencois Maranhenses National Park which was established in 1981 aiming to protect and study this ecological system. It has become, however, a major tourist attraction.

The Park holds a total area of 1,550sq.km. (i.e. 382,850 acres). There is dune after dune, all carved by the high wind caused by the coming and going of the tides. Notwithstanding its desert-like appearence, Lencois Maranhenses records an annual rainfall of 1600mm (i.e. 62.9 inches). All that water comes down during the well marked rainy season, from January to June.

From July to December, it is time for the dry period, when dozens of ponds drain completely or partially. The miracle in that story lies in the fact that when the ponds fill up again, life comes back. Fishes, crustaceans and turtles reappear as if they had never left the place. For a visit, the best time of the year stretches from May to September, when the natural pools are formed.

The beauty of this cool place is not only in the ponds. The dunes, which sometimes reach up to 20mts or 65 feet, consist of a very white sand. The landscape is in permanent change, and thus no one has the privilege to see the same sight twice.

Besides its “desert”, Lencois Maranhenses has also its mangroves, rivers (where the local, specially adapted boats named “voadeiras” navigate), beaches and, of course, its “natives”. The natives are fishermen who raise their little flocks of cattle to help themselves get by during the dry season, giving the landscape a desert-like/rural flavour.

The Park is located on the coast in the State of Maranhao, between Barreirinhas and Primeira Cruz counties. To get there the visitor may choose travelling by bus or by car for a 10 hour trip, or with a charter flight from Sao Luis (the capital city of that State), towards Barreirinhas.

The touristic spot has little structure, but Barreirinhas has hotels, hostels, restaurants and handicrafts shops. At the mouth of the Preguicas river (which flows accross Lencois Maranhenses area) lies the small village of Cabure, that also has guesthouses and restaurants. In the villages it is possible to appreciate the typical food of the region, to go birdwatching late in the afternoon and to take another boat to continue the trip: a trip with a lot of sand, beautiful sceneries, wind against the face, great food and sympathetic people.

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Trekking no Parque Nacional de Lençóis Maranhenses - Maranhão - Brasil

Fotos, vídeos e textos de Marcelo Ozório.

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