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"Parque Nacional dos Lençóis" (Sheets National Park) is an ecological Paradise with dunes, rivers, ponds and growth of mangroves. Founded on June 02, 1981, with an area of 155 thousand hectares, the park attracts tourists from the whole world. It is located in the northeast of the state of Maranhão, occupying an area of 270 Kms of dunes that are formed according to the wind combination. The National Park is quite extensive and without access roads. To visit it, it is necessary to face the dunes and the heat, always with the company of a local guide. Small walks can be made on foot. For longer walks, it is necessary a 4x4 vehicle or even a donkey.
|"There are hundreds of fresh water lakes to swim|
There are regular bus lines connecting Barreirinhas to São Luís, at about 350km. It is also possible to take an air taxi from São Luís to Barreirinhas. Another option is to go by boat, by Preguiças river until Atins, at the park limit. By car, coming from São Luís, take BR-135 and BR-222, until Barriers.
"To drive here, only a 4x4 vehicle."
They say that a nomadic people live over there, that on the rainy station, they raise their huts to live on the fishing and in the dry station, they abandon everything in search of work at the neighboring municipal districts.
However these are not considered nomadic.
"The water is clear and clean! "
Barreirinhas - it is the nearest city from the Park. It is the best lodging option for who seeks a little more comfort. It is a simple city, without great infrastructures.
Beaches - "Ponta do Mangue"(Tip of the Swamp), "Moitas"(Bushes), "Vassouras"(Brooms), "Morro do Boi" (Hill of the Ox) and "Barra do Tatu" are some of the beautiful beaches tourist enjoy in Barreirinhas. You reach all of them by boat, leaving from city.
"Some places are of difficult access."
Caburé Village - At this beach, the fishermen set up huts on the rainy period to fish. It is perfect for camping, because it is host a passage of Preguiças river. Good option to stay overnight. There are chalets and good food.
Preguiças river - it is the river that crosses the Park. That name (Preguiças = laziness) is due to the calm its waters, which flow out at Atins, a great fishermen colony .
"It is a sea of sand."
Mandacaru Lighthouse - it is a lighthouse of 54 meters of height, from where a beautiful view of the park is had. It is possible to see the dunes bordering the sea of Maranhão. It is located in the city of Mandacaru, at the park limit.
"That was a cool trip! "
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Tips by GUSTAVO VIVACQUA
1. Don't miss visiting the Lagoons "Azul" (Blue) and "Bonita" (Beautiful).
2. Another extraordinary program is the view from Mandacarú Lighthouse from where a panoramic vision is had.
3. Make a boat trip along Preguiças river.
4. Keep in mind that the place is a desert. Bring water, sun glasses, because the sand is very white, besides suntan lotion, otherwise you will fry like an egg.
5. Although it is a desert, the trips are not unpleasant. There are many refreshing lakes along the course.
6. The best time to visit the region is on the rainy period, from December to July, when the ponds are fuller and less hot.
7. The city of Barreirinhas has the best infrastructure. However, everything is very simple. Another lodging option is the town of Caburé, that is much more rustic.
8. It is possible to rent 4X4 vehicles at the city to go to the places, or also to take 4x4 transportation.
9. Don't even try to use your regular car. You can't win this battle.
10. They prepare juices with the incredible fruits... those you have never heard about. Try any, possibly all of them will be new to you.
11. If you have the money, make a panoramic flight.
12. The park has two oasis, "Queimada" and "Baixada Grande" that should be visited.
13. Notice that the Lakes of the park have fishes. The problem is that on the dry season those lakes dry completely. Now you tell me: How can it be possible for a lake to have fishes in it if it gets dry for months.
