I just got back from a wonderful week in Brazil. It was Carnaval week, but I’m not much of a partier, So I opted for a more laid back trip.
I found very reasonably priced flights direct from DC to Sao Paulo. I spent the week in Lencois Maranhenses, Salvador, and Sao Paulo. I certainly wish I had time for Rio, but I’ll check it out next time I’m in Brazil!
Lencois Maranhenses is a national park in northern Brazil with water-filled sand dunes that are truly out of this world. It’s a bit tricky to get to – I flew into Sao Luis then took a 5 hour bus to Barreirinhas, but the journey is well worth it. This place looks drastically different based on the season – the water level changes. July/August is the best time to visit Lencois Maranhenses, because the dunes fill up with bright blue water, but I believe it is still beautiful anytime of year. A plane tour of the dunes is an absolute MUST! The beautiful photos you will see if you search for Lencois Maranhenses are taken from a plane. Plus, the flight is pretty cheap – about 300 Reals per person.
Salvador is a cute city on the coast. A boat tour to some of the islands in the bay is a great way to see some pristine and untouched beaches. A walk around the old city is also a lot of fun.
Sao Paulo is bigger and much more expensive than other areas in Brazil. You won’t need much time here – a day or two should be enough. Renting a bike in Ibirapuera Park is a great way to start the day. Then make sure to head up to the Italian building for a cocktail at some point and get a beautiful city photo.