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Delta and Dunes

Overview

This wonderful new ride in northeastern Brazil traverses three distinctly different but beautiful areas - the Paraiba River Delta, Sete Cidades National Park and the Lencois Maranhenses. Lencois Maranhenses is one of the most beautiful, unique and breathtaking places in the world. Covering an ar…

Highlights

  • Ride amongst the glorious dunes of Lencois Maranhenses
  • Discover the unique Paraiba river delta
  • Ride through the natural monuments at Sete Cidades NP
  • Enjoy the wonderful paces of the Mangalarga Marchador
  • Watch the sun set across the dunes on horseback

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 10 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 100kg / 200lbs / 15 stone 10 lbs

Description

This wonderful new ride in northeastern Brazil traverses three distinctly different but beautiful areas - the Paraiba River Delta, Sete Cidades National Park and the Lencois Maranhenses.

Lencois Maranhenses is one of the most beautiful, unique and breathtaking places in the world. Covering an area 75km wide and 25km long it became a national park in 1981 but was only discovered by tourism about 10 years ago. This hidden gem contains hundreds of undulating sand dunes which fill with rainwater. The area gets its name from this white, wavy landscape, with Lencois meaning 'bedsheets' in Portuguese and Maranhao being the state of Brazil in which they are located. These dunes, after the wet season, fill with rainwater which is filtered by the dunes creating pools of water that are almost crystalline and in beautiful colours of blue and green. The dunes and pools, together with the blue sky above, create a landscape like nothing you have seen before.

In the neighbouring state of Piaui, the Paraiba River Delta is the only open sea delta in the Americas, and one of only three in the world (the Nile in Egypt and the Mekong River in Vietnam being the other two). It is an ecological sanctuary of enormous natural beauty and includes an archipelago with more than 75 islands, dunes, freshwater lagoons and a lush tropical rainforest.

The Sete Cidades (Seven Cities) National Park sits within the Serra da Ibiapaba Environmental Protection Area and contains arid savanna forest (babassu forests) and seasonal forest. It protects an important geological formation of rock monuments, pre-historic cave paintings and inscriptions believed to be over 100 million years old. The wind, rain and sun have sculpted seven groups of rocks into "cities" or natural monuments that resemble symbols, animals and human figures. The Sete Cidades National Park was mentioned by the French writer Erich Von Daniken, author of the cult book "Were the Gods Astronauts?" and aroused wide interest in various scientific segments, attracting historians, geologists, archaeologists and even ufologists to the area.

On local Mangalarga Marchador horses, you explore these unique areas, staying in a selection of comfortable hotels along the way. A boat trip through the mangroves and Paraiba river delta is also included on a non-riding day halfway through the week.

Horses & Riding

Tack

The horses are ridden in traditional Mangalarga tack, which comprises endurance/trail style saddles that are comfortable for long hours in the saddle. Many of the horses may wear long-shanked western curb bits and have very sensitive mouths, others are ridden in bitless pressure nosebands. All the horses are used to a very light hand and will respond to neck reining.

Horses

Pure bred and Cross-bred Mangalarga Marchador horses.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Route of Emotions is a trail ride

Ages

12 years and older

Health

General good health

Weight

100kg / 200lbs / 15 stone 10 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Food on the first two days is very typical of the sertao (countryside) and will include meat or chicken accompanied by rice, beans and salads. On the other days, near the coast, the speciality is seafood but you can opt for meat/chicken if you prefer. All meals are accompanied by rice, beans and salad, as is typical in Brazil.

Breakfast and one other meal is included each day (lunch or dinner) depending on the schedule. For the other meal, you pay locally at the restaurant and can choose freely from the menu. Prices are reasonable and they accept debit and credit cards as well as cash.

Accommodation

You stay in a selection of hotels and guesthouses along the route. The accommodation on the first two nights is of a medium standard whilst the following nights are in high quality hotels. The following are the usual hotels, but depending on availability, it may be necessary to change the hotels to ones of a similar standard.

1st night: Pedro II Mountain Guesthouse
2nd night: Sete Cidades Country Hotel (next to the national park)
3rd night: Ilha das Canarias in Casa de Caboclo (charming island bungalows)
4th and 5th nights: Casa Santo Antonio boutique hotel in Parnaiba
6th, 7th and 8th nights: Vila Atins Lodge

Rooms are allocated on a sharing basis, but it is possible to request a single room at a supplementary cost.

Itineraries

Route of Emotions Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

One day includes a boat trip through the Parnaiba River Delta, with it's beautiful dunes and mangrove forests. There is also some free time for swimming in the pools and rivers.

Non-riders can be accommodated and will follow their own itinerary each day, meeting the riders each evening (except for the non-riding day when everyone takes the boat trip together).

Travel

You should arrive at Teresina Airport (THE) and depart from Sao Luis airport (SLZ).

