The capital of the state of Maranhão, built on an island two degrees south of the equator, does not feature among the top Brazilian destinations, in spite of its declaration by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. The city is a unique example of Portuguese colonial architecture on the equatorial region. If you want to discover a completely different Brazil, a couple of days in São Luís will do no harm at all.
1. HOW TO GET THERE
São Luís is too far away from any other tourist destination. For that reason, the easiest way of getting to the city is by plane. Check flight fares and timetables both with Gol and Tam. You are likely to discover your flight from the southeast region of Brazil to Maranhão will involve a connecting flight in Brasilia.
2. WHEN TO GO
The second fortnight in June is the ideal period to visit São Luís, at it is then when the festas juninas take place. The festivities are one of the most wonderful popular festivals in the entire Brazil. Outstanding within the festas juninas, you’ll find the celebration of the
bumba-meu-boi, typical from the state of Maranhão.
If you can’t make your trip to São Luís coincide with the bumba-meu-boi, then try to choose some dates that will allow you to do a side trip to the awesome Lençóis Maranhenses. The best time to visit the region is the period between June and September.
Heavy rain falls in São Luís during the rainy season, from January to May. And we do mean heavy rain.
3. CAREFUL WITH
The stifling heat all year round. Some shady streets in the historic centre of the city, both day and night. Let your instinct guide you, and always play it safe.
4. WE LIKE THE MOST
The fantastic architecture, the friendliness of its people.
5. WE LIKE THE LEAST
The outrageous abandonment and degradation of the historical heritage; the ubiquitous presence of one of the most powerful families in Brazil.
6. FAVOURITE PLACES
The Projeto Reviver (historic centre of São Luís), the wonderful façade of the Pousada Colonial.
7. PIECE OF ADVICE
- you can’t just go to São Luís and not visit the outstanding Lençóis Maranhenses. Barreirinhas, the town that acts as an entry point to the Lençóis, is just three hours away from São Luís. If you don’t want to do the trip on your own, you will find in São Luís packages with transport and accommodation sorted out for you.
- from São Luís you can do a day trip to neighbouring Alcântara. You just need to take a boat to get you there. Is the sea is rough that day, you’re likely to get seasick.
- São Luís is the Brazilian capital of reggae music, enjoy it!
You don’t need any vaccines if you are visiting São Luís. Yellow fever is an issue on the Amazon region of the state of Maranhão, but there is no yellow fever in São Luís (last case recorded was in 1942). The main health issue is dengue fever. More information on 10 facts about dengue fever in Brazil.
At our Accommodation in Brazil blog you will find a full list of hotels and pousadas in São Luís.
11. WEATHER FORECAST
The weather in São Luís for the next 10 days
Average temperatures and rainfall in São Luís at meoweather.
13. GOOGLE MAPS
Destination: Lençóis Maranhenses
Reviews: Pousada Portas da Amazônia , São Luís
Maranhão, images of a Brazilian paradise
Brazilian videos: festas juninas in São Luís
Brazil in pictures: ceramic tiles of São Luís
Brazil in pictures: scarlet ibis in Alcântara
Doce de espécie
Category: Destination: Maranhão