Today's full-day adventure starts with a drive to the bustling little town Barreirinhas, a hub for visitors to the magnificent Lençois Maranhenses National Park. After lunch there, you step into a boat to ride the sluggish waters of aptly named Rio Preguiças (lazy river), fringed by mangroves, which winds its way through a wilderness of sheets of sand and swamps beloved of water birds.
Feel the sand beneath your feet on the golden dunes of 'Little Lençois' before it’s back on the river to waterside Mandacaru, a rustic village of squat red-tiled houses lorded over by a lofty lighthouse which offers fantastic views over the park’s far-flung dunes and lagoons. Break the journey again at Caburé, where a handful of thatched fishermen’s huts guarded by a few wind-torn palms are perched on a bar of silky ocean-front sands.
Finally, finish your trip at the remote fishing village Atins, tucked among the dunes, where you’ll spend two nights. The village consists of a stretch of cottages and single storey houses scattered along sand tracks set a short distance back from the beach to protect the inhabitants from the thrust of the winds and the ever changing profile of the sandy coastline. There’s little of tourist infrastructure - no shop, no electricity overnight, and the silence is punctuated by the hissing of the sand whipped up by the breeze. The pace of life here is leisurely to say the least.