Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Amazonas and Tocantins rivers, Ilha do Marajó is an ideal destination for those who want to explore an almost wild portion of the Amazon, with rivers, jungle, mangroves and creeks. To get to Soure, its most important city, you need to catch a river transportation in Belém: a boat, for passengers without vehicles; or a ferry, for those who have a car.
The first destination is Praia do Pesqueiro, with its rough waters which are saltier than other beaches in the region. Framed by sand dunes and palm trees, the place has good infrastructure for visitors, with several kiosks and restaurants. There, you can eat some of the local delicacies, such as the famous Marajó cheese, made with buffalo milk. In fact, buffaloes are present all around the island.
The Água Boa Creek is the next stop. It may be accessed through a dirt road which has about 4 km. Located next to the beach of the same name, it is highly sought after by families, for its natural beauty and tranquility. The best time to visit it is between March and July, the rainy season, when water levels are higher.
At night, take the opportunity to walk around Soure, visiting its craft shops, chatting with the friendly locals and, of course, tasting a little more of the cuisine of Pará. While contemplating the pier, we recommend you have some tacacá at the main square. Tacacá is a soup made with tucupi (yellow sauce extracted from wild manioc root), dried shrimp, cassava starch and jambu (Acmella oleracea) leaves. Yum!
Wake up early, go for a last swim in the river and ride the boat back to Belém, where the plane to Santarém departs from. You need to catch the first flight in the morning, to spend the whole day at the new destination.
A trip of little more than 1 hour unites the capital and the countryside of the State of Pará. In Santarém, don't waste time and go to the Tapajós National Forest. The 4-hour long trail reveals mountains, trees, the jungle and many rivers and beaches. The highlight is getting to the gigantic Samaúma (tree typical to the Amazon), so ancient and magnificent that it even has a name: vovózona, or “grandma”.
Located 38 km from Santarém, Alter do Chão was appointed by the English newspaper The Guardian as the best beach of Brazil. And the most beautiful freshwater beach in the world. No wonder. Its sands are white and its waters have a turquoise shade of blue. When they go low, a land strip appears on the river that forms a shoal called Ilha do Amor (Island of Love), only seen between September and February. During the wet season, it disappears.
After enjoying this true paradise, it is worth it visiting the João Fona Museum, in Santarém. The colonial-style building houses a beautiful collection of archaeological ceramics, created by the primitive indigenous populations. And even fish fossils, images carved in wood, collections of ancient coins and, as expected, the history of Santarém.