“Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breaths away.”
After more than a year of living and traveling in the Amazonian Rainforest in the Guianas and Brazil, the contrast with the landscape we encountered in Lençois Maranhenses (Northeast Brazil) couldn’t have been bigger:
1500 square kilometers of dunes.
The Dunes of Lençois Maranhenses
The dunes of Lençois Maranhenses are among the most spectacular landscapes in South America and are protected by being a national park. On the UNESCO Tentative List since 2017, I feel that Lençois Maranhenses rightfully deserves to be acknowledged as a World Heritage List.
From the UNESCO website:
According to Marinaldo, our guide (more on that below), 80% of the park consists of dunes. Due to the constant northern wind across the Atlantic Ocean, the dunes are moving inland.
Marinaldo pointed to the right.
“Do you see that dune? There’s a telephone pole underneath it; last year the pole was still visible. Do you see that telephone pole next to the dune? That one will disappear under a new dune in a year or two,” he said.
Those dunes grow fast, I tell you.
The dunes of Lençois Maranhenses are a landscape that fills any visitor with a feeling of awe. However, I do hope that the dunes will stop advancing at some point in time and won’t turn Brazil’s Northeast into China’s Taklamakan Desert, which has continued to push forward to the point where it has become a plague.
After a splendid day of driving and walking in this incredible landscape of
We went skinny-dipping in the crystalline river underneath a pitch-black sky studded with stars. Silence, darkness, the two of us and the Land Cruiser with its lights glistening in the smooth surface of the river.
Sometimes our life is not just great.
Life is fantastic!
Practical Information on Marinaldo & Pousada Lulayna Dunas
- Marinaldo grew up in this village and knows every single dune. From a
fishermanMarinaldo became a tourist guide who loves taking people on hiking and/or camping trips in the dunes.
- Marinaldo also is the owner of Guesthouse (Pousada) Lulayna Dunas. The guesthouse is situated in Santo Amaro, the western gateway to the spectacular Lençois Maranhenses National Park. This basic guesthouse has rooms with private bathrooms and an open area in the garden shaded by a roof made of carnaúba palm leaves.
- Marinaldo’s wife Lucia taught us how to make the perfect beiju – tapioca pancakes.
- Pousada Lulayna Dunas
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rua Figueiredo Campos no. 93, Santo Amaro
- Phone: (98) 8879-9438
Originally published in 2012 / Updated in 2018
Explore the Dunes of Lençois Maranhenses
The entire region of Lençois Maranhenses is spectacular, not just the dunes but also the Perguiças River. Barreirinhas is a good place to find tours or a guide to show you the very best that the region has to offer. Check what tours are on offer and see if they fit your needs.
Click on the images below to learn more.