Lençóis Maranhenses: When to Visit the Enchanting Brazilian Desert

by Holly

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, located in the state of Maranhão, Brazil, is a mesmerizing natural wonder that captivates visitors with its otherworldly beauty. Often referred to as a “desert,” Lençóis Maranhenses is not your typical arid landscape. Instead, it is a unique combination of vast sand dunes and dazzling freshwater lagoons, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle. When planning a visit to this enchanting destination, the timing is crucial to experience its full splendor. In this article, we will explore the best time to visit Lençóis Maranhenses and its weather conditions, activities, and tips for a memorable experience.

Lençóis Maranhenses’ Climate

Before determining the best time to visit Lençóis Maranhenses, it is essential to understand the region’s climate. The park experiences a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season.


1. The Rainy Season: A Desert Transformed

The rainy season in Lençóis Maranhenses typically lasts from January to June. During this period, the park undergoes a remarkable transformation as heavy rains fill the vast expanses between the dunes, creating stunning lagoons. These crystal-clear lagoons form an ethereal contrast against the golden sand, making the landscape a photographer’s paradise.


2. The Dry Season: Dunes and Vistas

The dry season, from July to December, brings forth a different perspective of Lençóis Maranhenses. As the rainfall diminishes, the lagoons slowly evaporate, revealing uninterrupted sand dunes that extend as far as the eye can see. While the lagoons are mostly absent during this time, the stunning dunes offer breathtaking vistas and unique opportunities for sandboarding and trekking adventures.


The Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Lençóis Maranhenses largely depends on the type of experience you seek.

1. For Lagoons and Water Enthusiasts

If you wish to witness the stunning lagoons at their fullest, plan your visit during the rainy season, from January to June. The lagoons are usually at their peak between March and May. Keep in mind that some lagoons may start drying up towards the end of the rainy season, so aim for a visit in April or May for the optimal lagoon experience.

2. For Sand Dunes and Trekking

On the other hand, if you prefer exploring vast sand dunes and engaging in sandboarding or trekking activities, the dry season, from July to December, is the ideal time to visit. The weather is relatively drier and cooler during this period, making outdoor adventures more enjoyable.

Weather Considerations

When planning your trip to Lençóis Maranhenses, be mindful of the weather conditions during your chosen season.

1. Rainy Season

While the rainy season brings lush lagoons, it also means more frequent rainfall. Expect occasional rain showers and potential thunderstorms. Be prepared with appropriate waterproof gear and consider that some routes and lagoons may be inaccessible during heavy rains.

2. Dry Season

The dry season offers sunny and warm days with lower chances of rainfall. However, keep in mind that temperatures can rise during this period, especially in the afternoons. Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.

Activities to Enjoy

Regardless of the season you choose to visit, Lençóis Maranhenses offers a plethora of activities to immerse yourself in its breathtaking landscape.

1. Swimming in Lagoons: During the rainy season, take the opportunity to swim in the crystalline lagoons and revel in the surreal beauty of this natural phenomenon.

2. Sandboarding and Trekking: In the dry season, explore the towering sand dunes and try your hand at sandboarding down the slopes. Trekking across the dunes offers a unique adventure and rewards you with stunning panoramic views.

3. Sunset Watching: Whether you visit during the rainy or dry season, witnessing the sunset over the vast sand dunes is an unforgettable experience. The changing colors of the landscape as the sun dips below the horizon create a magical atmosphere.

Tips for a Memorable Experience

To make the most of your visit to Lençóis Maranhenses, consider the following tips:

1. Local Guides: Engage the services of a local guide who knows the area well. They can lead you to the best lagoons, ensure your safety, and provide valuable insights into the park’s ecology.

2. Photography Gear: If you are passionate about photography, bring your best camera gear to capture the stunning scenery. Don’t forget extra batteries and memory cards.

3. Ecological Awareness: Respect the fragile ecosystem of Lençóis Maranhenses. Avoid leaving trash behind, follow designated paths, and adhere to the guidelines set by the park authorities.

4. Sun Protection: Protect yourself from the sun’s intensity, especially during the dry season. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and lightweight, breathable clothing.

5. Hydration: Carry sufficient water, especially if you plan to engage in outdoor activities. Staying hydrated is essential, even during the cooler months.


Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is a natural wonder that should be on every nature lover’s bucket list. Whether you visit during the rainy season to witness the dazzling lagoons or the dry season to explore the vast sand dunes, this enchanting Brazilian desert promises an unforgettable experience.

Careful consideration of the weather conditions and the type of adventure you seek will help you choose the best time to visit. Whether you find yourself swimming in crystal-clear lagoons or trekking across surreal sandscapes, your journey to Lençóis Maranhenses will be a remarkable adventure filled with wonder and awe.



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