14. If you want to take a donkey to live with you in your apartment, they cost only R$3,00 to R$10,00.
15. Take vaccines against the yellow fever with 10 days of antecedence.
16. Also visit "Pequenos Lençóis" (Small Sheets).
17. "Visit the city of Tutóia! There are good people and a lot of "forró" at night. I was born there. Hugs! " tip from Adriano Rogel
18. "... for who is going to visit Barrerinhas, make the boat trip on Preguiças river. It is necessary to rent a boat. My relatives and I rented a "voadeira" (name of the boat) that cost us R$100,00 to enjoy the trip during all the day. We got to know the Small Sheets, called "Vassouras" (Brooms), it is very beautiful. We visited a Lighthouse, where we had to go up a huge staircases. When we arrived at the top, the view was wonderful. We could see the park. To arrive at "Sheets", we rented a 4X4 Toyota , that cost R$70,00. When we finally arrived at "Sheets", I was rapt. It is an immensity of sands, and ponds, charming, the sensation of freedom is very big. My joy was so immense, that I rolled on the dunes falling into the ponds. I visited the Blue Pond, it is wonderful how our country has fantastic places, the emotion is indescribable! You have to see it to understand what I felt! It is good to remind to use suntan lotion all the time, and to be always with a canteen full of water, because the heat is very intense and your mouth and throat dries all the time, the sun is scalding! Another place that I visited and I got enchanted was Alcantâra. To arrive there it is necessary to take a raft, R$5,00 each person (when I went...), or any other embarkation, at the port of the city. Alcântara is a beautiful and cozy city, where there are several ruins, at the main square there is a ruin of a church of the time of the Inquisition, it also has a pillory, where the slaves were whipped at that time of the slavery. There you find several bars where, at night, the people playing some guitar. And, of course a lot of Reggae, that is the most played music in the whole State. The atmosphere is great. I went back to São Paulo totally loosened of any stress, light, super happy with my trip to São Luiz, and fully conscious of how wonderful it is to travel! Kisses to all and I love you, Haxi! "tip from Maria of Ponte
19. "My name is Sandra, on that last holiday of June of 2003, me and my husband have been in São Luís and in some other cities of Maranhão. Following some very useful tips of you. I loved the city. Specially to see the party of "Bumba-meu-boi" and I was fascinated. It is very organized, we got to know several rhythms of the popular culture and the happiness of the people is wonderful. It's great to see a people that still struggles to preserve its culture. I cannot stop recommending that when you go there, don't miss visiting "Nossa Senhora do Desterro" Church (it is the oldest of the city) and to talk to Mr. Francisco, he is wonderful, very nice and told us many historical information. We also visited Alcântara, that is so charming with its ruins and its history. It is very interesting the work of the little guides who are very well instructed. Seek Geraldo, he is a 14 year-old boy who likes a lot what he does. The highway takes to "Sheets" is great, the place is of an indescribable beauty. It is an adventure that can't be missed. The trip on Preguiças river is also an exciting adventure. I thank you for the tips that made my trip a lot better. Kisses" tip from Sandra
20. "Schedules to see the dunes - in the morning and in the afternoon. I only had the alternative of the morning, the one that means to walk for the desert under the searing heat. They told me that the schedule of the afternoon is much better, especially because you can see the sunset and the shades on the dunes provide much more interesting pictures. I made the fly over trip and it cost R$100,00 and it was worthwhile. Here is a tip for a tourist who wants a much more intimate contact with nature: There is a lodging of a Portuguese, called "Sítio da Jandaia" that is between "Bar da Hora" and Atins. A "voadeira" can dock right there, or then a regular boat docks at Bar da Hora, then you cross a stream on a canoe and you arrive at the lodging. It is done with materials of the area - "adobe" and roof of braided straw. It has no electric power. It has an excellent bed, nice bathroom (without electric shower, but with solar heating), net at the balcony and a very refreshing natural ventilation system. The food is prepared by a native one in a mud oven, with a notable flavor. It was the place where I ate best, in the whole trip. There is no house around - only bush and river. Another tip - There is a nice restaurant of a swiss called Michaél at the street of the lodging Buriti, at the block of the river. Good national music, magazines to read, books of arts and pictures to watch, tables on the sidewalk and they speak English, German, Scandinavian and I think French too. And the price is the same as the others". tip from Irene Tozetti
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