Brazil is famous all over the world for its bright colorful carnival (and, of course, curvy girls!), the iconic beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, large megapolises and natural attractions. Among the latter, a special place takes the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, which is located on the Atlantic coast in the northern part of the country.

Lençóis Maranhenses is the most unusual desert in the world. It is located close to the equator near the Atlantic Ocean

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Julius Dadalti (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Bruno Lenharo (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Danielle Pereira / flickr (CC BY 2.0)

At first glance, it might seem that has no differences comparing to other deserts. But in fact it really has!

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Artur Warchavchik (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Grecia Alejandra Gomez Iriarte (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

The territory has absolutely no vegetation and is covered with sand dunes instead, the height of which in some places reaches forty meters. The Amazon River basin is not far away, so rainfalls in Lençóis Maranhenses are not so rare. It rains 300 times more during the season than in the famous Sahara. The water has no time to absorb, and as a result, small lagoons with turquoise, blue and green water mirrors appear between the snow-white peaks.

This fantastic landscape, which stretches to the horizon, is simply mesmerizing!

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Rosanetur from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (CC BY 2.0)


Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Ilias Bartolini / flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Alexandre gustavo ugarte (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

The desert may seem lifeless, but still, it has its inhabitants. Crabs, shrimps, turtles, and fish, whose eggs are brought from the ocean by birds, are found in the lagoons. Not far from the national park the town of Jijoca de Jericoacoara is located, whose inhabitants earn their living by fishing in the desert. When drought sets in, locals move in neighboring regions to find a job.

Most of the sand is in motion, which creates bizarre patterns on its surface. The reason is simple: there is an ocean nearby, which causes strong winds in the desert

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Cristiano Quintino (CC BY-SA 3.0)


Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Ramonkiloco (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: piqsels (CC0 1.0)

The Lençóis Maranhenses Desert was formed many thousands of years ago. The river carried quartz from the mainland, which was gradually deposited at the mouth. Sea currents and frequent winds also gradually transferred crushed quartz back, so the plain began to turn into a desert shining with whiteness.

Silky sands and snow-white oases of turquoise lakes… This is one of the most unusual places in the world!

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Brunonogaki (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Artur Warchavchik (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

Lençóis Maranhenses

Photo: Artur Warchavchik (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

The best time to visit Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is from June to September. The rainy season will already be over, and the water level in the lagoons will be on its maximum.

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park on map: