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Where to See Thousands of Crystal Clear Lagoons in One Trip
Alyssa Brown
byAlyssa Brown

Not sure what to pop into your birthday agenda this year? We’ve got a hot tip for you, especially if you’re a July to September baby. There are thousands of crystal clear freshwater lagoons hidden in crevices of a stretch of Brazilian sand dunes, and they’ve got birthday goals written in the sand. Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is well off the usual tourist track, located a few hours from São Luís.

Photography: Fabricio Taglietti​

The Scene

Think miles upon miles of desert peaks with perfect mirage-like pools tucked between them. While the local folklore is that the Caeté Indians of the region awoke one day to find the land covered in sand, there’s a bit of a phenomenon happening here. This is a desert region that gets a big time rainy season, and that rain collects in these sand valleys, creating lagoons of varying blues, greens and blacks. So, you can literally spend your birthday hopping from one swimming hole to the next.

Photography: Roi Dimor​

Travel Details

The lagoons are at their peak from July through September, followed by a hot and dry season before the rains come again and work their magic. To get to the national park, you’ll fly into São Luís and you can opt to stay in a town on the southern edge known as Atins, or in Barreirinhas. You’ll hire a 4-wheel drive truck to get into the park and ride the sand dunes. It’s a journey, but that’s what birthdays are made for, right?

Photography: Ruy Barros​

Organic Farms

The beauty of this part of the world is that you can totally do your getaway on a budget or go with a more bespoke experience. La Ferme de Georges in Atins offers breezy bungalow rooms in the desert with an organic farm on-site and a plethora of local fruits and veggies. Wake up on your bucket list worthy birthday and fuel up on fresh Brazilian fare before heading off for a day off sand dune climbing and spotting freshwater fishies in the desert.

Photography: Roi Dimor​

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