Community tourism – tours in Maranhão


What is community tourism?

To take a trip in a typical boat in Cajari MA, with live instrumental music…

Community tourism aims to contribute to the development of the communities. Stimulating the exchange of experiences between tourists and the local community, it promotes the preservation of history, culture and nature.

Community tourism is tourism by the community for the community. All resources generated by tourist activities will therefore be reinvested in community projects. The community itself decides in a transparent way on how these resources will be reinvested, serving its basic principle: The preservation of human life.


The Baixada is a territory of wetlands and lakes situated in the north of the state of Maranhão. Flooded by the rivers Pericumã, Aurá, Pindaré, Maracu and Mearim, its scenery reminds of that of the Pantanal.

Fishermen from the community of João Luís sail on the lakes of the Baixada..


In the dry season from August to January, the region offers sights of vast plains and fields scattered by buffalo’s.

It is however recommended to visit the Baixada in the wet season, from January till August. The increased water level of the rivers, then flood the fields resulting in one of the biggest and most beautiful set of natural lakes and ponds. A trip in one of the typical fishing boats is the ideal way to contemplate this magnificent setting and to get a glimpse of the abundant bird life.

Get to know the tours of Baixada.


First tour (Arari, Cajari) – 4 days

First day:

Untill 3pm – Arrival in São Luis

4pm – Leaving for Arari

Trip to ‘Curral da Igreja’

7pm – Dinner

Cultural night


Second day:

8 am – Trail on the banks of the Mearim and dialog with the community about the phenomenon of Pororoca and its impacts for the population.

12 am – Lunch

3 pm – Leaving for the community ‘Passagem de Areias’

7 pm – Dinner

8 pm – Conversation in the light of the stars.


Third day:

6 am – Accompany the way of living of the community

9 am – alternative activities: Fishing, trail

12 am – lunch

3 pm – Leaving for Cajari

Living with the youngsters of the youth forum

6 pm – Dinner at the river bank

Cultural night with presentation of the musical repertoire of the city. The admirers of instrumental music can share this experience with the younger people.


Fourth day:

7 am – Leaving on a boat to the community of Boa Vista / Flexal

Visit to the library of Boa Vista or

Experiencing the practice of organic crops and the cultural patrimony of the quilombola Flexal.

12 am – lunch in one of the communities

2 pm – return to Cajari/ São Luis

7 pm – Dinner

Free night

Overnight at B&B Portas da Amazônia

Second tour (Penalva) – 3 days

First day:

Untill 3 pm – Arrival in São Luis

4 pm – Leaving for Penalva



Typical cultural activities of the city, realized by the youth and by the local community

Second day:

6 am – Leaving to the community ‘Formoso’

Fishing craft

Conversation with the community

12 am – Lunch

4 pm – Trail or Workshop

7 pm – Dinner


Third day:

6 am – Accompaniment the work and the way of living of the community

9 am – Leaving for Penalva

12 am – Lunch

3 pm – Return to São Luis

8 pm – Free night

Overnight at the B&B Portas da Amazônia

Third tour (Matinha, Olinda Nova) – 3 days

First day:

Untill 3 pm – Arrival in São Luis

4 pm – Leaving for Matinha

Dinner and overnight at the ranch Nazaré

Cultural night (Community)

Second day:

8 am – Visit to the community of Contenda – rural community in area of settlement

Experiencing the practices of organic crops

12 am – lunch

4 pm – Dialog with the students and teachers of the Center for medium and professional education.

Visit to the projects of the youngsters (atelier and agro-industry of pulp)

5 pm – Leaving for Olinda Nova

7 pm – Dinner in B&B of the youngsters (Pindoba and Betel)

8 pm – Cultural night (companies of theater, dance and musical groups of the community)

Third day:

6 am – Experiencing the work in a flour house

9 am – Fishing/trip to the lake of Coqueiro (Archaeological land house under the sea level)

12 am – Lunch

4 pm – Stop at the Pau da mentira (prose with the community)

5 pm – Return to São Luis

Free night

Overnight at the B&B Portas da Amazônia

Fourth tour (São Bento, Palmeirândia/Peri-Mirim) – 4 days

First day:

