Brazil · Lençóis Maranhenses
The area of the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park looks like out of space; dunes just like in Sahara desert, halted by some freshwater ponds. Some of them do not dry out, even if temperatures are very high for a few months.
This national park in Maranhão State (close to Sao Luis) is one of Brazil’s top natural attractions. It is an ecosystem formed of white sand dunes (some tower up to 130 feet high when conditions are right) which cover 383,000 acres and looks like bedsheets (lençóis in Portuguese) spread out on the north east coast.
Lençóis Maranhenses receives quite a big amount of rain annually, so it is hard to categorize as an archetypal desert. The rainwater accumulates in the valleys in between sand dunes creating numerous emerald and turquoise lagoons.
Seasonal lagoons which fill up with rainwater, mostly during the first 6 months of the year, make it a unique kind of landscape.
Visitors can swim in the lagoons which have a safe water level. The lagoons are surprisingly warm to swim in reaching up to 30 degrees. Additionally, if you have a chance to wallow yourself in the natural pools, please do not be surprised if seeing shoals of fish and turtle swimming from two rivers which flow through the park. Once the dry season returns, these creatures completely vanish without a trace.