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· What country/countries did you visit?
Brazil – specifically, the northeastern part.

· How did you get there?
I flew with Air Portugal from London via Lisbon into Recife and then back from Fortaleza which was ideal as it saved me 4 hours of flying time as I didn’t have to travel via São Paulo or Rio.

· Whereabouts did you go?
Lençóis Maranhenses was the main place I visited, but I also visited Jericoacora, Recife, São Luís and Fortaleza, all of which are in the country’s northeast.

· Had you been before?
I have travelled in Brazil before visiting the main highlights like the Amazon, Pantanal, Iguazú Falls and Salvador, but this was my first time exploring this corner of North East Brazil.

· If so, any notable differences?
Yes! Charming colonial towns, sand dunes & lagoons, stunning beaches … it’s a beautiful little paradise.

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· Which was your favourite:

Place: The incredible Lençóis Maranhenses National Park for sure! A vast area covered by sand dunes as far as the eye can see, each one filled with bright blue rainwater. Hotel: Vila Kalango – a beachfront hotel located in the charming town of Jericoacoara.

Excursion: Swimming in the freshwater lagoons of Lençóis Maranhenses after a hot and sandy buggy ride was definitely a highlight – the water is at once refreshing and warmed by the sun, so it feels just like being in a swimming pool.

· What was your most memorable moment?
It would definitely be arriving in São Luís during the Bumba Meu Boi carnival (which happens from June 13th - 29th and December 25th - January 6th) and experiencing the colourful and lively traditional performances.

· Were there any surprises along the way?
The Food! I am a foodie, and I must admit that wherever I went, food was fresh, in large portions and extremely delicious ... every meal was a surprise. There was freshly grilled fish, lobster and prawns, crunchy chips made from cassava and stews piled with meats and beans served with a side dish of faraofa (like a crumbly cruton topping made from ground cassava). Plus, these were always accompanied by exotic tropical fruit juices: cajá, acerola, carambola just to name a few.

· What tips do you have for travellers wanting to visit the same destinations?
Choose the right time to visit:

1. Best time for wind/kite surfing: September to November (stronger winds)

2. Best time for surfing: December to April (bigger waves and less wind)

3. Full lagoons: May & June (no people around) July & August (more people, though there are plenty of lagoons to go around)

4. Rainy months: March and April (the lagoons will be starting to fill)

5. Beach, sand dunes but no lagoons: October to February

Lina Brazil

· Is there anything indispensible to pack or prepare for?
A swimming suit and flip-flops are essential – you’re not going to have the same experience without them.

· Any local snacks, dishes or drinks that should be sampled? Caipirinhas! Brazil’s famous cocktail made with cachaça (sugar cane liquor) is mixed with lime juice (the traditional way) or try it with passion fruit (maracujá) or strawberries (morangos) and various local fruits, which makes for a really refreshing drink on a hot day. Beware, they are strong!

· Any restaurant or bar recommendations?
At Jericoacoara head to the beach for some drinks and live music. There are a few stalls serving all types of drinks and locals get together to enjoy the night with music and dancing.

· Sum up your trip in a sentence?
A few years back I watched a TV program about the most beautiful beaches in the World: Jericoacora was number one! I promised myself I’d visit this beach one day. I could not believe it when I was there, they were right. Jeri (as the locals call it) did not disappoint: it was a little piece of paradise on Earth

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