I don’t know all of them, but I dare say that Atins is the best beach in Maranhão. The village, located 1 hour by boat from Barreirinhas, is surrounded by natural wonders: the Atlantic Ocean, the Preguiças River and Lençóis Maranhenses.
Yes, the Lençóis Maranhenses.
As it is located at the mouth of the Rio Preguiças, Atins beach tends to be a little muddy. In the village, the streets are made of sand and the residents, incredibly welcoming, make Atins a destination to remember forever.
Tips from Atins – How to plan the trip
Here are Atins tips for you to better organize your trip, from buying the air ticket, as you need to understand a little about the weather, transport options and other details before leaving for the actual itinerary.
Where is Atins on the map
Located on the coast of Maranhão, Atins is inserted between the Preguiças River and the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. It is part of the municipality of Barreirinhas, which is the largest city in the region and where the tours and transport that lead to Atins depart from.
If you are already convinced to make this trip, the first step is to buy your ticket to São Luís, the capital of Maranhão, the city with the closest airport to Atins.
How to get to Atins
There are no roads to Atins, not even dirt.
Leaving Barreirinhas, the best way to reach Atins is by boat, on the so-called “voadeira” that takes you to Caburé and Pequenos Lençóis. It costs from R$80 per person, sold at dozens of tourist agencies in the center of Barreirinhas.
You have to do the whole tour. Most leave at 8:30 am.
At lunchtime in Caburé, for a tip of around R$20, the boatman takes about 10 minutes to reach Atins. You must let us know when you buy the tour. Don’t take too much luggage, much less fancy suitcases, as it gets a little wet and not much can fit on the boat.
On the way back, doing the roots blogger, I decided to test the land transport from Atins and Barreirinhas. The trip took about 2 hours, but it felt like a whole day. Shaking in the back of the adapted pickup truck, eating sand, we crossed dunes, streams and farms. It is cheaper? About R$ 20 less than the boat trip. But it’s a dumb economy.
Best time in Atins
As in other bases in Lençóis Maranhenses, the high season in Atins depends on the lagoons filling up in the dunes, which occurs in the months of June, July, August and early September. But, depending on how the rainy season was, it can happen to have full ponds until November, as I explained in the tips that When to go to Lençóis Maranhenses.
But as tourism in Atins does not depend solely on the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, the season is a little longer. It practically does not rain in the region in the second semester. So, the climate is beach in Atins between July and December.
How many days to stay in Atins
There are people who make just one trip and return to Atins. Hurry, you can’t enjoy the best of the village.
I spent 3 nights and I think it was enough to get to know the basics. I left regretful. To do the main tours and still have time to enjoy the village more calmly. I recommend having at least 3 full days in Atins, that is, 5 nights.
Accommodation in Atins
You need to be physically prepared to walk on the streets of soft sand. Unlike Jericoaocoara, where everything is close by, Atins is more spread out.
Close to the best beach, market and restaurants, Pousada Flamboyart is strategically located in the village and offers excellent value for money. I stayed in this region, in two simpler and cheaper inns, already explained here on the blog:
What to do in Atins
To understand why I consider Atins the best beach in Maranhão, I selected some of the main activities to do in the village. And don’t show up in a rush. Atins is one of those places to enjoy without rushing. Then leave your watch at the inn and go out to enjoy the village, before it becomes famous as Caraíva or Jericoacoara.
Atins beach bars and restaurants
Atins has few and good beach huts. It has the simplest and most exotic ones and also some with a certain luxury, those from French owners. My favorite, without a doubt, was Estresse Zero, which is located at the end of the beach, right on the most visible border of the Preguiças River with the Sea. The owners, a couple from São Luís, make exotic cachaças and hearty seafood, like the delicious stingray moqueca that I ate. And the prices are well taken into account.
Other beach bars and restaurants worth visiting in Atins are Bar.Co, the most sophisticated in the village, Cabana, where kitesurfing classes are offered, and Niky Bar Praia, an Italian restaurant that serves popcorn with beer.
With the ideal sea and wind for kitesurfing, Atins has naturally become a paradise for professionals and beginners in the sport. It has specialized hotels, schools and some bars that have teachers. I took a class with a professor from the Cabana bar. It cost R$250 for two hours of class, much cheaper than elsewhere. The more hours you get, the better the cost-benefit. I liked the class, but I need at least another 10 hours to control the kite.
Tours in Lençóis Maranhenses
Unlike Barreirinhas, where you have to walk for almost an hour to reach the dunes, in Atins the walk to the park takes only 20 minutes and the journey is much more pleasant. If you have a roots spirit, like walking on the beach and aren’t afraid of getting lost, you can walk there. In that case, I recommend saving the destination on Google Maps, because locals told me that the route has some mangrove crossings and crooked paths.
I visited Lagoa da Capivara and nearby lakes. They lose nothing in terms of beauty to Lagoa Bonita, in the Barreirinhas region. The only thing that I found strange there was the presence of goat coconut (strange little balls) almost all the way. I also visited the beach in the region and just took a dip, until I realized that it was a tumble beach and the tide was pulling a lot.
Lunch in Canto do Atins
To end the tour to the lakes, the cars stop at this piece of nowhere known as Canto do Atins. There are two tourist restaurants, known for having what they call “The best shrimp in the world”. A great fable they invented to attract tourists. The two restaurants, Luzia’s and Antônio’s, serve the same shrimp recipe with secret sauce. Tasty, but far from being the best in the world. By the way, he is not even the best of Atins. The baked fish tastes better than the shrimp, but it’s not the best in the world either.
The caipirinha was honest, but far from having the quality of the best caipirinha in Brazil, which I tasted very close by, in the town of Mandacaru.
Where to eat in Atins
If Canto do Atins was well below expectations, the other restaurants surprised me on the good side. In addition to Zero Stress that I mentioned at the beginning, where I ate a delicious stingray moqueca, another that deserves mention is Restaurante do Rico. In addition to having wi-fi, the restaurant makes the best fish I’ve ever eaten in my life. Creamy, it melted on the fork and in the mouth. I had to eat quickly, before the entire population of stray dogs and cats from Atins jumped on top of the plate.
What did you think of Atins’ tips?
I tried to concentrate here as much information as possible about Atins, so that you can plan your trip on your own. But if you missed any specific information, just ask. I answer myself, always as soon as possible.
And if you need a personalized consultancy, whether to create your itinerary or choose an inn, feel free to leave a comment or send an email to [email protected].
More photos from Atins
For all this charming roots structure, Atins deserves to be the best beach in Maranhão. A place with great restaurants, exotic bars, charming inns, calm waters and the immensity of Lençóis Maranhenses right next to it, Atins is a different beach, with a prominent place among all the beaches in Brazil.
And now that you already know all the tips and what to do in Atins, it will be even easier to turn this trip into reality.
Check out our photo gallery of Atins:
More travel tips for Maranhão
Take the opportunity to also see our other tips on this incredible trip to Maranhão.