Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Thursday, June 27, 2013

COME SWIM IN THE DESERT

Composed of large, white, sweeping dunes, at first glance Lençóis Maranhenses looks like an archetypal desert. In fact it isn't actually a desert. Lying just outside the Amazon Basin, the region is subject to a regular rain season during the beginning of the year. The rains cause a peculiar phenomenon: fresh water collects in the valleys between sand dunes, spotting the desert with blue and green lagoons that reach their fullest between July and September.
The area is also surprisingly home to a variety of fish which, despite the almost complete disappearance of the lagoons during the dry season, have their eggs brought from the sea by birds.
Some lagoons are more famous, such as Azul, Preguiça and Peixes, which comprise one of the park's main touristic sites. More time and energy are necessary to reach the 15-meter wide Bonita lake, the biggest in the region. It takes a little more than 50 minutes bouncing in a jeep and then a climb up a 30-meter high dune. The view from the top, however, erases any memories of the hardships. 
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LENÇÓIS
WHEN TO VISIT
It's best to go between May (rainy season) and August; in these months, the lagoons are fuller
TEMPERATURE
Annual average of 26°C    
VACCINE
Not mandatory
OFFCIAL WEBSITE
www.turismo.ma.gov.br
HOW TO GET THERE
SP-São Luís-SP
TAM: tickets start at R$ 588*
Azul (via Belo Horizonte): tickets start at R$ 639.80**
Gol (outbound via Rio; returning via Brasilia): tickets starting at R$ 859.80**
AIRLINES
Azul: 4003-1118; www.voeazul.com.br
Gol: 0300-1152121; www.voegol.com.br
TAM: 4002-5700; tam.com.br
* Leaving from Guarulhos airport
** Leaving from Campinas airport


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