The mixing of black, white, and indigenous peoples is present in crafts, cooking and almost all elements of the rich popular culture of Maranhão. Bumba-meu-boi, Tambor de Crioula and Caroço, and the Feast of the Holy Spirit, among many other cultural expressions, make Maranhão a great tourist destination.

With the greatest diversity of ecosystems in all of Brazil, Maranhão is divided into clusters with specific attractions:

- Lençóis Maranhenses, an extensive set of dunes that form the only desert in the world with thousands of crystal clear lagoons. This particular formation in the region occurs due to excessive rains in the first half of the year, which fill up the lagoons. During the dry season, many lagoons disappear.

- São Luís, the state capital of French and Portuguese colonization, has many historic buildings that have been declared World Heritage sites by Unesco.

- Chapada das Mesas, a place tailored for fans of extreme sports.

(Source: Embratur)


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Partial aerial view of São Luís.




Copyright © Geographic Guide - Brazil Tourism, South America.


Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, in Barreirinhas, Maranhão (© Werner Zotz).


Maranhão map


National Park


Building in the Historic Center on São Luís, capital of Maranhão.


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Historic Center


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Maurício Moreira