The Northern region of Brazil holds an unknown world to most Brazilians and foreigners, where the culture, festivals, music, colors, smells and tastes have an Amazonian flavor.
The region does not have great climate variation because of Equator Line that separates the planet in two hemispheres. It is summer all year in North region, even if it is raining.
Worth the visit no matter what time of the year. There is an incredible and fascinating world to be discovered over there.
The best way to get to Santarém is by plane. The city has an airport that receives regular flights departing from several cities of Brazil. The aircraft usually arrive in the early afternoon, so what you can do to enjoy better the day is to rent a car at the airport and go to Alter do Chão, a paradise 38 km away.
Located in the middle of the Amazon, the destination has river beaches and white sand that shows up during the dry season - between August and November, of the Tapajós River. One of them is the Ponta of Cururu Beach, where you can practice rappelling, canoeing and sport fishing, hiking in the forest and swim with porpoises. After these amazing activities, be sure to try some delicacies of the local cuisine.
We recommend you to spend the night in Alter do Chão, where the boats depart
ure for the next day tour .
Today, we are going to the Tapajós National Forest, one of the most protected areas in the Amazon. The boat ride takes about 2 hours, stopping for swimming and landscape observation.
Hiking through the forest is made with local guides who know all the way, secrets and best spots for fauna and flora observation. It is also worth canoeing through the streams and visits the ribeirinhos (traditional population in South America who lives near rivers) and indigenous communities of the region. The full tour lasts about 4 hours and it is recommended to wear sneakers and jeans. Bring water and food.
Back to Santarém, if you are in the mood and have time, visit the João Fona Cultural Center or the Santarém Museum, open until 5pm. Its collection gathers information about the city history, but also has archaeological pieces, such as ancient coins, sacred images and handicrafts made by Tapajós indians. Be sure to check out a whale fossil that went up the river.
The day gets dark early near the Equator. Be sure to have dinner and then take a flight to the city of Belém. There are flights at night connecting the two cities, about 1 hour trip.
The famous place of Belém is the Ver-o-Peso Market that offers daily fresh fishes, spices, fruits, vegetables, drinks, clothing and much more. Built in the end of the 19th century, at Ciclo da Borracha (Rubber Cycle) boom, was important for the city development and the entire region too. In addition to many tents, there are also several restaurants. Restaurants with a beautiful view of Guamá River serve dishes from the famous local cuisine, freshly cooked on site.
Next to the Ver-o-Peso is the Docas Station, where boats depart
ure to nearby islands and rivers tour. Completely renovated and restored, the place offers concerts and cultural presentations. It also houses restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops, as well as the best ice cream in Belém, made with Amazonian fruits. The popular flavor is açaí but you must try other flavors too, such as hog plum (taperebá), soursop and tapioca (a starch extracted from the cassava root).
In the late afternoon, visit the Our Lady of Nazareth Basilica, the largest local church and faithful pilgrimage spot especially during the Círio de Nazaré (Nazareth Cirio) The festivity happens on the second Sunday in October and draws millions of devotees to Belém. It is one of the largest religious events in the world.
Boats and ferries are responsible to connect Belém and Marajó, in a 3:30 hour crossing. If you want to safe time, opt for the catamaran, which takes about 2 hours.
Marajó is bathed by Amazonas and Tocantins rivers and by the sea. The place has several special features such as the world's largest river island, is near the Equator line and keeps a wild and untouched Amazon rain forest area. It worth’s a visit.
The slower boats arrive in Salvaterra, the first destination of the day. The catamaran disembarks in Soure, the island capital, where you can take another boat to Salvaterra. Be sure to visit the Grande Beach. The landscapes are breathtaking. And the water is calm, dark and warm, perfect for swimming. If you get hungry, do not hesitate to order some snacks in the many kiosks of the place.
Next stop is in Água Boa, which has beach and stream, both great for swimming, in an amazing natural beauties landscape. Another high point is the boat ride through the stream waters. A beautiful spectacle and at the rise of the tide, you can float in the unhurried pace of the river.