Northeast Along the wild and savage coastline from Natal to Sao Luis, the deserted beaches are pounded relentlessly by the waves, uncovering the well-trodden pathways to the traditional fishermen’s villages, some so isolated they can only be reached at low tide, and only if the sea goddess, Iemanjá, deigns to grant your four-by-four passage. Cross river estuaries by barge, then travel through forests of trees, their branches twisting skywards, burnt by the salty waters of the sea. Muddy beaches await you in the Parnaiba Delta (the 3rd largest river delta in the world) along whose streams and rivulets you will silently, almost religiously, travel in your native canoe. The atmosphere is close to oppressive – a foretaste of the Amazon. The heat is humid, and the heavy silence is only occasionally broken by the humming of an insect or the call of an animal. As you paddle along the guarapés of the mangrove, there are live monkeys, iguanas, boas, crocodiles, and dozens of birds … Many marvellous white sandy beaches can be found at Lençois, the unique desert surrounded by luminous aquamarine lagoons, for this is a desert with water, where there are wave upon wave of gigantic sand dunes, some up to 130 feet high, rolling out towards the horizon. Sand which sparkles like pearls in this demi-paradise, set in the middle of nowhere, with only a few clouds to bear witness. In Bahia, Brazil’s colonial heritage meets Africa’s culture! In the cobbled streets of Old Salvador, amongst the richly decorated churches and superb baroque buildings, street parties erupt spontaneously, the way a Bahian face suddenly bursts into a smile! Ride in a speed boat along this coastline with its scorching beaches that connect Ilheus with Salvador, winding your way between the tropical islands as you go. At low tide, the fish are held captive in huge, sun-warmed pools, pools where you can swim, dive or just float…. On these beaches of pearly white sand, which sparkle like jewels amongst the luscious green rainforest, you will be reborn, rising like a phoenix from the ashes, before going out by moonlight to burn your wings once more by the brightly glowing fires of the Brazilian Festa, a party which has been moving to the beat of the samba for more than two centuries here at Morro de Sao Paulo. It’s the done thing!