São Luís is a city in Northeastern Brazil.  Things to do in Sao Luis Brazil include;

  • Historic center of Sao Luis – UNESCO world heritage center
  • Beaches of Sao Luis Island (Maranhao Island)
  • Parque Botânico da Vale
  • Igreja da Se Church
  • Visual Arts Museum
  • Maranhão History and Art Museum
  • Ribeirao source
  • Casa do Maranhao
  • Benedito Leite Square

Hotels are good value and plentiful in São Luís.  If you are staying in any hotel in the historic center then you are officially staying in a UNESCO world heritage hotel.

Historic center of Sao Luis – UNESCO world heritage center

Things to do in Sao Luis, Brazil - Historic center of Sao Luis - UNESCO world heritage center

Sao Luis is located on Sao Luis Island which is also known as Maranhao Island.  It’s also the capital of the state of Maranhao.  The historic center of Sao Luis is a UNESCO world heritage site and full of picturesque colonial buildings.  Furthermore, most of the restaurants and bars are found inside the colonial buildings of the historic center.  They are the typical bars and restaurants of Brazil which have tables on the street.  As a result, they are perfect for people watching.



Sao Luis - Ribeirao source

In the historic center you’ll find most of the points of interest of Sao Luís including the Igreja da Se Church, Ribeirao source, Casa do Maranhao, Benedito Leite Square as well as several museums.  The new town of Sao Luis is very close to the historic center.  In the new town you’ll find lots of shops, market stalls as well as fast food restaurants.

Beaches of Sao Luis Island (Maranhao Island)

Things to do in Sao Luis - Beaches of Sao Luis Island (Maranhao Island)

There are several beaches on Maranhao island, all a short driving distance from Sao Luis.  Beaches include Calhau, San Marcos, Aracagy as well as Espigao.  Furthermore, Espigao has a pier which is a good location to watch the sunset.

Colonial Buildings

Things to do in Sao Luis, Brazil - Historic center of Sao Luis - UNESCO world heritage center

Sao Luis is a very easy going town, if it’s on your route I’d recommend staying overnight and taking some time to photograph the points of interest and colonial buildings.  I took pictures at night and felt safe walking around even when the streets were deserted.  There is one part of historic center which has a few bars and live music.  It’s around this area you’ll see quite a few people drinking in the street.  I had a drink in one of the bars which gives me bragging rights to having drank in a UNESCO world heritage bar!


How to get from Sao Luis to Belem

Overnight bus from Sao Luis to Belem, 13 hours, 121 Reais

Overnight bus from Sao Luis to Belem, 13 hours, 121 Reais

The bus service from Sao Luis to Belem is very luxurious.  It’s a 13 hour journey which will fly by as you’ll slept comfortably.  In fact, I can only remember getting on the bus, going to sleep and waking up in Belem.  The Transbrasiliana service is very good, as a result, I recommend you take this service wherever possible in Brazil.  An interesting fact about Belem is that it’s the Portuguese word for Bethlehem.

Belem to Macapa