Sao Luis do Maranhao is the capital of Maranhao state, in the northeastern Brazil.
Sao Luis is located in a transition area (between the Ceara and the Amazon, the sertao and other northern regions of Brazil) that comprises a huge variety of ecosystems.
Maranhao is a mix of beaches, forests, rivers and lakes that differentiate it from other Brazilian destinations. Its preserved area of forests, imaculated white sands and wonderful coastal scenery are unique.
Anyway, Maranhao is mostly known because of the Lencois Maranhenses: a huge desert of imaculate white dunes (many of them dozens of meters high) with hundreds of rivers and lagoons of crystalline water - and beaches... An unique landscape that lasts a few months, after the rain season.
Best time to visit Sao Luis do Maranhao and Lencois Maranhenses
The best time of the yar to visit Lençois Maranhenses is the May-August period, after the rain season, when the lagoons are still full. From September on, most of the lagoons will dry up, and their splendor and beauty decreases or disappears.
If you don’t intend to visit Lençois Maranhenses, if you just want to visit Sao Luis, Belém, the mouth of the Amazon (or even its central and southern parts) than it may be advantageous not to go in May. Consider in this case the June-September period. That’s the best time. The month of May can be too rainy, and September is a typically dry month, with the advantages of being in the low season (lower prices, and less people).
Take into account the basics about local weather: the more important issue is the rain; heavy downfalls can affect your holidays. The issue of air temperatures is not relevant, and for a very simple reason: they are fairly constant all throughout the year.
For details on monthly precipitation, humidity and temperatures, see the graphs below, for Sao Luís.
Average air temperatures (Celsius): Sao Luis do Maranhao
Source: INMET.gov.br, Gráficos climatológicos (1961-1990)
Humidity levels in Sao Luis do Maranhao
Sao Luís monthly precipitation levels (mm)
Sao Luis Map
Sao Luis (the city), Delta das Americas, the Lencois Maranhenses and the Chapadas das Mesas and Floresta dos Guardas. See: Travel Trips and Tours in Maranhao
Amazon and Ceara beaches
Sao Luis do Maranhao has a reasonable number of hotels, mostly small ones.
Sao Luis Airport: Cunha Machado Airport.
Regular flights from Belem, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Manaus, Curitiba, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador or Sao Paulo.
Sao Luis (the city) - a colourful city, with interesting monuments as the Sao Cathedral, the Remedios Square, the Santo Antonio Chapel, the Maranhao Art and History Museum or excelent beaches as Ponta d'Areia, Santo Antonio Fort and Calhau. Sao Luis is the indisputable hub to visit other nearby travel highlights: the Delta and the Ilha (Island) do Caju, the Lencois Maranhenses ("the sheets"), the Chapada das Mesas and the Floresta (Forest) dos Guaras.
Delta das Americas - an ecological paradise of rivers, creeks, sandy areas and wildlife, mingled with isolated river beaches.
Ilha do Caju - a set of preserved dunes, forests and wildlife in the Delta
Chapada das Mesas - another very preserved eco-site, with astonishing waterfalls (Pedra Caida).
Floresta dos Guaras (Amazonian Maranhao)
Floresta dos Guaras is a natural sanctuary - comprising several islands, bays, rivers, wetlands and beaches.