It's unlikely that you will find direct international flights into either of these regional airports. So, you should plan to take a connecting flight through one of the major hub airports such as Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro instead.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

You are collected from Teresina airport at 3pm and transferred to the city of Pedro II (200km / 3hr drive). Pedro II is home to the largest opal mines in Brazil. On the way, you can visit an artist to see how this precious stone is produced. Opals were rare stones, highly prized by royalty until the opening of vast deposits in Australia in the 19th century. Dinner and overnight at Serra dos Matoes.

Day 2

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After breakfast this morning, you will meet your horses and begin your first ride from Mirante do Gritador (a spectacular viewpoint) towards Sete Cidades National Park. You will see many varieties of plants and trees that are very typical of the cerrado and caatinga biomes you will be riding through. Delights such as the mimosa-like white angico gum, as well as dazzling yellow Tabebuia (also known as d'arco or trumpet trees), the huge canopied jatoba tree and a host of other species too. Dinner and overnight at Sete Cidades Lodge.

Day 3

Riding: 3 hours

After breakfast today you will begin your ride in Sete Cidades national park, meandering amongst the monuments that nature has carved over thousands of years. In the afternoon, you will be transferred by car to Parnaiba (150km / 1.5 hours drive). On arrival, you will take a boat to Ilha das Canarias (Canary Island) (30 mins) to spend the night.

Day 4

Riding: No riding.

The island of Canarias is an environmentally protected area that is part of the Marine Extractive Reserve of the delta.

Today is a non-riding day and after breakfast, you will take a speed boat tour through the majestic labyrinth of islands within the Parnaiba Delta. The route takes you to see the microcosm of the delta where you can observe all its natural systems - desert beaches, big dunes, narrow streams, estuaries, rivers, fields, as well as big and beautiful mangroves. This tour lasts about 4 hours including stops at the deserted beach of Poldros and the dunes at Morro Branco. Enjoy a delicious lunch at a beach restaurant located on a dune with panoramic views.

In the afternoon, return to Parnaiba and transfer to hotel Casa de Santo Antonio to overnight.

Day 5

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After breakfast, you will be transferred c. 20 mins to Ponta da Barra to start your ride through the dunes and lagoons. Your destination is Carnaubinha beach where you will have lunch on arrival at Carnaubina Beach resort. Return by car to Casa de Santo Antonio. In the evening, you will enjoy dinner in the town of Porto das Barcas, with the chance to visit its craft shops and the Museum of the Sea.

Day 6

Riding: 3 hours

In the morning, you will transfer to Barreirinhas (180km / 3hrs drive) and from there take a boat to Atins & Lencois Maranhenses. After settling into your hotel you set out riding at 4 pm to take in the sunset. This is a breathtaking first view of the dunes and a unique opportunity to take beautiful photos while watching the sun go down across the stunning landscape. Enjoy a special dinner in a restaurant close to the dunes.

You will be staying at Vila Atins Lodge for the next three nights. Atins is a small fishing village nestled between the entrance to Lencois Maranhenses park and the splendid delta of the Preguicas river. Life is still somewhat primitive here - the streets are made of sand and oxen, cattle and donkeys walk freely through the village. Atins is also a well-known destination for kite surfing due to the optimal wind levels and flat waters.

Day 7

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Today is a full day of riding between dunes and lagoons. Cross small rivers of crystal clear water where you can cool off before reaching the first group of dunes. It's a beautiful landscape of wonderfully coloured lagoons and natural pools for swimming and photographing. Explore the shapes of the dunes and lagoons as you continue riding to Pona do Mangue, a village within the park where you will stop for lunch.

After a rest in backyard hammocks, you will continue your ride through the afternoon. Leaving your horses behind, you will transfer by vehicle back to your hotel in Atins.

Day 8

Riding: 5 hours

Returning to your horses after breakfast, your final ride in this wonderful environment will see you head to Lagoa das Sete Mulheres. You arrive in time for a refreshing swim and ride around the dune field on the way to Canto de Atins. On reaching the beach you can have a final canter along the coastline before saying a fond farewell to your horses.

Day 9

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Sao Luis airport for your flight home.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You should be an intermediate to experienced rider who is confident riding in all paces across varied terrain.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

May 9, 2022 - May 17, 2022

June 7, 2022 - June 15, 2022

July 6, 2022 - July 14, 2022

Aug. 4, 2022 - Aug. 12, 2022

Sept. 3, 2022 - Sept. 11, 2022

Pricing

2022
Rider, sharing
£1705 $2360 €2025
Included 8 nights double/twin accommodation, 6 days riding, boat/ferry trips as described in itinerary, airport transfers and transfers described in itinerary, either lunch or dinner each day
Not included Flights, either lunch or dinner each day, drinks, insurance, tips, personal expenses.

Extras

2022 - Single Supplement £345 $480 €410
Paid to Far and Ride
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.