Lençóis Maranhenses Overview

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, established in 1981, is a surreal and stunning landscape located in the state of Maranhão, northeastern Brazil. The park covers an area of approximately 1,550 square kilometers (about 598 square miles), characterized by its vast expanses of brilliant white sand dunes interspersed with crystal-clear freshwater lagoons. This unique and almost otherworldly landscape is often compared to bed sheets spread across the coast, which is how it earned its name “Lençóis Maranhenses,” translating to “bedsheets of Maranhão.”

Situated just outside the Amazon Basin, the park is subject to a regular rain pattern that fills the lagoons to their brim during the rainy season from January to June. The contrast between the pristine white sands and the azure waters of the lagoons creates a breathtakingly beautiful vista that attracts photographers, adventurers, and nature lovers from around the globe.

Despite its desert-like appearance, Lençóis Maranhenses is not a desert. The area receives a considerable amount of rainfall annually, supporting a variety of life forms, including fish that survive the dry season by burrowing into the mud. The edges of the sand dunes and the spaces between them are also home to mangroves and grasslands, providing habitats for numerous species of birds and other wildlife.

The park offers visitors the chance to explore its vast landscapes through guided tours, which include walking on the dunes, swimming in the lagoons, and experiencing the unique ecosystem. The most famous lagoons, such as Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Bonita, become accessible swimming spots when filled with rainwater, offering a refreshing respite in the midst of the sand.

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park stands out as one of the most extraordinary natural wonders of Brazil, offering an unforgettable experience with its dramatic landscapes that blend desert dunes with tropical lagoons. Its otherworldly beauty and ecological significance make it a must-visit destination for those seeking to explore the diverse natural landscapes of Brazil.

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Park Map
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Lençóis Maranhenses National Park Pictures