This is not Lençóis Maranheses, the stunning sand dunes near São Luis, but Lençóis in the Chapada Diamantina, a national park about 6 hours away from Salvador.
If you like hiking and waterfalls, and don’t mind hiring a guide it’s the place to be! It was insanely dry when I went, apparently there hadn’t been proper rain in awhile, so it really reminded me of Minas.
As a town, Lencois has cobbled streets, lots of restaurants and pousadas. It’s very sweet, and I had excellent food there! Hotels go from very upmarket to dorms, so just shop around.
The highlight of the Chapada Diamantina is the cachoeira fumaça, but it’s been so dry that apparently there’s barely any water in the waterfall, so we didn’t bother to make the effort to go.
However we had two wonderful hikes, one entirely on foot, and the other further afield. Both times were with guides, I think that is the way to go, since they really knew where everything was.
First day we walked from the town straight into countryside, until we found a marvellous waterfall, and then we walked to the next one!
On my birthday we drove further, were in a waterfall by 11am, then we hiked a mountain, had lunch and swam again in this beautiful pool, though disturbed by a drone (what do people get out of those things?), we also explored a cave which was beautiful, though I almost had a panic attack when the guide insisted we switched all lights off. Not a fan of being underground in utter blackness.
But a few hours, a couple of caipis and an amazing meal later that one low point was erased and me and my friend got a wee bit plastered and ended up sharing a bowl of banana ice cream and a passionfruit caipirinha, deciding to watch a film and I passed out about 2 minutes in!
The next day was a hungover blur with the miracle of breakfast and Netflix to brighten it. After having to check out we fell asleep on the hotel’s sofas instead, until it was time to get the night bus to Salvador for our next adventure.