Alter do Chão is tourist village located 32 km away from Santarém in Pará State in the edges of Tapajós River, an Amazon River tributary. The only way to get there is by plane on a flight out of Belém to Santarém, from where you get a transfer to Alter do Chão.
The city has about 2.000 km of exotic beaches, some with easy access and others completely desert and isolated. The region is also known as the “Amazonian Caribbean” because of the clear blue waters of the Amazon River tributaries that bathe the place.
The spectacular meeting of two distinct bodies of water with different temperature, density and velocity takes place in Tapajós River's estuary after being separated for more than 6 miles.
Here the tourists can enjoy boat rides, fishing trips and canoeing surrounded by a beautiful landscape of fluvial beaches, waterfalls and rock formations.
The Alter do Chão small urban area, shelters the Art, Culture and Indigenous Science and Arts Preservation Center (CPAI), known as the Indigenous Museum where we find rare objects and the history of the 70 tribes of the Amazonic region.
Center of Preservation of the Indigenous Art
Considered to be one of the best museums in the world in this area. The tribes of the Amazon and other parts of Brazil are represented with more than 2000 pieces of indigenous art. A selection of presents or souvenirs may be acquired in the museum's botique.
Local Handcraft: Handcrafted products made by local artists, manufactured with regional material, are intentioned to show what Alter do Chão has in special, attracting a bigger number of tourists trying to present the local culture and to commercialize the local typical products.
Belterra: It’s located at an elevated plain, near the edge of Tapajós River and is covered by a dense forest. Henry Ford idealized and built this town in the 30’s, according to the US southern architecture. This town was created to supply the car industry with local rubber. Emancipated as a city in 1997, it still preservates the american style in its constructions.
Canal do Jarí : A canal that connects the Amazonas River with the Tapajós River characterized by amazonian fauna and flora. Great place to do some bird and animal watching, especially alligators.
Meeting of the waters: Just like the meeting of the waters of Negro and Solimões Rivers, this meeting gets the attention of the tourists as well. The waters of Tapajós and Amazonas Rivers don’t mix up leaving a very well defined mark of each one. The different water speed and density causes this phenomenon.
Tapajós National Forest:Created in 1974, It has more than 600 thousand hectares and holds many native species of fauna and flora.
Beaches in Santarém Region:
- Canapanari beach: Is a desert beach. The only way to get there is by boat.
- Maracanã beach: Close to town only 6 km away by a paved and well signed road. The access can be done by boat. There is a small infrastructure to sell food and drinks.
- Maria José Beach: It’s desert and it doesn´t have infrastructure. The way to get there is through the river.
Ponta de Pedras: 23 km away on paved road plus 12 km on a non-paved road. The place is beautiful with its rock formations. The toruist will find little infra-structure to sell some food and drinks there.
Ponta do Cururu: Located next to the Alter do Chão village, with access through the river (30 minutes).
Serra da Piroca: Located next to Alter do Chão beach, it’s possible to walk to the mirant which offers a great view from Tapajós River and Alter do Chão.
Live Aboard Experience: Is worthy to explore Arapiuns River doing a live-aboard experience as you can appreciate beautiful beaches. Any ecotourist will be touched by local communities and the diverse of animals there, especially the Botos, a mammal similar to the dolphins.
Mosquitos: Always wear bug repellent to avoid mosquito bites.
Best Time to Go
The region climate is hot and humid with 27ºC as annual average temperature. Besides being located in a region with plenty of forest, rains are not that common.
The rainy season goes from December to May and the dry season goes between June and November. The chances of animal watching increases n the dry season. The beautiful white sand river beaches are filled with capivaras, mainly between September and January, which is the best period to explore the region.