Lençóis, also known as the Diamond Capital, was one of the main places for artisanal diamond extraction (garimpo) in Brazil. In 1973 the city was officially listed a National Historical Heritage by the IPHAN institute, a fact that originated an influx of backpackers and other tourists to the town.
Lençóis preserves a bucolic climate with its historical architecture, cobbled streets, colonial houses and antique churches dating from the late 19th century. The city is also a gate to the Chapada Diamantina mountain range, with its picturesque hills, plateaus, caves, canyons, waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes.
Attractions and activities
The main reason to opt for Lençóis is the natural beauty of its surroundings – below we list only a selection of the attractions that the locality has to offer.
For a close trip, choose the Serrano municipal park – a good destination for the whole family, with waterfalls and sinkholes, such as Poço Halley, Cachoeirinha and Primavera to bathe and play in, as well as Salões de Areia – enormous, colourful rocks that form caves, grottos and tunnels. You also can see a beautiful panorama of the town itself.
Complexo Arqueológico Serra das Paridas: Formed by 18 archaeological sites, the Complex opens four of them to visitors. Serra das Paridas features various cave paintings, with images of people, animals and more abstract forms – even one that looks like Spielberg´s E.T.! To access the complex, hiring a certified guide is necessary.
Cachoeira do Sossego is a waterfall with 20 metres of height. The trail leading to the fall leads through the Ribeirão do Meio riverbed, with parts leading through rocks and lots of natural swimming pools. It is one of the more demanding routes, so save it for a later day, once you get to grips with trekking in the Chapada. The same is true for Cachoeira do Mixila - 80 metres of waterfall in an extraordinary, but remote, green canyon.
What to eat and drink
The town hosts an impressive number of restaurants. Some local dishes worth trying are arroz de garimpeiro (rice with dried meat and vegetables), o godó de banana (a type of soup with green bananas and meat) and the cortado de palma (a dish from the prickly pear cacti). Some places worth recommending are Cozinha Aberta Slow Food at Av. Rui Barbosa, and Grisante, on Praça Horácio de Matos.
In the same square, a reliable spot is the O Bode restaurant with food per kilogram, with a dozen dishes to choose from. For such a small town focused on ecotourism, Lençois has a surprisingly vibrant nightlife. Make sure you don´t miss Fazendinha e Tal with its “menu” of some 50 types of cachaças.
While searching for a bus ticket, it is important to pay attention to the bus stations.
Some destinations only have routes to one bus station and others more than one station. Depending on where you will stay in the city, it can make a difference in time and price if you have a choice in bus stations. Here is a brief summary of each station: