São Luís is the capital of the State of Maranhão in the northeast of Brazil. Situated on an island, its colonization has a history of disputes between the French, Dutch, Portuguese and Indigenous people, leaving a rich and intense cultural collection as a legacy.
The historic center of the city is classified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Among churches, buildings, tiled mansions, fountains, monuments, squares and stairs, you can visit, for example, the Igreja Matriz da Sé (Sé Cathedral Church), one of the treasures of sacred art in Brazil, and the Fonte das Pedras (Fountain of Stones), a tourist attraction of great historical value for the city.
In addition, São Luís' cultural manifestations are present in famous festivals such as Bumba Meu Boi and the Tambor da Crioula that fill the streets in June. Besides these, the culture appears in the city's handicraft, whose beautiful lace, ceramics, sculptures, decorative items and pieces of clothing take form from the elements of the region itself. The Centro de Comercialização de Produtos Artesanais do Maranhão (Maranhão Commercial Center of Handicraft Products - Ceprama) is certainly worth the visit to purchase and view beautiful samples of this art.
The Maranhão capital’s local cuisine is another reflection of the city's mixed colonization. Cuxá rice, made with dried shrimp, cassava flour and sour spices, is one of the flavors you must try. Moquecas, containing fish and clams completes the experience, always accompanied by cashew fruit, Sapodilla plum, bacuri, ambarella and mangaba juices that are must try flavours.
Aside the local, cultural places, you can visit the Parque Ecológico da Lagoa da Jansen (Jansen Lagoon Ecological Park) and enjoy the beautiful view of the beaches and their breaking surfs, such as São Marcos beach, often frequented by young people and surfers.
São Luís is the gateway to the Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses (Lençóis Maranhenses National Park ), famous for blue lagoons in the desert dunes. But the city itself also has must-see attractions. The more you get to know it, the more you will congratulate yourself on choosing this location!
São Luís airport receives direct flights from large Brazilian cities and also has international flight connections.
The nearest international airport to São Luís is Belém, which receives flights from Miami, Cayenne, Lisbon and Paramaribo.
The São Luís Bus Station has intercity and interstate routes.
Av. dos Franceses, nº 300, Bairro Santo Antônio, São Luís (MA)
+55 (98) 3015-4015
The historic city center offers several attractions and can be navigated on foot. This little map can help.
The most comfortable way of getting around town is by taxi. Calculate the fare and check which companies that provide this type of service.
The area code (DDD) for São Luís is 98.
Emergency (Samu): 192
Tourist Police Station – Civil Police: + 55 98 3214 8682
Tourist Information Station of São Luís: + 55 98 3231 4696
Bus Station Tourist Information of São Luís: + 55 98 3231 4696
Airport Tourist Information of São Luís: + 55 98 3231 4696
São Luís has very high temperatures. Therefore, use light clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat or cap.
To enter Brazil, vaccination against any type of illness is not mandatory. However, vaccination against yellow fever (a disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes) is recommended before your trip. If you have never taken the vaccine, you need to take it up to 10 days before the trip (this time period is not necessary if you have already been vaccinated).
Take sunscreen to protect yourself from the intense sunlight, and repellent to protect yourself against mosquitoes.