We have a new, expanded and updated entry on Alter do Chão: destination: Alter do Chão and the river Tapajós.
Alter do Chão is a small town in the state of Pará, council of Santarém. It is located at the entrance of a lake formed on the right bank of the Tapajós river – one of the biggest tributaries of the Amazon and known for its greenish-blue waters. When the level of the Amazon river is low, from July to January, a beach of fine and clear sands appears at the entrance of the lake, the praia do Amor. Alter do Chão is known as the Caribbean Amazon for its combination of clear water and sand.
1. WE LIKE THE MOST:
To spend the day at the Ilha do Amor (literally, “love island”) eating snacks and drinking beer; to watch the sunset from the new pier and end the night with a piracaia (barbeque fish) at the beach
2. WE LIKE THE LEAST:
Noise pollution along the river front and the Praça Matriz; the Ilha do Amor vanishes for several month; mass tourism will eventually end up destroying the place.
3. HOW TO GET THERE:
You can only reach Santarém by plane or by boat (from Manaos or Belem). From Santarém to Alter there’s a forty-minute drive by bus (hourly service, from 6:00 a 18:00, around R$2) or by taxi (R$50 aprox.)
4. CAREFUL WITH:
Going there out of season, with the Ilha gone Alter do Chão looses part of its charm; trying to go attend the festa do Sairé at the beginning of September without booking your accomodation first: prices shoot up and hotels are booked months in advance.
5. FAVOURITE PLACES:
Ilha do Amor, Ponta de Cururu.
6. PIECE OF ADVICE:
- there are plenty of things to do in Alter do Chão’s surrounding area: a quiet walk along the flooded rainforest and virgin beaches, river-dolphin watching; trekking at the National Parks; getting to know the natives; and even discover a typically American village built by the Ford company during the rubber fever
- during the weekend Alter becomes the beach for the inhabitants of Santarem; the place is chock-a-block. During the week it is much quieter
- there is a supermarket and several shops where you will be able to obtain supplies; however, there are no ATM’s in Alter
- Alter is an exceptional place if you want to purchase authentic indigenous crafts; some of the shops are real museums
- don’t go from the airport to Santarem by taxi only to take the bus to Alter. The airport is half-way between Santarem and Alter
- there’s a great travel agency at the main square, run by Argentinians: Mãe Natureza. They offer good advice and excellent juices and sandwiches.
Full listing of hotels and pousadas in Alter do Chão.
9. WEATHER FORECAST:
10. GOOGLE MAPS:
Alter do Chão
Our thanks to Daniel for this text.
Category: Destination: Amazon