Destination: Alcântara

August 5, 2008 | By More

Igreja Matriz de São Matias, Alcântara

Alcântara is located less than 20 kilometres from São Luís, capital of the state of Maranhão. During the colonial period it was an important commercial centre. Walking along the town you will be able to see a substantial collection of historical heritage, from the times of the French occupation, first, and the Portuguese occupation after that.

WE LIKE THE MOST: the architecture, the small-town spirit that permeates the place, the delicious doce de espécie.

WE LIKE THE LEAST: as elsewhere in Brazil, the state of abandonment and neglect of the historical and cultural heritage; the negligible tourist infrastructure.

HOW TO GET THERE: by boat, from São Luis. The crossing takes one hour and the truth needs to be told: with a rough sea, a sick bag becomes an essential item.

wandering around beyond the limits of the village; the boat crossing mentioned above. Unfortunately, there is no alternative means of transportation.

FAVOURITE PLACES: the ruins of the Igreja Matriz de São Matias, the Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos, the Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Mercês, the Baronesa beach.


  • Alcântara is the perfect destination for a day trip from São Luís.
  • at the pier from where the boats to Alcântara leave you can find out the schedule of crossings; be careful, don’t miss the last boat back to São Luís or you’ll have to spend the night in Alcântara.
  • in fact, if you want to stay in Alcântara, there are three or four pousadas.
  • the Baronesa beach and nearby area are an excellent location to spot the incredibly beautiful scarlet ibis

LINKS: Cidades Históricas Brasileiras: Alcântara

WEATHER FORECAST: The weather in Alcântara for the next 10 days (data from São Luís)

GOOGLE MAPS: Alcântara

PHOTOS: São Luís and Alcântara

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Category: Destination: Maranhão

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