Frequently Asked Questions
Atins is still off the trodden path, which makes part of its charme!
Answers to common questions
We’ve compiled a list of answers to common questions.
- How do I get to Atins and the Convento Arcádia?
- When is the best time to visit Atins?
The region sees in general only two seasons, summer and winter. Winter is the rainy season when the temperature typically ranges between 24°C and 32°C as days of heavy rain mingle with sunny days. Rainy season usually starts by mid/end January, builds up until March, with heaviest rainfalls in April and May lasting until June. During this time the lagoons and ponds between the dunes of the National Park fill up. So do the lower areas of Atins and some of the tracks to the village leading through the Lençóis. By April/May the lagoons of the Lençóis Maranhenses are fully filled. By July summer kicks in and the cross on-shore winds start flaring up at a constant 15 to 30 knots. Visitors can expect sunshine throughout and temperatures around 30°C – 35°C.
The best time to enjoy the park would thus be from June to the end of September, maybe mid-October, by which time many of the lagoons will have evaporated. For Kiteboarders the season is from July to December maybe extending to mid-January.
The strongest winds can be expected from October to mid-December though. During the high season months July and August, as well as between Christmas and New Year booking ahead may be advised.
- What’s the mobile reception there? Do you have Internet?
Reception of a mobile signal is fairly limited in Atins. Many of the hostels and restaurants have an extended antenna with an amplifier to provide connectivity.
We, too, have one of these installations, which works with the operators vivo and Claro.
We also receive Internet via a local Provider. Given the remote location capacity and speed are somewhat limited, so we had to throttle our free Wifi to 512kbps and cap it at 1GB for two days.
- Are there mosquitoes?
There will be mosquitoes during the rainy season from late January up until late May/June when the water is still high at places in the village and the wind has not emerged yet. It is recommended to bring repellent during that time. Due to the strong winds mosquitoes are less recognisable outside the rainy season, however.
We have not encountered or heard of any Zika cases in Atins or the region as of now. Having said all this, at the Convento we have mosquito nets for all beds.
- I heard about frogs in the toilets?
As you figured by now, Atins is privileged by its isolated location in a rich natural habitat. We share our dwellings with cute little frogs that eat mosquitoes and prefer to live in humid to wet places. You’ll encounter them in the bathrooms where they jump of joy when you open the toilet lid. Don’t be scared. And if you are, you just will have to get over yourself as we can not make them leave.
- Do I need to bring cash?
The short answer is yes! Atins does not have a cash machine, and only a few of the pousadas and restaurants started to accept credit and debit cards more recently. At the Convento we accept payment by Master/Maestro and Visa with Chip & PIN.
The last opportunity to stock up on cash is in Barreirinhas.
The Banco do Brasil branch is located in the centre near the port and taxi stop and is open from 09.00-14.00 if you require teller cash-outs on credit and debit cards (possible for VISA and Master/Maestro). If you are headed for the cash machine look out for the Visa/Maestro symbols to queue in front of the appropriate machine.
There are also branches of Bradesco (next to Banco do Brasil), Caixa and Banco do Nordeste (on the way to the bridge entering the Lençois, closer to the Cisne Branco stop). Keep in mind the varying cash-out limits.
Since there are always sizeable crowds and queues in Barreirinhas we advise to stock in cash up in São Luís (Terminal 2 at the airport or at the Rodoviária).
- Do you have stable electricity?
It’s only more recently that Atins was connected to three-phasic electricity having been on a mono-phasic grid for around 10 years. However, blackouts are quite common. At the Convento, we generate our own solar energy. We also have a a No-Break battery system to bridge blackouts of the public grid for up to 12 hours. The voltage is 220V and the the plug type is “N”, European “C” also works.
- Do you arrange trips and transfers?
We’ll happily advise and organise any type of excursion you would like to endeavour on, as well as private transfers to Barreirinhas, São Luís, Barra Grande, Jeri, etc.
We work with trusted partners and aim to get you the best value for money. Where we do not receive a commission from the service provider we generally charge a 15% service for our efforts, either way we will inform you accordingly. We believe this to be the most transparent and honest way to transact.
Please just give us some notice, however, to arrange reservations and confirm everything for you.
- Do you offer breakfast?
Yes, breakfast is included and will be served from 7:30 to 9:00.
- How about other meals and alimentation?
We don’t currently have an on-premise restaurant. There are however a number of restaurants in close proximity. Just ask us and we’ll indicate you some place that tickles your fancy.
Alternatively you’d have the kitchen at your free disposal. A few house rules: (1) There is a dedicated storage space for your groceries. (2) It’s a tropical country, so please leave the kitchen as you found it! (3) In consideration of other guests we would kindly ask you to limit the use of the kitchen until 22:00.
Please check in with the help or manager in case you have any further questions regarding the use of the kitchen. Lastly, we offer filtered water for free. In addition, we sell mineral water, sodas or beer.
