Situated between the large northern capitals of Brazil (Belém, in Pará, and Manaus in Amazonas), Santarém is surrounded by two rivers: the Amazon, of muddy water, and Tapajós, of clear and green water, forming a beautiful meeting of different waters that do not mix for several kilometers. These rivers give Santarém a great ecotourist vocation, by offering 300 km of wonderful freshwater beaches with white sands, as well as tours of the Amazon Rainforest and lakes, islands, waterfalls and igarapés (rain forest waterways).
Santarém achieved worldwide famein 2009 because the Balneário Alter do Chão was rated by the English newspaper The Guardian as one of the best beaches in Brazil. This is not by chance. The white sand beaches and blue-green water offer sanctuary in a paradise in the middle of the Amazon. You can bathe in the river, hike in the forest or even take a boat ride in the forest during the wet season.
For the more adventurous, the geography, full of waterfalls, rivers and rock formations are an invitation for rappelling, canyoning and sport fishing. In Alter do Chão, you can also have the experience to swim with porpoises (freshwater dolphins). The porpoises are the main characters in the largest local folklore festival, the Festival of Sairé. The event takes place in September and mixes regional legends with catholic and indigenous religious rituals.
Santarém is one of the oldest cities in the North region and is home to secular monuments and historical buildings. You can visit the Cathedral of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, the oldest of the city, and the Museu de Arte Sacra (Museum of Sacred Art), close to the church. Another museum that is worth visiting is João Fona, which has ceramic casts of the tribe from Pará: the Tapajó Indians.
In Aritapera, you can see the traditional production of gourds, declared a Cultural Heritage Site of Brazil by the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (Iphan – the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage). They can be purchased at the Centro de Artesanato do Tapajós Cristo Rei (Tapajós Cristo Rei Handicraft Center).
Santarém airport has national flights and international flight connections.
The nearest international airport to Santarém is Manaus, which receives flights from Buenos Aires, Paris, Atlanta, Miami, Lisbon, Panama City and Punta Cana.
The Santarem Port receives regional watercraft, including those from the harbors of Manaus (2 days journey tie) and Belém (5 days journey time). You can travel in cabins or in hammocks (though, you will need to bring your own).
Stop in Manaus: + 55 (92) 3233-7061
Stop in Belém: + 55 (91) 3224-1225
Personal or rental Vehicles
To get to the attractions of Santarém, you can hire the services of a local tourism agency.
It is common to use canoes and motorboats to commute around the city and surrounding area.
The most comfortable way of getting around town is by taxi. Refer to the companies which provide this type of service.