Lençóis is a small city in Bahia, Brazil. The city is very charming with cobblestone streets and many wonderful hole in the wall restaurants. Lençóis serves as a "base camp" of sorts for tourists from all over the world setting out to explore the Chapada Diamantina National Park.
There are buses coming from Salvador everyday, departing at 07:00, 16:30 and 23:30, and there are often extra buses during the high season. Buses leave Lençóis for Salvador everyday at 07:30, 13:15 and 23:30. Trip takes about 6 hours. It's better to take the night rides, arriving on early morning.
From Salvador, take the BR-324 until Feira de Santana, then take the BR-116 until it meets with the BR-242 (Bahia-Brasília) highway; or take the BA-052 from Feira de Santana to Ipirá, and then the BA-488 to Itaberaba, then continue along the BR-242 heading west. Lençóis is just 12 km off the BR-242 Bahia-Brasília highway.
Since Lençóis is a small, you can walk anywhere around town. To get out of town to see the sights in the Chapada Diamantina, book a tour and they provide transportation and guide. There are some waterfalls, swimming holes and natural slides on the outskirts of Lencois all at a walking distance.
Other than that the main attraction of Lencois the town serves as a good base for trekking trips into Chapada Diamantina National Park. There are day trips as well as longer treks of up to 5 days. The trips can be organized with a tour agency which takes care of everything including transport, guide food etc., but you can also buy a map of the park and venture out on your own. The tour agencies charge upwards of R$120 per day.
The roads outside Lençóis are full of pot holes. Be prepared for a bumpy ride when you leave the town to go on tours.
You can rent a car for R$100 for 12 hours (200km limit) or R$150 for 24 hours (no km limit). This is a cheaper alternative for seeing some of the nearby attractions without booking through a tour agency.
- Cachoeira do Diabo
- Cachoeira do Primavera/ Cachoeirinha - To get to these waterfalls you have to go up the hill at the Banco do Brasil, passing the Policia Militar and head uphill until you reach the water treatment facility. There you turn right and follow the pipeline bringing water into the facility. If you continue following this river upstream you will find Cachoeirinha at the left side of the river at a tributary. Facing Cachoeirinha you can go further on the right side. Either to visit some nice pools upstream of Cachoeirinha or take the trail a little bit to the right and follow it until Cachoeira do Primavera. It is an easy afternoon trip with not too much sun exposure. No guide needed!
- Ribeiro do Meio / Cachoeira do Sossego - You have to leave the city close to the southern church. Facing the church you follow the road on the left side for approx. 15 min. You will get to a sort of T-Junction where you should continue on a stone trail, and there should be a blue/green/yellow/red sign saying Ribeiro do Meio 4 km/40 min. On the way you will pass little stalls selling stones and drinks. 100 meters before the second stall you have to turn right to get the trail to Cachoeira do Sossego. You just need to follow the arrows indicating the trail. After about 30 min you will reach the riverbed. You jump from stone to stone for about 45 m more and you will get to the Cachoeira do Sossego. Contrary to what every "guide" in town will tell you it is an easy-to-find trail (2.5 h each way).
- Gruta da Lapa Doce
- Gruta da Pratinha
- Gruta Azul - A very commercially-oriented business and not particularly user-friendly.
- Gruta da Fumaça - Smaller, a lot less touristic, the most beautiful cristallines in the region.
Morro do Pai Inácio
- Tours - There are tour agencies all over Lençóis. You can book tours at the tour agencies themselves or through your hotel/hostel. They can take you by car to many of the locations listed in the "see" section. Short hikes are involved in actually getting to the sites.
- Rock Climbing - You can get a guide to take you rock climbing through the tour agencies. They provide all the equipment and a personal english speaking guide.
- Hiking - There are many trails and places you can go on your own or you can go with a group tour. If you go on your own, ask at your hotel/hostel where you should go or check Wikiloc and download the traces to your GPS device.
- Camping - Some hostels, like Pousada dos Duendes will arrange group camping trips. You can go on several day hikes and the guides will provide all the food and camping gear. If you have the time, it could be a lot of fun.
- Rappelling - Book through a tour agency. Make sure you check where they are going and how far the descent is. Some days they have smaller places to rappel that aren't worth the price.
- Dois Irmãos This shop near the main square sells nice camping and hiking gear.
- There are many other shops that sell t-shirts, post cards etc.
There is a Banco do Brasil agency in town.
- Ristorante Trattoria Bell'Italia, Praça Horacio de Mattos, 856, ☎ . 12.00 - 23.00. The menu is made up of simple dishes from the traditional Italian cuisine. Bread is homemade and the pasta like Lasagna, Maltagliati, and Crespelle...are handmade by the owners themselves. Naturally you can also enjoy the wheat-flour pasta, sauces readily made, and the pizzas in more than 20 different flavours.
- Bodega, Rua das Pedras,121, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Run by the friendly English-speaking owner Luanda, it's a nice choice for contemporary food.
- Cozinha Aberta, Avenida Rui Barbosa, 42, ☎ . Gastronomic, slow food vibe.
- Lampião Culinária Regional, Rua da Baderna, 51, ☎ . Local Bahian specialities.
- Natora, Main Square (near Banco do Brasil), ☎ . Arabic food.
- Camping Alquimia, right side of the road that heads back towards the highway, right at the beginning of the paved road. The cheapest place to camp in the city. R$15 per person or R$20 with breakfast.
- Pousada dos Duendes, Rua do Pires s/n, ☎ . The owner, Olivia, is an English lady who speaks fluent English and Portuguese. There are options of both dorms as well as private rooms. Rooms are pretty basic but you probably will only be there to sleep.
- Pousada da Lurdinha, Rua Alto do Cajueiro s/n (5 min walk from the rodoviaria, across the river from the Praca), ☎ . This pousada is run by a wonderful woman, Dona Lurdinha. The breakfast has with regional food, and different fresh juice every day. Rooms are basic, and simple. You can talk with Dona Lurdinha and she will help you set up trips with guides that are cheaper than at the travel agencies.
- Pousada Corona de Pedra, Rua Samuel Sales 28 (10 min walk from the bus station), ☎ . Very nice, family-run, friendly pousada. The breakfast buffet is all is self-made and self-backed. The owner works also as tour guide. He will gladly take you to any tour. Simple doubles from R$60. Luxery Rooms for R$100.
- Estalagem (Pousada do Alcino), Rua Tomba Surrão, 139 -Tomba, ☎ . This guesthouse (aka posada) has been operating for over 20 years and serves delicious breakfasts. with delicate care and love. Although simple, without any luxury it´s very clean and comfortable.
- Hotel Canto das Aguas, Ave. Senhor dos Passos, 01, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A hotel right on the river. Rooms are well appointed and comfortable. Most have a river view. This is the most expensive place to stay in town, most like an American Hotel. Pool and lush gardens.
- Vale do Capão - a small town on the other side of the national park. A completely different vibe from Lençóis.