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Northern Brazil

  • São Luís
  • Lençóis Maranhenses
  • Parnaíba
  • Jericoacoara
  • Fernando de Noronha
Northern Brazil Northern Brazil
£ 4267

A mesmerising journey along one of the world’s most photogenic coastlines, staying in small towns and fishing villages along the way.

A thrilling adventure by speedboat and 4x4, this itinerary allows you to thoroughly get to know the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park and the entire coastal region from the east coast of Maranhão to Jericoacoara.

You start in the World Heritage city of São Luís, a cultural highlight with its captivating mix of French, Portuguese, African, Indian and Dutch influences. Then comes the visually spectacular Lençóis Maranhenses, an area of epic sand dunes and dazzling freshwater lagoons, where you can explore on foot, on horseback or by 4x4. You will then journey to Ceará, passing through unspoiled beaches and sand roads to get to Jericoacoara – ranked amongst the finest beaches in Brazil.

Your time in Brazil ends at the stunning island archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. 350km off the coast, the islands are a naturalist's dream and home to unspoilt beaches and crystal clear waters. The islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offer some of the best diving and snorkelling in all of South America.

Accommodation along the way is a real mix, with very little choice in many areas. You will have your own driver accompany you along the coast and local guides will show you the best of the different regions. For guests looking to see the freshwater pools forming in the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, you will need to travel between May and September.

For those looking for an 'off-the-beaten track' adventure or a family looking for an active way to see Brazil, our 'Northern Brazil' itinerary is an excellent option!

15 days from
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    Detailed Itinerary
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    Day 1 Belém

    Board a day flight from the UK to Belém, via Lisbon with Air Portugal (TAP).

    Note: There are no direct flights from the UK to northern Brazil. Air Portugal (TAP) currently offer the quickest and most direct from the UK, but it isn’t a daily route. There are also options with British Airways into Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, but they require connecting flights to northern Brazil. There are also connecting flights with Iberia & LATAM via Madrid, KLM via Amsterdam and Air France via Paris. 

    Arrive into Belém late in the evening and driven to your hotel for the night. This first night is a logistical stop as there are no flights from the UK to São Luís.

    Stay: One night at the Princesa Louçã Hotel – Bed & breakfast

    Day 2-3 São Luís
    São Luís

    After an early breakfast you will be driven back to Belém airport for the short flight to São Luís.

    Your northern Brazil adventure begins in São Luís. The charms of this cobbled World Heritage city are plain to see, with its pastel-coloured buildings and beautiful 18th century architecture. São Luís has had many influences over the years, from French and Dutch to Indian and Portuguese, all of which has played a part in shaping the rich local culture.

    Stay: Two night sat Blue Tree Towers Hotel – Bed & breakfast

    Day 4-5 Lençóis Maranhenses
    Lençóis Maranhenses

    After breakfast, you will leave colonial São Luís behind and transfer towards the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, one of Brazil’s most impressive natural phenomenons.

    The journey takes around 4 hours and you will arrive at your hotel in the small town of Barreirinhas in time for lunch.

    In the afternoon a small motorboat will take you into the park, where you will get your first glimpse of the region’s spectacular white sand dunes and crystal-clear ponds. Home to 155,000 hectares of dunes, rivers and lakes the region is transformed from May to September when rain filtered through the sand forms thousands of crystal-clear pools and lakes between the dunes. At their best from June, July and August, buggy and quad bike tours, stand up paddle-boarding and kayaking can all be organised in the area. It’s also home to beautiful beaches, mangroves and some interesting fauna, especially turtles and migratory birds. After an enchanting sunset over the dunes, you will return to your hotel.

    The following day you will explore some of the local villages in the area and visit Mandacarú, famous for its Brazilian Navy lighthouse and spectacular panoramic views of the area. You’ll also visit Caburé beach, where you can have a relaxing afternoon in a hammock by the water’s edge before returning to Barreirinhas in the late afternoon.

