Introducing Ceará, Piauí & Maranhão
These three Northeastern states stretch along Brazil’s only north-facing coast and deep into the arid interior. The main draw for visitors, the beaches of Ceará, are arrayed for hundreds of glorious kilometers either side of Fortaleza, the fun-loving biggest city. These are some of the very best beaches in Brazil, some supporting growing resort towns, others with at most a small, traditional fishing village. The hip travelers' hangout Jericoacoara, uniquely located inside a dune-swept national park, is the jewel of Ceará’s gorgeous coastline.
An adventurous coastal route leads west from Jericoacoara to the scenic, wildlife-rich Delta do Parnaíba and the vast expanse of high dunes and clear lagoons known as the Lençóis Maranhenses, one of Brazil’s highlights. The Lençóis' beauty will floor you. Further west still are two of Brazil’s most picturesque, intriguing colonial gems: half-decayed, half-restored São Luís, with its markedly Afro-Brazilian culture, and its perfect sleepy neighbor Alcântara.