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Historical sites in the North of Brazil
Exotic beaches, a very lively carnival and the largest architectonic complex of Portuguese origin in Brazil, São Luís in Maranhão is all that and a little more. In 1997, São Luís was granted the title of Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in recognition for the preservation of its magnificent and homogenous Latin American colonial architectonic complex from the 18th and 19th Centuries. It is also the entrance to the world unique desert, National Park of Lencois Maranheses, where it is small sweet water lakes between every sand dune – it is spectacular.

Vacation / travel service in Sao Luis :
* Transfers (Sao Luis Airport / Hotel / Airport)
* Accommodation at chosen hotel in Sao Luis, incl breakfast;
OBS: Number of nights, according to your inquiry...!
* 3h. guided city tour in the historical parts of São Luis
* Alternative tours/activities - see links to the left:

PRICE: Consult / Send us your budget inquiry

NOTE: Send us your inquiry (itinerary with dates of your entire journey to Brazil), then we will send you a proposal free of charge (tailor made travel service), according to the frames you give to us.
>>> Consult package prices according to your needs & desires <<<
Accommodation Place Standard Meal Room/Type Price
Portas da Amazonia Downtown TOURIST Breakfast Standard Consult..!
Calhau Praia Hotel Calhau Beach COMFORT Breakfast Standard Consult..!
Mercure Flat Renascença SUPERIOR Breakfast Standard Consult..!
Rio Poty Hotel Beach P. Areia SUPERIOR Breakfast Standard Consult..!
São Luis Park Hotel Park / Calhau SUPERIOR Breakfast Standard Consult..!

All information in this page is subject to alteration without previous notice. Remember that availability and prices will only be guaranteed in the confirmation of a requested booking.
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FACTS ABOUT SAO LUIS: São Luis is the capital of the state Maranhão, located on an island in a big bay of the Atlantic Ocean. It is approximately 260km to Barrerinhas (site to access the national park Lencois Maranhenes), 1600km to Recife, 1.070km to Fortaleza, and 3.060km to Rio de Janeiro. Today it lives approximately 870.000 people in Sao Luis.

HOW IS SAO LUIS: Sao Luis was founded by the French, but the town shows little evidence of that except for the names of some streets and monuments – such as the beautiful La Ravardière Palace. The main features of the city have been inherited from the Portuguese: the incredible row of tiled houses and the countless surnames of Portuguese origin, among other influences. In 1997, São Luís was granted the title of Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in recognition for the preservation of its magnificent and homogenous Latin American colonial architectonic complex from the 18th and 19th Centuries. There are more than 3500 buildings of incomparable historic and artistic value that portray the way of life of the city’s old well-to-do families.

There are also many old traditions in Sao Luis with mystique folkloric festivals, like the Carnival, the Bumba-meu-boi, and the town is the Brazilian Capital of Reggie dance & music. The main attraction might not be bathing and beaches, as there is a river month that causes some darker (but not polluted) sea water. The city is more interesting for its history and as it serves as an entrance to several other beauties in the North of Brazil: like the national park of Lençois Maranhenses, Alcantra, Floresta dos Guarás, and Ilha do Caju with its surrounding Delta das Americas/Parnaiba.

WHEN TO GO / CLIMATE: Sao Luis is possible to visit all around the year. There are no big variations in the climate in the region; it is quite hot during the whole year, temperatures varying between 26ºC and 28ºC. It is considered “winter time” during the months from January to June, as it rains more during this part of the year, meanwhile other months is sunnier.

HOW TO GO: Sao Luis is normally reached by air via Sao Luis Cunha Machado (SLZ) Airport, and from there a transport / transfer by to chosen hotel in the city. Other ways by land might be via the roads BR316 / BR-135 from Belem or via the roads BR-222/BR-343/BR-316 from Fortaleza.

HOW LONG STAY: For the first time visitor we recommend at least one night stay, to able visits of the main attractions in Sao Luis. Besides the pre-booked hotel and airport transfers, we recommend you to book “a guided city tour in the historical parts of Sao Luis”, as the traveler get familiar with the city (good start), and get a contact with one of our bilingual guides, which you may use as your local travel consultant.