    Stay: Two nights at Porto Preguiças – Bed & breakfast

    Day 5 Parnaíba

    After breakfast, a 4×4 will pick you up and take you to Parnaíba, stopping at “Pequenos Lençois” (small Lençois) on the way.

    The afternoon is spent exploring the Parnaíba Delta (Guarás), the largest delta in open seas in the Americas and the third largest in the world.

    There are over 70 islands in the delta and its dunes, mangroves and fresh water lagoons are an ecological sanctuary for a variety of wildlife. Monkeys, turtles, dolphins, crabs and alligators are all found in the area, as well endangered species such as manatees and the Scarlet Ibis.

    Afterwards you will be taken to your hotel in Parnaíba for the night.

    Stay: One night at Casa de Santo Antonio – Bed & breakfast

    Day 6-8 Jericoacoara

    Your next stop is the laid-back beach town of Jericoacoara. A place renowned for its impeccable shoreline, warm waters and relaxed atmosphere.

    The journey from Parnaíba takes the best part of a day and you will arrive in time for sunset over the dunes in Jericoacoara (a local ritual!)

    Over the next two days you can relax and explore the surrounding area. Wind and kite surfing are two popular past times, as well as canoeing, fishing and horseback riding. It’s also worth taking a caipirinha and making your way to the top of one of the dunes for sunset.

    We recommend renting a bugging and taking a tour to the mystic Pedra Furada inside the Jericoacoara National Park. 

    Your hotel is the most exclusive in the area and has a beautiful view over the ocean. Its refreshing out door pool is the perfect place to escape the heat or relax in one of the surrounding sun loungers.

    Stay: Three nights at Chili Beach – Bed & breakfast

    Day 9 Fortaleza

    After breakfast you will leave Jericoacoara behind and transfer 4 hours by road to the city of Fortaleza.

    Note: This is a logistical night as the flights from Fortaleza to Fernando de Noronha leave early in the morning.

    Stay: One night at the Luzeiros Hotel – Bed & breakfast

    Day 9-11 Fernando de Noronha
    Fernando de Noronha

    On day nine you will fly from Fortaleza to the island archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, 350km off the coast of Brazil.

    The 21 islands are known for their crystal clear waters, abundant marine life and golden sands (in fact Brazil’s ‘beach bible,’ Guia Quatro Rodas Praias, awards five stars to just five beaches in the whole country – three are on Fernando de Noronha).

    In an effort to protect the pristine natural paradise of the archipelago, UNESCO have declared the islands a Natural World Heritage Site and restricted the number of tourists who can visit. 

    Diving is one of the main activities, but there are a variety of trails which can be explored and boat trips take you out into the bay to observe the marine life (the islands have the highest concentration of dolphins anywhere in the world). There are also world-class beaches for surfing and excellent places for snorkelling too.

    Life on the island is simple and a chance to breakaway from everyday life. There are just 7km of paved roads and the main way to get around is on bike or buggy. 

    It’s not a place people visit for luxuries, but your hotel is as close as you will get on the island, with stunning views over the bay.

    Stay: Three nights at Pousada Maravilha – Bed & breakfast

    Day 12-13 Overnight flight from Fernando de Noronha to the UK

    On your final day in Brazil you will fly from Fernando de Noronha to Recife and connect onto an international flight to the UK, via Lisbon in Portugal (picking up your luggage and completing Brazilian departure procedures in Recife).

    You will arrive into the UK the following afternoon.

    Note: There are no flights from Fernando de Noronha back to the UK. The quickest route is via Recife and Lisbon with Air Portugal (TAP). It may be necessary to have a night in Recife before flying home depending on flight schedules. Alternative options would require connecting on a flight from Recife or Fortaleza to Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro if flying internationally with British Airways. There are also connecting flights with Iberia & LATAM via Madrid, KLM via Amsterdam and Air France via Paris, but majority also depart from São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.

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