Atins, Barreirinhas - State of Maranhão, Brazil
3 days - January 2019
The road from Fortaleza to São Luis in northern Brazil has been called "the road of the emotions". The following routes were indeed not without emotions ... the best way to connect the various fishing villages is by buggy that rolls at full speed on the pristine beaches, to slalom in the middle of the dunes. No roads, no signs, the driver follows its instinct. Unfortunately we didn’t have the budget for this legendary trip buggy so we took a 4x4 instead. In 6 hours we will still go through the beach, the dunes, in the middle of the hundreds of wind turbines present in this region (we must say that the wind blows) and we will take a boat. It shakes! To continue with the emotions, we are stopped by the cops - not the most safe and pleasant thing in Latin America ... Big stress when they talk about our bags, look at them. We can’t understand anything. After 10 minutes, our driver comes back and explains that the bags must be stored outside the car and not inside. When you were told that there was a highway code in Brazil ... small fine and we go again.
Our driver tries to explain to us in a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish that he had 5 children from 5 different women. And despite the fact that we clearly can’t understand anything in Portuguese, we understood that the 5 women were big problems! Funny Daninho.
Arrived in Atins, we discover that Jericoacoara next door was developed! Still no roads, we walk on the sand for 3 days, no supermarket, no 3G network, a small church and some houses are present and the village is accessible only by boat or 2 hours of 4x4 through deep lagoons, a river and dunes. The adventure!
There are some Europeans and Argentinians who have settled here to enjoy a slow life (with a lot of cannabis ...!) The concept of time is different here, we enjoy.
Many kitesurfers are also passing because this village has the ideal conditions to ride (but we were out of season and we did not see one!)
Our house inhabited by Facundo an Argentinian who moved here 6 years ago is beautiful. High ceilings, amazing deco worthy of a Parisian loft, amazing! (Good mosquitoes that devour us it's not as fun...)
Very quickly we discover that we are at most 6 tourists in this small village at the end of the world, we are really out of this world and happy to be here.
The reason for our visit: discover Lençóis Maranhenses National Park.
If it is possible to do a trek of 3 days we quickly realized that walking 70 km in the sand by 40 degrees, without shade, it would not be for us so it's with a 4x4 that we go for the day.
Rainwater lagoons form between the sand dunes of perfect white, the water is blue fluo, it's like being on the moon! It's really unbelievable. Lagoon of 7 women, tropical lagoon, lagoon Bonita, we are spoiled!
In addition we have some sensations on the road with the 4x4 making its way through the dunes and accelerating downhill: we are on a rollercoaster!
To end this morning in surreal landscapes, we stop in a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. On the menu: the best shrimp in the world, just that. Honestly they do not deserve this title but it was still nice!
The next day, we decide to go in search of the Guaras, these red ibis who come back every night to Atins.
We ask a fisherman to take us there, after 20 minutes of navigation, he asks us to get off the boat and sit down. We wait about ten minutes and then for 30 minutes ibis pass over our heads. A hundred of them fly, today we think back to this little one who does not keep pace and is left behind. Amazing show that concludes with a beautiful sunset.
We can only recommend Atins, this little paradise at the end of the world!
# trip Jericoacoara-Atins: is done in 2 Days with 6 buses / boat or transfer in 4x4 in 6 hours for 280 real per person. Small luxury, we chose the latter option.
# we stayed at The Cool Fish: we recommend. 115 real a night.
# being out of season, only one restaurant was open and we did not even test it! On the menu pasta and mangoes;)
# excursion from 9am to 3.30pm, 4x4 in the lagoons: 80 real per person
# fisherman's boat to see the red ibis: 40 real per person.
# From Atins to Barreirinhas: there is a jeep leaving at 5.30 am, 2h ride through the dunes for 25 real.
# Barreirinhas-Sao Luis: either bus for 51 real (5h journey) or mini van that leave from the main square for 60 real, 4h30 drive (door to door)