Maranhão Travel Guide

What you need to know

Maranhão, a captivating gem in northeastern Brazil, awaits your exploration. With its lush landscapes and vibrant culture, this region promises an unforgettable journey. Whether you're an adventurer, a history enthusiast, or a nature lover, Maranhão has something for everyone.

Picture yourself strolling along the golden sands of São Luís, the capital city. The sun gently kisses your skin as you take in the charming colonial architecture that graces the streets. Maranhão's rich history comes alive as you wander through the cobblestone alleys, discovering the past around every corner.

As you venture further, the stunning Lençóis Maranhenses National Park beckons with its otherworldly beauty. Endless sand dunes, sculpted by nature's hand, stretch as far as the eye can see. The azure lagoons nestled between the dunes offer a refreshing respite from the sun's warmth. It's a surreal landscape that will leave you in awe.

In the heart of Maranhão, the town of Barreirinhas serves as the gateway to this natural wonder. From here, you can embark on exhilarating jeep safaris or simply savor the tranquility of the surroundings.

Maranhão's culinary scene is a delightful journey in itself. Indulge in local delicacies like "arroz de cuxá" and "peixada à maranhense," dishes that showcase the region's unique flavors. Don't forget to sip on a fresh coconut water or try "tutu de feijão," a beloved bean dish.

For those seeking spiritual solace, Alcântara, a historic town, offers a glimpse into Maranhão's religious heritage. Visit the Igreja da Matriz and immerse yourself in the sacred atmosphere of this centuries-old church.

In essence, Maranhão invites you to uncover its diverse tapestry of experiences. It's a place where nature, culture, and history converge in a harmonious blend. So, pack your bags, leave behind the bustling world, and set forth on an adventure that Maranhão promises to be—captivating, enriching, and truly unforgettable.

Things To Do

Amazon Rainforest
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
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Amazon Rainforest, Amazonas, Pará, Acre, Roraima, Amapá, Rondônia, Tocantins, Maranhão, Brazil

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Maranhão hinges on its distinct seasons. The dry season, from June to September, is often considered the prime time. During this period, you'll enjoy clear skies and pleasant weather, ideal for exploring the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park and the historic streets of São Luís.

For a unique cultural experience, consider planning your trip around São João, a traditional festival celebrated in June. It's a time when the streets come alive with colorful decorations and dance performances, offering a glimpse into Maranhão's vibrant traditions.

Alternatively, if you prefer a more tranquil atmosphere, the post-rainy season, from October to December, might suit you. While the landscape is still lush from the rains, the crowds have thinned, providing a more peaceful setting to appreciate Maranhão's natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Travel Information

Currency: The official currency of Brazil is the Brazilian Real (BRL). When you arrive in Maranhão, you'll find currency exchange offices at major airports and banks where you can convert your money.

Language: Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. While English may not be widely spoken, learning a few basic Portuguese phrases can be helpful and appreciated by the locals.

Credit Cards and ATMs: Major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard are generally accepted in urban areas, hotels, and restaurants. However, it's advisable to carry some cash for small purchases in more rural areas. ATMs are widely available in cities and towns.

Plugs: Maranhão, like the rest of Brazil, uses Type N electrical outlets. These outlets have two round pins, and the standard voltage is 220V. If your devices use a different plug type or voltage, you may need a plug adapter and voltage converter.

Safety: Maranhão is generally safe for tourists, but like any destination, it's important to take common-sense precautions. Avoid displaying valuable items in public, be cautious in crowded areas, and keep an eye on your belongings. Stay in well-lit areas at night and use reputable transportation services.

Local Etiquette: Brazilians are known for their warmth and hospitality. Greet people with a friendly "Olá" (hello) and use "Por favor" (please) and "Obrigado/a" (thank you) in your interactions. When dining, it's customary to wait for the host to start the meal and keep your hands visible on the table.

Health Precautions: Ensure your routine vaccinations are up to date before traveling to Brazil. It's advisable to drink bottled water and avoid tap water. Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue by using repellent. Check if any specific vaccinations or precautions are recommended by your healthcare provider before your trip.

Emergency Contacts: In case of emergencies, the general emergency number in Brazil is 190 for the police, 192 for medical emergencies, and 193 for the fire department. It's also a good idea to know the contact information for your country's embassy or consulate in Brazil.

Cuisine: Maranhão's cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors. Try local dishes like "arroz de cuxá," "peixada à maranhense," and "tutu de feijão." Don't miss the opportunity to savor exotic fruits and fresh seafood from the region.

Travel Insurance: It's strongly recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost luggage. Check the terms of your policy to ensure it meets your needs.

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