Weather and Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit the park is roughly from May to September, when it's sunny, yet the lagoons are still full.
Always assume it will be hot in Lençóis Maranhenses. Temperatures often reach the high 90s, even during the Brazilian winter (June-September). Protect yourself with sunblock and a hat while visiting.
The wind is a major cooling factor in Lençóis Maranhenses, and so are the park's lagoons.
How to Get to Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
The gateway to the park is Barreirinhas, located about 156 miles from Sao Luís. Cisne Branco Turismo has daily buses departing from the São Luís Bus Terminal (Av. dos Franceses, 55-98-3249 0778). One-way tickets cost R$29 and the trip takes about 4 hours.
Cururupu (55-98-3244-1511, firstname.lastname@example.org) has daily charter flights leaving the São Luís International Airport at 7 a.m. and Barreirinhas no later than 5 p.m. The two-way flight costs R$1800 with same-day return trips. The plane can take up to five passengers.
Where to Stay:
See the Barreirinhas hotel guide.
Expect to find great fresh seafood at local restaurants, from hotel restaurants to remote outposts such as Luzia's kiosk in Atins, at the end of a two-hour walk. In Barreirinhas, one of the most famous places serving regional food is Restaurante do Carlão. You'll also find treats such as diverse as pizza, tapioca at Oca da Tapioca at the boat deck on the river and ice cream made from native fruit at Sorvetão, in central Barreirinhas.
From Lençóis to Jeri:
The trip along the coast from Lençóis Maranhenses National Park to Jericoacora, Ceará covers beautiful and still pristine shores, including the short coast of Piauí and the spectacular Parnaíba Delta.
Some longer tours, lasting about eight days, might include a stop at Parque Nacional de Sete Cidades, Brazil's most famous archaeological site.
Some of the hotels in Barreirinhas offer transfers to Jericoacoara. You can also take tours to Jeri with adventure travel operators specialized in the area's attractions. One of those companies is Piauí-based Eco Adventure Tour.
ABETA (The Brazilian Association of Adventure Travel Companies, www.abeta.com.br)has a list of certified operators offering Lençóis Maranhenses tours.