Is it worth going to Jericoacoara aka. Jeri (North East of Brazil) if I have already been to Lençóis Maranhenses or vice versa? I heard this question quite often on my trips to Lençois and Jeri, and I have also discussed it with a couple of other people who visited both places.
A lot of people do both anyways as you can get to the other side by enjoying a pothole ride in a 4x4 for 7 hours. If you can’t do both and you have to decide, I think for most people it is a simple decision as usually there is a small overlap of people who really like both and don’t have a clear preference. So what is the difference?
Jeri has awesome nature combined with party and fun while Lençois is bigger, calm, and the focus is on trekking through the desert by foot and having a unique experience without mobile connection, sleeping in hammocks and enjoying the landscape.
That doesn’t mean that Jeri hasn’t stunning landscape or beautiful lagoons, but it definitely has also tons of tourists that are shipped around with quads, bikes, cars, and buggies.
Fun and party is the focus: you can get surfing lessons (kite, waves, and wind), have rollercoaster-like buggy rides, you can slide into lagoons on water slides and ropes (flying fox), and in the evening enjoying the sunset with a caipirinha partying at the beach.
In Lençois there are also afternoon trips to the dunes to see the sunset or boat rides to a very small village called Atins, one of the best spots for kite surfers.
But in comparison to Jeri you don’t have that much of entertainment and partying in Lençois, and the main attraction is to do a multi-day trekking tour through the dunes. So nature turns out to be the attractiveness of this area rather than a lot of additional services and (artificial) attractions that are provided in Jeri.
Jeri or Lençois? Where to go?
To summarize, if you get bored by looking at nature the whole day, go to Jeri. If you do not like parties, touristy places, and outdoor fun parks, visit Lençois and do a trek through the dunes (see also my article about the three day trek in Lençois which is unfortunately still in progress). But one thing is for sure, both places are worth visiting. So enjoy the fun, sun, and nature there.