- What should I bring?
Remember Atins does not know paved roads! Leave your suitcase at home and carry a backpack. Most people do not require a lot when in Atins. You’ll most find yourself wearing shorts and a T-Shirt as well as your sandals. Bring a hat for the sun and sunglasses and as many books as you need and want.
- Are there any shops in Atins?
Atins only has a few shops that stock the most essential groceries. If you are planning to rent a holiday house and stay for longer, it is recommended to stock up on supplies in Barreirinhas or even São Luís. Make sure to bring sufficient sunscreen, repellents, batteries, etc.
- Do you clean the rooms daily?
Yes, we clean all rooms daily before 11am. Bedsheets and towels will be changed every three days.
- Do you have air condition in the rooms?
In short, no. And we feel it isn’t necessary and would, in fact, be against our principles of minimising our ecological footprint. We’ll explain: whilst a tropical place Atins enjoys strong winds throughout most of the year, so the perceived temperature (in the shade) is much more bearable than measured.
When building the Convento we ensured that each room was naturally well ventilated. We do have ventilators in each room though, in case you’ll require more ventilation.
- Do you have hot showers?
We have solar water heating facilities installed that provides hot water for all rooms. It may take a minute or so for the hot water to arrive from the tap.
- What’s the medical support like in Atins?
The Posto de Saúde in Atins has recently experienced an upgrade. A doctor is now present Monday afternoon to Thursday. If you get seriously sick or unhealthy be prepared to undertake an emergency run to Barreirinhas for medical care and the next pharmacy.
- Do you offer drop-in Yoga classes?
Currently not, but if you know a instructor who would like to hold a retreat or spend some time in Atins and give classes on our beautiful platform, we’d be more than happy to hear from you.
- How far is the Kite spot?
We are 100m or a 5 minutes walk from the beach. You’ll find various start points along the beach pending on the tides.
- Do you offer Kite storage?
Feel free to use the Kite station to hang, rinse and dry your kite equipment, free of charge. You can store your equipment here or directly on the beach (at a fee).
- Do you offer Kite instructions or repair?
We don’t ourselves. There are a number of Kite centres in short walking distance (5 – 10 minutes) and we can point you to the one most suitable to your needs.
- Do you offer laundry?
We offer laundry services, at a charge. Please speak with the maid to coordinate. Laundry will be ready within 24 hours.
- Is your place safe?
Atins is a tranquil place and generally safe. However, break-ins and thefts have occurred. So, since we can not accept liability for your valuables we would ask to always fully lock your room and take the keys with you when you go out. But please don’t loose them, we would need to charge a R$ 200 fee to replace the locks. Our chalets come with safe-deposit-boxes. We also have security cameras installed throughout the property.
- Can I drive to Atins?
To drive to Atins you will require a full spec SUV of the Hilux type and sufficient skills and experience driving in deep sand for extended periods of time. Access to the National Park requires a special accreditation, so your car will essentially be parked. It is far more practical and convenient to leave your car in Barreirinhas. Here you’ll find secure Parking in Barreirinhas.
- What’s your reservation policy?
At the time of booking you will be required to make a deposit payment of 50% of the full stay. We accept payment by debit and credit cards (VISA and MASTERCARD) only. Your room will be ready for you from 02:00 PM or earlier pending special arrangements. Upon check-in you will have to register. We require a valid identification such as an international passport, national ID card or driver’s license to be presented. You will also have to pay the balance of your accommodation in cash (Brazilian Reais) upon Check-in. You can check out until 12:00 PM. We will present you with your final bill for any services or consumption to be paid in cash as well.
For reservations during the New Year period (25/12 – 02/01) we request a deposit payment of 100% of the full stay upon reserving.
- What’s your cancellation policy?
We don’t overbook! We are a small bed&breakfast with only a few rooms and we generally have difficulty re-renting rooms after last-minute cancellations.
At the same time we recognise that sometimes plans change, so if you notify us by email or phone and wish to change your reservation within 5 nights of your original planned arrival, we will attempt to accommodate your request at no charge if we have rooms available for your alternative date.
In case you find yourself having to cancel we adopted what AirBnB considers a moderate cancellation policy:
- For a full refund of accommodation fees, cancellation must be made five full days prior to listing’s local check in time (or 03:00 PM if not specified) on the day of check-in. For example, if check-in is on Friday, cancel by the previous Sunday before check-in time.
- If you cancel less than 5 days in advance, the first night is non-refundable but 50% of the accommodation fees for remaining nights will be refunded.
- If you arrive and decide to leave early, 50% of the accommodation fees for the nights not spent 24 hours after the cancellation occurs are refunded.
Different rules apply for group bookings of more than 2 rooms or chalets. Please ask for these rules upon making your reservation.
Equally different rules apply for the New Year period (25/12 – 02/01). For reservations in that period we work with a 100% non-refundable for all cancellations.
We appreciate your consideration.