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Jericoacoara & Lençóis Maranhenses: 9 days itinerary

The perfect itinerary for your trip to Jericoacoara and Lencois Maranhenses

Located in the northeast of Brazil, Jericoacoara and Lençóis Maranhenses are considered among the most unique destinations of Brazil. Both places are considerably isolated (the nearest airports are about 4 hours away) and the ride to each is not the easiest, but that’s part of their charm. 

There’s an 8-hour car ride between the two destinations, but in Brazil, that’s considered a short distance, so it’s definitely worthwhile combining the two into one trip.

Don’t waste your time taking unnecessary jeep rides or traveling to the wrong airports. Here’s the ultimate way to get to each destination and the perfect itinerary to both Jeri and Lencois. 

Jericoacoara: 

The small village of Jericoacoara became famous for its beautiful lagoons and dunes. But more than the natural beauty, there’s something about Jeri, a vibe, that has been attracting travelers for years now.

Location: City- Jijoca de Jericoacoara. State- Ceará

Closest airport: Fortaleza Airport (Pinto Martins  International Airport)

Distance to airport: 5 hours 

Price: R$ 150 for a comfortable jeep of 4-6 people.

Agency– MWTur +55 (88) 9 9708-9447 

Lencois Maranhenses (Barreirinhas)

White sand dunes sliding down into by crystalline lagoons, a black river, and the thick lush forest- the national park of Lençóis Maranhenses has it all. The park has remained relatively untouched due to its remote location so its charm was preserved. 

Inside the park there’s a tiny village called Atins and the closest towns are and Barreirinhas and Santo Amaro, You’re most likely to stay in Barreirinhas.

State: Maranhão

Closest airport: São Luis Airpot (Marechal Cunha Machado International Airpot)

Distance to airport: 4 hours 

Price: R$ 70 for a comfortable van of 10

Agency: Faiker +55 98 8884-6587 

How to get to Lencois (Barreirinhas) from  Jeri

The best way is to get a transfer. There’s no point in getting to the airports and catching a flight because you’re gonna need to get another transfer from the airport so it will come up to the same time. 

Time 7-8 hours with a stop for food.

Price: 210-250 for a comfortable jeep of 4-6 people.

Best Rout combining Lencois and Jericoacoara:

Flight to Fortaleza –> Transfer to Jei (5 hours) –>  3-4 days in Jeri—> Transfer to Barreirinhas (8 hours)–> 3-4 days in Lencois–> Transfer to Sao Luis (4 hours)–> Flight from Sao Luis to wherever you want.

You can also take this rout the other way around.

What not to do? 

Don’t make Jeri your base and go from Jeri to Lencois for a day and go back to Jeri. That’s the worst. You will have to take two 8 hour rides to and from Jeri and then, of course, take a transfer to and from the airport. 

Important tips about the transfer rides in this area:

Don’t take these rides at night time. Yes, leaving at night will save you money on accommodation and you will sleep throughout the ride, but as many travelers have pointed out it’s scary to drive in these areas at night. The roads are dark, sometimes it rains and then it becomes even more dangerous (we almost spun out of control on our way to Jeri because we went at night time). 

Plus, from personal conversations I’ve had with drivers, they do not sleep properly before these long rides and sometimes would drive 20 hours straight (apart from some breaks for food).

Jeri to Barreirinhas- Prices and agencies:

R$ 200-250

Unitur Vigens +55 88 9746-4536

Itinerary Lencois and jericoacoara

This itinerary combines Jeri and Lencois with an equal amount of time in each location obviously you can take a day off or add one to each place. I would recommend adding days to Jeri rather than Lencois.

The nearest towns to Lencois, Barreirinhas or Santo Amaro, are not as developed so after you’re done sightseeing there’s really not much to do at these towns. Jeri, on the other hand, is much more lively and has great restaurants, bars, and parties. 

For this reason,  if you have to spend a weekend in one of these locations it’s better to spend it in Jeri.

If you have any questions regarding the planning of your itinerary don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook. 

Take a flight to the Fortaleza airport and then a transfer to your pousada/hotel at Jeri.

Getting to Jeri is quite a journey so take your time and relax at the unique dune black beach. Don’t forget to go up to the big dune for sunset.

Take a buggy tour to the west side of Jericoacoara. This includes a ride through the dunes, passing by the mangroves to take some pics, ziplining and sliding from the top of the dune into the lagoon.

For more about this tour click here.  

Explore the other side of Jeri by buggy with the East Side Tour. This tour includes a visit to the Pedra Furada (the rock with the hole), the huge Árvore da Preguiça (the lazy tree), a couple of lagoons, and the beutiful Buraco Azul (the blue hole). 

For more about this tour click here.  

Check out from your hotel and begin your 8-hour ride to Barreirinhas. Remember to pack some snacks, your travel pillow, and whatever you need to make this ride comfortable.  

Check in at your pousada and grab dinner before going to bed early so you’ll have the energy for the next day.

Wake up early, enjoy a Brazilian breakfast and take a tour to the beautiful lagoons of the national park. 

Tours leave around 9 am and 2 pm. If you’re really tight with time you can take 2 tours- morning tour to Lagoa Azula and an afternoon tour to Lagoa Bonita where you can watch the sunset. The agency will stop for you in the center of town so you’ll have lunch in between the tours. 

After your tour, go to the center of town and buy some things for you full-day tour the next day. 

Have a good breakfast and prepare for a day of exciting ATV riding through the marvelous Pequenos Lencois. 

Make sure to bring a hat and cover your arms since you’ll be riding the ATV all day long with no shade. 

During the tour, you’ll take a dip in the lagoons and have lunch at the village of Atins, and enjoy the exciting ATV ride.

Make sure to grab an acai bowl at Eco Açai Bar on the way back to your hotel to regain your strength after riding under the sun all day long. 

For your last full day, take another day tour, this time a more relaxed one, on a boat floating on the black river Rio Preguicas. 

This tour takes you on a boat on the Preguicas river to different stops. You will stop at Vassouras and hang out with some monkeys, at the village of Mandacaru where you’ll see the Preguicas Light Tower and at the beach of Caburé. During the stop for lunch, you can rent an ATV and drive around the area.

On your way back make sure to eat in one of the best Italian restaurants in the area- La Terrazza Pizzaria.

If you can afford it, take a 30 min flight over the national park and see the mesmerizing landscape at birds-eye view. 

Here’s how it looks.

Check out and take a 4 hours transfer to Sao Luis Airport. 

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