Take the Long Way Home
Just beyond the Lençóis Maranhenses lies one of Brazil's most beautiful and still unexplored regions, the Parnaíba River Delta. This magical landscape is composed of sand dunes, beaches, river estuaries, mangroves, islands, and remote villages. If you have a few extra days you can travel from Barreirinhas, by boat and/or 4*4, to Paulinho Neves, on the edge of the Pequenos Lençóis, another protected dune area, and then to Tutóia, the jumping-off point to a number of remote islands in the delta. One of the largest islands, Ilha do Caju, is a nature sanctuary with only one small rustic pousada (www.ilhadocaju.com.br), where guests can truly get away from it all. Instead of backtracking all the way to São Luis, you can continue overland to Jericoacoara and then to Fortaleza. Of course you can also start in Fortaleza/Jeri and make the trip in the other direction. There are several companies that organize this trip. In Barreirinhas contact Ecodunas (tel. 098/3349-0545; www.ecodunas.com.br) or Rota das Trilhas (tel. 098/3349-0372; www.rotadastrilhas.com.br). You may also contact adventure specialists Jeri Off Road (tel. 088/3669-2268; www.jeri.tur.br) in Jericoacoara to help you plan your itinerary.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.