On the northern coast is this remarkable and little-visited expanse of huge white sand dunes and turquoise lagoons.

The remote Lencois do Maranhao is a unique expanse of sand dunes, freshwater lagoons, rivers, mangroves and isolated communities. What makes Maranhao so special is the way the landscape evolves from one day to the next, as white sand is whipped to and fro by strong coastal winds, re-sculpting the magical landscape. After the rainy season between April and July, small lagoons form in sand, some linking together to provide new waters to explore for fishes. Others are perfect for taking a quick dip in. Maranhao is one of the most interesting, yet little visited natural wonders of Brazil.

The painstakingly restored architecture of the nearby coastal state capital of Sao Luis, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, reflects the influences of both the French and the Portuguese during its long history and makes a perfect accompaniment to a visit to see Maranhao.

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