Every year, during Brazil’s rainy season, visitors at Lençóis Maranhenses National Park can get a taste of the country’s desert lagoons. In 2018, travel influencer Thiago Lopez, who is no stranger to the crystal clear bodies of water formed at the sand dunes, shared a video of himself running down a dune and diving into a turquoise lagoon on Instagram.
“The Brazilian desert lagoons: this wonderful combination (white sand dunes and sweet water from the rains) you found only here, in Brazil!” Lopez wrote in the video’s caption. “I made this video during the sunset time in Andorinhas’ Lagoon.”
The video has since received over 1.9 million views.
Sand dunes are the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park’s main attraction. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, two rivers run through the park and push sand from the interior of South America to the Atlantic Ocean. Thousands of tons of sediment are then deposited along Brazil’s northern coast.
During the dry season, the sand can be blown inland and carried as far as 30 miles. The result is a series of gigantic sand dunes. During the rainy season, however, the dunes are filled with rainwater from torrential storms. At their peak, usually in July, some of the lagoons can be more than 300 feet long and 10 feet deep.
At almost 600 square miles, the park recommends experienced guides for those who want to tap into their sense of adventure like Lopez. If you plan on visiting these ephemeral lagoons that disappear every dry season, Travel and Leisure recommends going between July and September.
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