Located in the state of Maranhão, on the northeast coast of Brazil, Lençóis Maranhenses National Park surprises many people. Nature gives too much favor to this land. When first looking at the photos, it is easy to mistake these as artificial pools in the desert of pure white sand.
However, Lençóis Maranhenses is truly a product of nature. White sand dunes interspersed with small emerald lakes. That scene turned this place into the rarest land on the planet: a desert “mixed” with tropical paradise.
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park makes many people surprised by the nature and the favor of nature for this land.
The beauty of this area changes with the seasons. In winter, this national park is covered with white sand. The image is true to the meaning of its name: “Maranhão’s Bed Sheet”. Now it looks like an original desert.
However, once summer comes along with rains, the nearly 1500km2 land will be covered by thousands of large and small lakes.
What is the mystery that makes this national park so special?
The main answer is wind and tide. There are two rivers nearby named Parnaíba and Preguiças. They will carry sand from the mainland to the northern coast of Brazil. Then it stops and settles into thousands of tons of sediment. In each dry season, tides and strong winds will sweep this sediment in the opposite direction. Sediment is brought inland and creates large sand dunes that look like a carefully sculpted work of art.
In the rainy season, in the summer months, fresh water will overflow into the valleys between the sand dunes. Together with the impermeable rock layer underneath, which causes the water to stagnate, it creates a beautiful “collection” of ponds and lakes, ranging in size from small to large.
Because they are filled with rainwater, these lakes will become habitats for different types of fish. Depending on the connection with nearby rivers or on the biology of the individual species. For example, the Wolffish. They have the ability to burrow into the wet mud to survive the dry season. Whenever rain occurs, this fish will “regenerate” and rise to the surface.
Places that attract tourists
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. The peak is from July to September, when the blue lagoons appear most.
Although this area is located in a remote area, there is a highway. It was built more than a decade ago, making it easy for visitors to visit. In addition, Lençóis Maranhenses National Park also has many interesting entertainment services.
To get to Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, you should fly to São Luís, the capital of the state of Maranhão. Then book a tour or take public transport to Barreirinhas, a town just outside the national park. There, you can enter the Lençóis Maranhenses by jeep. It is recommended to visit the park with a guide (otherwise it is easy to get lost). The park’s website recommends that visitors stay at least 2 days. The reason is to fully enjoy the scenery here.