Until 3 pm – Arrival in São Luis

4 pm – Leaving for Palmeirândia

Dinner and overnight at the condominio Cauaçu (ecological houses in a rural area, with production unities of the technical and agro-ecological youngsters)

Dialog in the light of the stars, around a brotherhood fire

Second day:

6 am – Accompaniment of the activities of the families of Cauaçu

8 am – Fishing craft

10 am – Visit to the production unities of the condominio Brisa dos Campos (unities of meliponiculture and pisciculture)

12 am – Lunch

3 pm – Leaving for São Bento

4 pm – Visit to the agro-industry São Carlos (artisanal industry of sweets) and youth forum

6 pm – visit to the CEMP – Dialog with the teachers and students of the center for medium and professional education about the formation process of the youngsters.

Cultural night – serenade through the streets of the city


Third day:

8 am – Visit to the cultural center of São Bento – Histories of the Baixada / workshop / dialog with the hammock makers

12 am – Lunch at Cauaçu

2 pm – Leaving for the agro-ecological park Buritirana

3 pm – Dialog about the local sustainable development – proposals for the Baixada or conversation with the coconut-breakers.

5 pm – Management of the plant modifications (manioc, fruits of the Amazone, tropical flowers, vegetables)

7 pm – Dinner in Buritirana – conversation with the fishermen


Fourth day:

8 am – Trail in Buritirana


3 pm – Return to São Luis

Free night

Overnight at the B&B Portas da Amazônia

Fifth tour (São Vicente Férrer, São João Batista) – 3 days

First day:

Until 3 pm – Arrival in São Luis

4 pm – Leaving for São João Batista

7 pm – Dinner

8 pm – Film session at the PJCinema – films produced by the youngsters of the Baixada


Second day:

7 am – Leaving for the community of Raposa

Fishing / trip and dialog with the community about the history of the ancient port of disposal of products of the Baixada

12 am – lunch

3 pm – Visit at the center for medium and professional education: dialog with the teachers and the students

Workshop to make typical sweets of the region.

7 pm – Dinner


Third day:

8 am – Leaving for São Vicente Férrer

Trip to the Community Lago do Mato

9 am – Workshop of artisanal pottery

12 am – Lunch

3 pm – Return to São Luis by ferryboat

Get to know the tour of São Luis

Sixth tour – rural zone of São Luis

Spend a weekend with your son on the field – Saturday and Sunday


Parents and children who are interested in spending a weekend on the field with communities around São Luis, like it was at the time of our parents and grandparents, when we used to go to the land house.

Adolescents and youngsters interested in experiencing a life on the field. They can learn about culture, management and healthy habits in coexistence with the local population in their own environment.

Tourists that in general are interested in coexistence with the communities of the rural zone of São Luis.

First day:

8 am – Leaving for Maracanã

9 am – Meeting with the young agents of community tourism and the inhabitants.

Visit to the communities of Maracanã and Alegria

12 am – Lunch

3 pm – Workshop of organic crops and environmental education in Alegria

5 pm – Cultivation of seedlings of plants and vegetables.

6 pm – Dialog around the fire

Overnight at the land house Marrecas

Second day:

7.30 am – Taking care of the birds and animals on the land house

8.30 am – Planting of seedlings in the streets, gardens or squares with the inhabitants of Alegria and Maracanã

9 am – Trail in Maracanã

12 am – Lunch

4 pm – Return to the center of São Luis

Guardians of Memory

In all the tours you will meet a guardian of memory – an elderly person that knows – like no other – the history of the community; of that place, where he was born, grew up and mostly, never left. That is why it makes part of his history.

Find us!

Get information about the tours, the prices, the dates of the tours.

Address: Av. Ana Jansen, 19 – Ed. Mendes Frota, 6º andar, sala 612, São Francisco, CEP 65076.200 – São Luís/MA – Brasil

Phone: (98) 3227-7203

Site: http://www.formacao.org.br

E-mail: turismocomunitario@formacao.org.br

Formação – center for support for basic education

(Integral organization of the network Turisol)

Formação is an NGO, without lucrative meanings, founded by a group of educators in the area of basic and popular education, with experiences in analyzing and proposing public policies, developing educative projects, producing didactic material, professional qualification of the youngsters in medium level and of the teachers in continuing formation process and specialization.

