Overview

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.

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Holidays North coast: Natal, Fortaleza and Sao Luis

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Off the beaten track Brazil: Dunes and lagoons of Lencois Maranhenses

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Things to do

The amazing white sand dunes of Lencois Maranhenses National Park harbour crystal-clear lagoons. To book a trip enquire online or speak to an expert.

Where to go when - our guide to North coast: Natal, Fortaleza and Sao Luis

Sao Louis

The weather in North coast: Natal, Fortaleza and Sao Luis is wide and varied

Brazil’s little-visited north coast offers World Heritage Site cities, national parks of rippling sand dunes and wild sloping beaches peppered with laid-back resorts. The port city São Luís can be visited all year round- expect equatorial warmth tempered by an ocean breeze. If you’re heading for the beach at Jericoacoara, the best time is the July - January dry season. This is also kitesurfing season. Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is at its most photogenic April - September, when there’s water in the pools, with most rain falling February - June.

View our North coast: Natal, Fortaleza and Sao Luis weather guide

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  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

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    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

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    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

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    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

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    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

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