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A visit to the points of interest of Fortaleza before taking the overnight bus to São Luís via Barreirinhas.  This is the gateway to Lençóis Maranhenses National Park where you can see oases, sand dunes, jungle, birdwatching and wildlife

Fortaleza is a city in Northeastern Brazil.  Fortaleza offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Dragão do Mar Center of Art And Culture
  • Cocó Park
  • St. Joseph’s Cathedral
  • Ponte dos Ingleses (sunset photography)
  • Espigão da João Cordeiro (and view of the city / sunset photography)
  • Day trips to several beaches
  • Day trips to Morro Branca

Fortaleza has plenty of accommodation options, I’d recommend staying in the centro area.

Espigão da João Cordeiro, Fortaleza, Brazil

Espigão da João Cordeiro, Fortaleza, Brazil

Fortaleza is a city famous for nightlife and for beaches.  You’ll come across lots of people selling tours, often to visit as many as 7 beaches in a day.  I would recommend if you are a beach person that you take a trip to Fortaleza.

I went for an evening run on the beachfront pedestrian area and later on visited the bars of the downtown area at night.  Unfortunately this meant I was too hungover to take a tour to Morro Branca the next day and spent the next day recovering.  I do recommend the nightlife in Fortaleza!

Oasis in Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil

Oasis in Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil

From Fortaleza I took a bus to Chapadinha and changed there for Barreirinhas.  Barreirinhas is a small town full of cheap accommodation which is perfect for making day trips into the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park.  You don’t need to book accommodation online as hotel owners will probably come find you arriving on the bus.  You can buy tours into Lençóis Maranhenses National Park with the hotels owners too.  Barreirinhas is a small town but you’ll find decent bars, restaurants and supermarkets.

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Unique and everchanging sand dunes
  • Oases in the desert
  • Birdwatching and wildlife watching
  • Where the jungle meets the desert
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil

The tour I took into Lençóis Maranhenses National Park took me to see the natural Oases (plural for Oasis!), I was there in dry season, imagine how big the oasis I photographed must be in rainy season.

Another part of the park I visited was where the desert met the jungle which is truly a unique site (above).  You’ll see lots of wildlife such as monkeys as well as many birds in this area.

Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil

Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil

Whilst I was enjoying a Coca Cola in a restaurant in the National Park, all these birds were marching nearby.  You’ll also see lots of monkeys at the edge of the jungle.  I recommend taking a camera with good zoom as the wildlife is quite a distance away.  You’d need a DSLR with a huge zoom lens to capture the wildlife close up, so I recommend a bridge camera which are quite compact but provide detailed images.

Overnight bus from Fortaleza to Sao Luis, 19 hours, 160 Reais
I took the bus from Barreirinhas back to Chapadinha and changed there for a Sao Luis service (above).  You must check with your hotel as to what time the bus leaves as there are only a couple of buses a day.  Once in Chapadinha the bus service I used was Guanabara, this is a reliable luxury bus service in Brazil.  The trip to Sao Luis was an overnight journey.

São Luís to Belem