Dubbed the "Carribean of the Amazon" because of its crystalline waters, white-sand beaches, and laid-back vibe, Alter do Chão is a relaxing place to spend a few days in the Amazon. The village itself is simple, with only a handful of pousadas and restaurants, but Alter's cosmopolitan community unites hippies, herbalists, and healers with nature lovers and off-duty entrepreneurs drawn to the area's natural beauty. During the dry season (August–February), white-sand islands and beaches emerge from the green waters of the Rio Tabajós, the only clear river in the Amazon. View more
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This is a self-exploration opportunity and advanced reservations are not required.
Alter do Chão, west of Santarem, a village on the clear Tapajos River with great sandy beaches, is justly the subject of a thousand postcards. A sandbar directly in front of the town forms a picturesque white-sand island, known as Ilha do Amor (Island of Love).
Besides its famous beach, Alter do Chão also stands at the entrance to a huge lagoon, Lago Verde. Also accessible is the lesser-known Rio Arapiunes, whose nickname, 'the Caribbean of the Amazon', is a forgivable exaggeration: reveals white-sand beaches and, on sunny days, transparent, even turquoise water. And don't miss Arariba, one of the best indigenous art stores in the Amazon region.
There are no facilities to operate any organized excursions here. Life here is a startling contrast to life in Brazil's modern Amazonian cities of Santarem and Manaus. In this village, see firsthand how the people of the Amazon live. Experience their culture as you visit their village.
Please note: Walking is at your own discretion over uneven and unprepared pathways and roads. We recommend wearing lightweight, cotton clothing and flat-soled walking shoes you do not mind getting soiled. Sun protection and insect repellent are also essential.