Fortaleza is a city in Northeastern Brazil.  Things to do in Fortaleza include;

  • Dragao do Mar Center of Art And Culture
  • Coco Park
  • St. Joseph’s Cathedral
  • Ponte dos Ingleses (sunset photography)
  • Espigao da Joao 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.

Espigao da Joao Cordeiro

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!

How to get from Fortaleza to Lencois Maranhenses

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.  In fact, 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 Lencois Maranhenses National Park with the hotels owners too.  Barreirinhas is a small town but you’ll find decent bars, restaurants and supermarkets.


Things to do Lencois Maranhenses National Park

Lencois Maranhenses is one of the most beautiful places in the world.  It’s where the desert meets the rainforest, as a result there’s lots of wildlife and panoramic photography opportunities.  Things to do and see in Lencois Maranhenses include;

  • Unique and everchanging sand dunes
  • Oases in the desert
  • Birdwatching and wildlife watching
  • Where the jungle meets the desert

Lencois Maranhenses National Park Tour

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil

As I mentioned before, whichever hotel you choose in Barreirinhas will offer a good value tour.  The tour I took into Lencois 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.  You’ll see lots of wildlife such as monkeys as well as many birds in this area.


Lencois Maranhenses National Park Wildlife

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 quality images.

How to get from Barreirinhas to Sao Luis via Chapadinha

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.  You must check with your hotel 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 Luis to Belem