Travel article: Sao Luis

Travel blogger: Christelle & Cedric

Trip story: 3 months in South America!

Image for blog article: Sao Luis

São Luís - Vila Maranhão, São Luís - State of Maranhão, Brazil

Brazil 3 days - January 2019






We leave our little paradise to reach São Luis further north.

São Luis was founded by the French who attempted a raid in Latin America in 1612. However, 3 years later, the French were defeated against the Portuguese and had to return.

Today São Luis still preserves the traces of successive conquests through architecture, the mixed population and is described as Brazilian Jamaica because the inhabitants once captured the Jamaican radio frequencies and discovered this music and immediately loved it. In addition, they share with Jamaica the weight of the history of Beninese slaves sent by the Portuguese to Jamaica and São Luis.


From Atins to São Luis it is a 6 hours’ journey that awaited us: 2 hours of jeep in the dunes then 4 hours of mini bus. (Once again, no one is standing, one person per seat, the driver respects the rules of the road, this will always surprise us in Brazil;)).

Arrived in São Luis we slept at Casa Frankie in the historic center. A large colonial house with high ceilings, a patio with a pool, a beautiful pink facade. Since we’ve been to Mexico we do not get tired of colonial houses.


Quick restaurant by the kilo (a kind of buffet where we pay by weight!) before achieving our mission of the day: Cédric makeover! It is with a photo that he goes to the hairdresser to show him what he wants. The hairdresser, a man of a certain age, takes the mission very seriously and 30 minutes later, no problems of misunderstanding, Cédric has the same haircut as in the photo (and all Brazilians and footballers;) new nickname: Neymar senior.


São Luis only wakes up at 4pm when the sun goes down and the weather is not so hot anymore. The main square of the historic center awakens, street vendors pull out plastic chairs and caipirinha bars, music starts and locals of all ages join and talks.

This is where we will attend a Crioula dance show (dance imported by the slaves), skirts fly, there is color and smiles, definitely we love this atmosphere!

The houses in the historic center are beautiful (although decrepit) with facades in Azujelos (patterned tiles) and multicolored painting. It is not for nothing that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

In front of the island of São Luis is Alcântara, a small village founded by the French also and which has kept all its charm (Well it's still a little too quiet for us!) We arrived by boat after a arduous journey and go directly to a small restaurant where the mama tells us to sit under the hut. Nice but we do not see any chairs or table! The grandson tumbles and he pulls table and chairs, we will be the only guests with a breathtaking view of the bay! The dish: grilled fish and shrimp with lots of side dishes, beans (of course they follow us!), rice, corn flour, tomatoes. A delight!


We also tasted the typical dish of Nordeste- moqueca. Shrimps cooked in a curry of peppers, tomatoes. A delight too, we are really surprised by the Brazilian cuisine!


# We stayed at Casa Frankie, a beautiful colonial mansion for 130 real at night. Located in the historic center (very important not to be anywhere else in the city!)

# we tasted the moqueca of Cafofinho da tia Dica, a delight for 85 real for 2

# Alcântara is very cute but too calm. There are ferries that take 1 hours and a half to cross for 15 real per person. Check the schedules at the port the same day.

# Cantaria restaurant in Alcântara not to be missed. A delight!

# From Atins to Barreinhas: there is a jeep leaving at 5.30 am, 2h ride through the dunes for 25 real.

# Barreinhiras-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)

Leave a comment

Feb 12, 2019 - 02:02 PM

Cela donne envie , Les plats succulents .miam


Christelle & Cedric
Feb 12, 2019 - 02:09 PM

On se regale !


Mar 1, 2019 - 06:38 AM

on revoit avec plaisir ces mets succulents (surtout quand on a faim et pas envie de cuisiner) lol bise