The main objective is to build political and educational bases. This is to realize projects and public policies that help the local development in a way that the life of all of the citizens can be raised. From a management practice that prevails in ethical conduct, that promote a social and economical justice. The youngsters and adults participate in an effective way at the construction of new perspectives for the cities of the region.

Formação coordinates the set of integrated projects – CIP (Conjunto Integrado de Projetos) ‘Jovem Cidadão’ with various actions in the Baixada Maranhense. The main areas are Art and Culture; physical education, sports and leisure; health and human ecology; educational communication and Education and work.

The actions to help are:

a) Promotion of centres for the medium education – 7 centers were implanted;

b) Implantation and monitoring of the telecentres – 13 telecentres were implanted with 107 internet points;

c) Promoting the activities of Art and Culture and Physical education, sports and leisure;

d) Creation of the incubator of Art, Media and Technology – responsible for the coordination and development of a set of projects in these areas, for the whole of Maranhão, in particular in São Luis and Baixada Maranhense;

e) Implantation of a pole of development of Technologies – in the Baixada Maranhense;

f) Creation of the incubator of production projects – responsible for the promotion, incubation and development of more than 60 projects in the areas of agro-ecology and community tourism in the Baixada Maranhense;

g) Implantation of the agro-ecological park Buritirana – under construction, in the city of Peri Mirim.

The formação is headquartered in São Luis and two centers of development of technologies in agro-ecology (Peri Mirim (Buritirana), São Luis (Alegria))

Organizations responsible for the community tourism in Baixada Maranhense:

Youth forums

Education Portal of Baixada

Association of Physical education, sports and leisure

Agency of sustainable development

Agricultural Portal



Community institute of the Baixada Maranhense

Councils of Law

Partners/supporters of Formação in the development projects of the Baixada.

Fundação Kellogg


Federal economical Bank

Institute Oi Futuro


Southamerican network of streetsoccer

Project Bagagem


Help systems




4 comentários

  1. Muito bonita as fotos e que roteiro! É emocionante ver as fotos e pensar: Que graça! Eu conheço estes lugares. E tem meu pé e de Ina em uma das fotos. Como se o registro de que tem um pezinho da gente naquela terra.

    Muito sucesso aos roteiros da Baixada. Quando tiverem folders me passem para eu repassar e ajudar a divulgar. Por enquanto ainda não dá para eu comprar um pacote, rsos, mas quem sabe um dia. Então conheceremos, eu e meus filhotes, a Baixada com olhos de turistas comunitários e poderemos também estar trocando, aprendendo e ensinando o pouco que sabemos nesta imensidão de saberes deste mundo de Deus.

    Parabéns Instituto Formação e Lulu por acreditarem em seus sonhos e os transformarem em realidade diária.

    Feliz por ter conhecido a Baixada,

    amiga Giselle

    obs: Em outubro estarei em Santo Amaro! Não esquece de mim Lu!

  2. Fiquei maravilhada e surpresa por encontrar um circuito turístico na região da baixada maranhense, pois nascir em São Vicente e atualmente moro em São Paulo e estudo Gestão em Turismo. Em 2006 estive na reigão a passeio já como tecnica de turismo, surgiu-me essa idéia maluca e como voltei para o meu habitat não continuei com a ideia. Uma coisa me deixou triste, o desaparecimento dos pratos típicos da região, a desvalorização que a população local está fazendo com suas peculiaridades culturais. Mesmo assim acho que com bom treinamento e bastante perseverança é um projeto que serve para mostrar que essa região não tem somente pobreza. Amo esse pantanal que tem no Maranhão.Quando falo que no Maranhão que nsacir existe um Pantanal, as pessoas não acreditam. Parabens pela iniciativa.

  3. Submerso nas águas do lago Cajari, em Penalva, estão os vestígios de aldeias pré-históricas. Esses vestígios são chamados de estearias. No lago Formoso, a atração é a Ilha Flutuante se deslocando de um lado para o ouitro nos messes de Março e Abril.

  4. Excelente ideia. Sou do interior do Maranhao(Penalva) e com certeza farei um roteiro brevemente. Nao saia da existencia do turismo junto as comunidades.

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