The far north is a fascinating region hardly touched by tourism. The city of São Luís (a World Heritage Site) is an unexpected treat, its colonial and art nouveau buildings decorated with delicate European ceramic tiles. Just beyond is the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, its surreal, shifting landscape a wrinkled sheet of rippling sand dunes, pitted with jade and aquamarine freshwater lagoons. The river Preguiças flows into the mangrove-rich Parnaíba delta, where the bird-filled islets support traditional fishing communities. The wild sandy coastline has a few laid-back little resorts, notably Jericoacoara.
Fortaleza is an unashamedly holiday-focussed party city, famed for its exuberant nightlife - its broad, skyscraper-fringed beaches reminiscent of Copacabana. It is also the entry point for visitors to gorgeous barefoot beaches within easy reach, such as Canoa Quebrada.
Round the corner of Brazil’s shoulder the northeast, once wealthy with vast sugar plantations, has a cultural identity all of its own, complemented by wonderful beaches. Close to the pleasant port Natal is award-winning Pipa; the gorgeous sands there visited by turtles, and the bay by dolphins.
When is the best time to visit north coast of Brazil?
São Luís, Natal and Fortaleza, along with the northern beaches, can be visited all year round; June to January are the driest months. The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is at its best Jul-Sep, when the fish-filled pools lie like a scattering of jewels on a cushion of soft white sand.
What's the official language of north coast of Brazil?
Brazilian Portuguese, a more languid and musical version of Portugal’s mother tongue.
How do I get local currency on north coast of Brazil?
Brazilian Real. Notes can be withdrawn from the ATMs in central São Luís and the other large towns. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. ATMs close at 10pm.
What's the time difference between north coast of Brazil and UK/
UTC -3 hours. Daylight saving Oct-end Feb was discontinued in 2019.
What places combine well with north coast of Brazil?
The volcanic island of Fernando de Noronha (flights from Natal); the colonial port of Olinda, close to Recife.
How do I get to north coast of Brazil?
São Luís is reached by a 3.5 hour flight from Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo from where it is 30mins less flying time to Fortaleza and Natal. Natal, São Luís and Fortaleza are all around 2.5 hours by air from Brasilia.
What are the cultural and sporting events in the north coast of Brazil?
Carnival (Feb-Mar, variable).
Bumba-meu-Boi: São Luis, 24 Jun. Throughout June and especially several days running up to 24th, there are parades, dances and street music, reflecting a mix of African, Portuguese and indigenous culture.