Nearly 10 hours to the northwest of Fortaleza is one of the most unique landscapes that Brazil has to offer a world explorer. First off, the only way you're getting in is to charter a guide or join a tour using 4-wheel drive trucks because there are literally no access roads. This is because the majority of the park is a mass of rolling sand dunes dotted with freshwater lagoons and sparkling lakes. It sounds paradoxical, we know, but from June to November is the rainy season in this tropical area just outside the Amazon Basin and, during that time, this semi-arid desert turns into a paradise of oases.
Local villages like Barreirinhas and Santo Amaro do Maranhao are quite close to some of these gorgeous lagoons and are points of departure for the tours that operate in the area. Both Off-Road Adventure Tours and Biosfera Brazil provide various tour listings and activities. Have no qualms about Lencois Maranhenses; if you've got the time, it is a must-see!