The little-known Brazilian village of Lençóis will be a journey beyond your own experiences, writes Wagner Nogueira Neto.
A trip to Lençóis in north-eastern Brazil is an escape from usual tourist traps. A small town located in the Chapada Diamantina National Park, Lençóis is situated about six hours away from Salvador, in the state of Bahia.
The town itself is spectacular, with buildings dating from the 18th and 19th century still well conserved. As it is not a very common place for European, or even Brazilian tourists to visit, it is still very cheap to spend time in Lençóis. During the high season (July, December and January) accommodation in a hostel will cost between R$25-R$30 which adds up to around €10-12 per night. At any other time, these prices could even be halved, while visitors can enjoy a large meal for R$10 (€4).
For the adventurous traveller, Lençóis boasts a wealth of outdoor pursuits to choose from such as hiking, rafting, camping and abseiling.
Plus, there are plenty of sights worth a visit within walking distance of the town, however it’s best to take a guide to avoid getting lost!
Paying a guide in the hostel may seem like the obvious option, but it may prove to be the most costly.
If you know the name of the place that you would like to visit, you can always walk downtown and ask a local to bring you there. They will charge much less for this service, R$10 instead of the R$40 that official guides will charge at some hostels.
Locals will take you to places such as Ribeirão do Meio and the Serrano, an area of the Lençóis river where visitors can swim and Travelenjoy a natural jacuzzi massage. However, hostel staff will arrange the vast majority of the more exciting trips.
A usual day trip is a hike to the 380 meter high Fumaça Waterfall. It is a two hour walk to the waterfall and back, but most of the trek is done over flat land and there are many more stunning waterfalls to be seen along the way. On the way back, there is a beautiful sunset view from the top of the Pai Inácio Mount.
The absence of a beach is more than made up for with the sandy Pratinha river. Travellers who wish to explore the crystal clear waters of the river can do so by renting scuba gear and will enjoy swimming with the fish!
Flowing through caves, the water of the Pratinha river is illuminated by the sunlight for roughly 20 minutes each day, giving out a strong blue light. A similar, but even more impressive event is seen in the concealed lake of the Poço Encantado.
A chance to experience the traditional nightlife shouldn’t be missed. Visitors who travel to the town during June and July as the locals prepare for Festa de São João (Festival of St. John), should join in with the traditional music and capoeira dance.
Once you have visited Lençóis, it will be difficult to tear yourself away from the natural beauty and welcoming people!