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Brazil: Undiscovered north coast

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The far north of Brazil is a fascinating region, yet 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, such as Jericoacoara.

Our holidays to Undiscovered north coast

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Lenocis Manahenses National Park

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

Private journey

10 days from £2,248pp

Things to do in Undiscovered north coast

Sao Luis

Explore historic Sao Luis


Discover northeast Brazil's dunes and lagoons

Our insider tips for Undiscovered north coast


Laura Rendell-Dunn

From a trip into the dunes, the shimmering sight of the sunshine-dappled pools created by the summer and autumn rains.


Chris Rendell-Dunn

Spotting the rich wildlife of mammals, birds and reptiles from a boat trip on the river Preguiças.


Paul Winrow-Giffin

Wandering round the atmospheric centre of São Luís, gradually being restored to its former colonial glory.

Jenny Powles

Jenny Powles

Thrills and spills of a dune buggy ride among the cactus-dotted cliffs at Jericoacoara, followed by a Technicolor sunset view over the sands.

What our experts say

I’d seen photos of the Lencois Maranhenses National Park before but nothing prepared me for seeing it in reality. Getting to the dunes was an adventure in itself, travelling by open-top jeep along bumpy sand tracks. I arrived in the afternoon and walked at a leisurely pace through the dunes to reach a beautiful sparkling blue lagoon where you can take a dip. After a relaxing swim, I climbed to the top of a high dune to watch the sunset – mesmerising!

Sophie Barber

Sophie Barber

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