- Closest airport is in São Luís (SLZ IATA). Shared vans, occasionally referred to as transporte alternativo, pick up passengers at the airport on their way from São Luís to Barreirinhas - ask the guys in yellow polo shirt written "Barreirinhas" to help you, 3.5 hr, R$ 70 (October 2018). There are departures on the wee hours as well, to cater for the flights coming from São Paulo that often land between 2-4am.
Air taxis to Barreirinhas landstrip can be arranged through agencies.
- Taxis to São Luís leave as soon as they are full, 3–4 hours, R$140 (4 people). Many in the morning, few locals will ride along after dark. Note that a taxi can take considerably longer than a bus depending on where your fellow passengers want to be dropped off.
By 4x4 from Jericoacoara
- Now there is a better road between Paulino Neves and Barreirinhas, 4x4 transport from Jericoacoara can take you all the way to Barreirinhas in about 7 hours. Prices are less than R$1000 for a car up to 4 and R$1200 for a car up to 6 passengers. Just check with Global Connection (globalconnection.tur.br) on Rua do Forró in Jericoacoara. If you want they will try to combine you with other travellers to share a car to save expenses.
- Four buses a day from São Luís from the Rodoviaria, 06AM–08:45AM-02PM–07:30PM, 4 hours 1/2, 29 R$, Cisne Branco company.
- Vans do the same route as the buses to São Luís
- Several daily pick-up trucks to Paulino Neves, with onward connections to Tutóia and Parnaíba, R$13, 2,5 hours.
- Daily boat to Atins via Mandacaru (also stops in Caburé upon request) around 9AM. 4 hours, 5 R$. Returns well after dark, depending on tide.
By other means
- Arrange transport to the dunes, and then walk some 27 km across to Atins. This can be done in a day, or with camping half way.
- Agencies can arrange for a combination of water and overland transport, typically to Parnaíba or Jericoacoara.
Mostly walkable. Otherwise a mototaxi will take you anywhere for R$ 3.
- 1 Preguiças Lighthouse (Farol de Preguiças), Mandacaru.
Barreirinhas is the main gateway to Lençóis Maranhenses, and virtually all tours can be arranged from there. However, do note that since Santo Amaro operators blocked external tour agencies from taking tourists there, tours going there organized from Barreirinhas got more expensive because the price now includes two fees: one for the Barreirinhas agent and another to the Santo Amaro's one.
- Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon). The least taxing of the standard tours to the lagoons. The most popular offer leaves around 14h from the city, picks up clients and gets to the ferry at around 15h. After crossing, it's a half-hour bumpy ride to the foot of a medium-sized, smooth-sloped dune. In wet season, the guide is likely to walk the group through a circuit of four to five lagoons, but everybody congregates at the start (the highest point) for watching the sunset. Compared to Lagoa Bonita, the panoramic views are not as impressive, but the individual lagoons are prettier. R$ 80 if booked through your accommodation, R$ 60 if bargained and booked directly at the agent (it helps to book all your tours with the same agent).
- Lagoa Bonita (Beautiful Lagoon). The most popular offer leaves around 14h from the city, picks up clients and gets to the ferry at around 15h. After crossing, it's a one hour ride to the foot of a high, steep dune (there's a rope to help you up). In wet season, the guide is likely to walk the group through a circuit of three to four lagoons, but everybody congregates near the Brazilian flag at the start (the highest point) for watching the sunset. Compared to Lagoa Azul, there are great panoramic views of white sand dunes as far as the eye can reach, but this expanse might make it harder to forget the crowds around you. R$ 80 if booked through your accommodation, R$ 60 if bargained and booked directly at the agent (it helps to book all your tours with the same agent).
- Boat trip along Rio Preguiças. Starting in Barrerinhas, it goes downstream with three usual stops at Vassouras, Mandacaru and Caburé. This is a touristic tour, but you can ask to be dropped at Atins before the boat returns nonstop to Barreirinhas. Some agencies charge extra for that, some don't. Likewise, some agencies charge extra for luggage. R$ 90 if booked through your accommodation, R$ 60 all the way to Atins, luggage included, if bargained and booked directly at the agent (it helps to book multiple tours with the same agent).
- Cardosa floating tour. Usually a morning-only tour, people go to Cardosa village, from where they hop on buoys and float their way to a pick-up point (visibility is low and snorkeling is not really an option). R$ 80 if booked through your accommodation, R$ 50 if bargained and booked directly at the agent (it helps to book multiple tours with the same agent).
- Daytrip to Atins. Road tour visiting all the main attractions around Atins. R$ 130 if booked through your accommodation, R$ 110 if bargained and booked directly at the agent (it helps to book multiple tours with the same agent).
- Daytrip to Parnaíba Delta. In the unlikely possibility that you're not following the Rota das Emoções trail, but you still want to visit the Parnaíba Delta, it's possible to organize it as a day trip from Barreirinhas. It leaves at around 7:30am from town, from where it's a 2h-ride to Tutóia. The boat tour will visit mangroove areas, seahorse spotting areas, make a couple of stops on idylic fluvial islands for bathing and finally wait for the ibis birds to fly back to their favorite island at sunset. R$ 400/500/600 for 2/4/6 people for transport to Tutóia, plus R$ 75 each for the boat trip itself..
The region is a big producer of cashew nut. Funily enough, it's not found at the central produce market, but either at shops nearby the church (R$ 50/kg) or on stalls inside the National Park (R$ 40/kg). (August/2018)
- Terraços do Preguiça, Beira Rio. Varied menu, mostly seafood. Dishes for two at around R$40.
- 1 Ressaca (at main square). Good selection of burgers, and some fingerbits.
There is something most every day, but locations shift. Ask around.
- Chill on one of the stalls along the riverfront boardwalk.
Beds in the center are fairly expensive, with one outstanding exception:
- Pousada Gomes (Around the corner from the Mototaxis). Very basic, shared bathrooms. Single R$10.
- 1 Pousada do Porto (Riverfront some 300 metres upriver from the boardwalk.), ☏ . Double with fan R$40. Also air con..
- 2 Pousada Belo Horizonte, Avenida Joaquim Soeiro de Carvalho (Next to bus station). Overpriced. Single R$50.
- 3 Posada Lins, Avenida Joaquim Soeiro de Carvalho (By the mototaxi stand). Bright and clean, spacious bathrroms, courtyard with small pool and hammocks. Single R$60.
- Pousada Lagoa Bonito is at the top of the sanddune where there is a great view of the marina ..... double with fan and good breakfast for R$40.
Slow internet at R$2–3 an hour.
- São Luís: the state capital. Four services a day (6:00, 9:00, 14:00, 18:45), 5 hours, R$ 51, Cisne Branco.
- Paulino Neves: village at trekking distance from the site known as "small Lençóis", also with lagoons on sand dunes.
- Tutóia: gateway to Parnaíba delta. Two services a day (11:00, 19:00), 2 hours, R$ 15, Cisne Branco.
|Routes through Barreirinhas|
|END ← São Luís ←||W E||→ Paulino Neves → Fortaleza|