In June, the famous June parties take place in São Luiz, celebrating the bumba-meu-boi. This folklore tradition of Iberian tradition is performed by costumed groups that tell the story of the bull through music and dance and theater. The festivities are held from June 13 to 30.


Historical Center
The São Luis architectonic complex consists of more than 3.5 thousand buildings, most from the 18th and 19th Centuries. The townhouses that line the narrow downtown streets and Praia Grande exhibit various colors and shapes of ornamental Portuguese tiles on their façades. Because they reflect the sun and waterproof the walls, these tiles helped preserve the buildings. Approximately one thousand of these historical constructions have been restored.

The buildings most deserving of attention include the Arthur Azevedo Theater, from 1817, in neo-Classic style, and the Granary House, from 1820, where a center for selling products from Maranhão now functions. The Palace of the Lions was originally a fortress erected by the French, and was later transformed into a palace by the Portuguese. The ancient slave market operated out of a colonial style townhouse from the 19th Century called the Den of Mercy.

Another interesting place to visit in the historical center is the Center for Popular Culture, installed in a large house from the 19th Century. Among the items in its collection are objects and costumes that refer to folklore and popular manifestations, such as the Power of the Drum and Carnival. And of course, there is the Mother Church of the See, which was built in the 17th Century and whose renovations gave it a neo-Classic style. Its high altar is made of gold.

Bumba-meu-boi and other festivities
For those who cannot do without a party, June is by far the liveliest month in the capital. It is time for square dancing and bumba-meu-boi, of the creole drum and rural festivities. It is the time for the parties in honor of Saint Anthony, Saint John, Saint Peter and Saint Marçal.

Maranhão also has the richness of the Power of the Drum, the Dance of Saint Gonçalo, the Party of the Dogs and carnival.

When the New Year celebration finishes along the seashore, with its shows, fireworks and flower for Iemanjá, the goddess of the sea, the carnival bands begin to parade through the streets.

Together with the manifestations of popular culture, São Luís also dances and swings to the rhythm of root reggae. The Jamaican rhythm reached the island over short-wave radio from the Caribbean and is thoroughly enjoyed by the people in Maranhão.

São Luis has many beaches along its 32 km of coastline. The busiest is Ponta d’Areia, where the hotels and restaurants are concentrated. The São Marcos beach has excellent waves for surfing and it preserves the ruins of the São Marcos Fort from the 18th Century. The Calhau Beach has yellow sand dunes and it is followed by the Coastal Highway. During the months from July to December, the strong winds at the Olho d’Água beach are perfect for sailing sports. The Praia da Guia lies west of São Luis and it is the only one from which the city’s large houses can be seen.

Business tourism
The city’s infrastructure offers every condition for developing businesses, even those geared to exportations. It has two large ports (one of them is the 2nd largest in the world), abundant electric power, railroads, highways, large open urban and suburban areas that are viable for the construction of buildings, tax incentives and other attractive factors.

The service network is ample and it attends to the most diverse needs of its inhabitants and visitors. The city has four large shopping malls (and other smaller ones), a good number of hotels, from pleasant inns to renowned establishments and restaurants of the most varied tendencies. It will soon also have a modern and ample convention center.


Arts and crafts and sweets
At the Granary House and the Arts and Crafts Center, typical Maranhão arts and crafts can be purchased: towels, hammocks and rugs produced from natural fibers, several types of lace and ceramic objects.

Guaraná Jesus
The pharmacist, Jesus Norberto Gomes created this drink in 1920 (in his own backyard to please his grandchildren). It drink is a tremendous success in the entire state. It is pink, with a cinnamon aroma and very sweet. Its formula is secret and it has been carefully kept by the inventor’s family. Legend says there are 17 ingredients, including some herbs from the Amazon. The characteristic color supposedly comes from extracts from tree bark. The slogan for Guaraná Jesus has been the same for decades: “the pink dream”.