On my Brazil road trip, I'm wondering about a certain section:

Belem to Bequimão, in January 2020

this stretch is 581km long and takes 10h39min, see google map directions

that would meet my needs, as I don't want to drive more than 12hours/day avoiding to drive at night. We are renting a small 4WD.

Some issues come into my mind:

  • since the route is "only" 580km, but calculations is for nearly 11 hours, how bad are the roads?
  • I'm traveling in the rain season, should I therefore add-on more travel time?
  • The map link states: "WARNING: This route has restricted usage or private roads.", it seems to relate to the ferries only?

So I come to my question:

Can I drive this stretch reasonably in less than 12 hours, or should I plan a halfway-point (around 50% travel-time)? If so, where would be a good place to stay overnight?

  • You would need truly local knowledge for a good answer here.
    – Fattie
    Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 18:48
  • The roads look good on Street View. Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 19:52
  • 3
    The 'restricted or private' warning happens often when you put your starting or ending point in one. Make sure to pick valid streets to start and end; if it still appears, take it serious. I do NOT get the warning, and only 8:08 h - something is fishy with your data.
    – Aganju
    Commented Dec 29, 2019 at 0:21
  • 2
    @aganju There's a ferry involved that might change the time needed. The private access roads seem to be leading to the ferry Commented Jan 9, 2020 at 3:05
  • 1
    There’s a ferry involved so that may change the time calculation. Also you need to factor in multiple stops, perhaps for coffee or an exit for food. In my opinion, it will definitely go beyond 12 hours so I would make a stop at half point or perhaps at 70% mark. Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 2:54

3 Answers 3


Having driven thousands of kilometers in Brazil, I have to say that it frequently takes much longer than estimates provided by Google Maps. Even for that would be considered major roads, it is easy for it to take 20-40% more.

Road conditions vary from having brand new smooth parts to unfinished terrain the the same road! The other things to note is, while Brazilians tend to drive as fast as possible, stretches often slow down to a crawl, not to mention before and after every village, police station and speed traps with very low limits.

Some directions gave me that warning but live-traffic maps change routes according to traffic, so I have not encountered any issue, although I did not drive on that particular route you mention. In this case, it seems to be the ferry because the warning disappears when marking 'Avoid Ferries' but that also brings up the time to above 13 hours which probably takes more! One thing to note with ferries is that there is a overhead for getting the ticket, paying, waiting for loading and the scheduled time of the next ferry, plus you might miss the last one that day which would add a considerable amount of time.


The roads in this region of Brazil are very bad. This BR-316 is one of the worst roads in Brazil. 7 months ago it was impassable, but it seems to be trafficable. I recommend a lot of patience and add about 2h or 3h to your planning.


In addition to the helpful existing answers, we found out that there is a village called Bequimão and a neighborhood in São Luís, also called Bequimão. When searching google maps initially, just that second location popped up, which following the traced route would only be reachable by a ferry, hence the extra time.

At the end, we reached the village Bequimão, as we had planned (hotel booked) in pretty much the time given by google maps. The next day we crossed the bay using the ferry to reach São Luís and the Bequimão neighborhood and to continue our journey.

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