Nobody can put on an event quite like nature.

Every year, the sand dunes at Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil collect rainwater from about January to June. And come July, these dunes become temporary pools full of clear, warm water.

Until about September, these pop-up pools become a unique seasonal attraction. It’s almost as if nature made pop-up pools of clear, warm water for visitors. The water has been recorded up to 87 degrees Fahrenheit, providing a relaxing experience for anyone who made the voyage.

Getting to the pools takes some effort. To get to the park, visitors must take a jeep, one of the only vehicles capable of handling the bumpy terrain.

The park recommends making the journey only with an experienced guide as Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is almost 600 square miles — and it’s easy to get lost.

Once visitors reach the pop-up pools, they should be aware that they probably won’t be the only ones swimming. In Portuguese, Lençóis Maranhenses, translates as “bedsheets of Maranhão.

When the lagoons are formed for the season, all sorts of animals crawl out of the bedsheets. The wolffish spends the dry season dormant, buried far below the sand in still-damp mud. But after rainy season, the wolffish will emerge in the pools, as will other fish who reach the lagoons through connected riverways.

Come October, winds whip through the park and — much like the art at Burning Man — the pools disappear without any trace, only to reemerge the following season.

One of Brazil’s Most Mysterious Destinations


A Tour

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By Travel and Leisure

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