[from our special guest Daniel]
The island of Marajó, in the state of Pará, north of Brazil, is the largest island to be completely surrounded by freshwater in the world. It is larger than Switzerland. The main touristic points of the island are found near the towns of Salvaterra and Soure, on the east of the island, separated by the river Paracauari. The symbol of Marajó are its buffalos, a species that adapted perfectly to the large flooded plains of the island. They are tame and you will find huge herds of them. The local police force mount on them!
WE LIKE THE MOST: the wide variety of landscapes on a lush environment. Peace, quiet and safety. Buffalo cheese and meet. The really sweet pineapples of Salvaterra.
WE LIKE THE LEAST: the distance and the terrible communication system, with truly uncomfortable boats. The non-existent tourist infrastructure. The erosion that is finishing Salvaterra up while the powers-that-be do nothing to prevent it.
HOW TO GET THERE: by sea there are daily boats leaving from Belém going to Camará harbour (ticket around R$ 14). If you want to take a car, the ferry leaves from Icoarací, each cars costs approximately R$70 and the crossing takes between three and four hours. From Camará harbour to Salvaterra there is a bus (R$2). The ferry crossing to Soure is free for pedestrians and costs around R$6 per car. There is a new boat that goes directly to Soure, takes between four and five hours.
CAREFUL WITH: the rocking of the boat; those prone to sea-sickness will have a really rough time. Very strong winds blowing at the beaches – the locals love it as it mitigates the heat. Distances are huge, you need some means of transportation to get you to places.
FAVOURITE PLACES: praia do Pesqueiro in Soure; Fazenda Bom Jesús, in Soure; Joanes, in Salvaterra.
PIECE OF ADVICE:
- do visit a fazenda, some of them offer accommodation and trips.
- if you take the ferry from Icoarací, buy a first-class ticket, you will be able to stay on the deck and enjoy the crossing.
- Joanes, a tiny village near Salvaterra, is a must: ruins of a Jesuit Mission from the XVII century, cliffs, a fishing village and a very nice beach.
- the island is perfect for those riding a bicycle. It’s plain and there is hardly any traffic. Some pousadas offer bicycles to their guests.
- another way of getting in touch with the natural environment is to navigate on canoes through the numerous igarapés (streams).
- the best time of the year to visit the island goes from June to December, when the rain diminishes and the level of the Amazon is lower, uncovering the beaches and making it possible to travel around the island.
ACCOMMODATION: list of hotels and pousadas at Ilha do Marajó
WEATHER FORECAST: The weather in Salvaterra for the next 10 days
[Don’t forget to check out the list of other destinations already covered in this blog, here]
Category: Destination: Pará