Alter do Chão is one of the administrative districts of the municipality of Santarém, in the state of Pará, located on the right bank of the Tapajós River, access to this location can be by river, taking 48 hours from Manaus and 36 hours from Belém. Alter do Chão was one of the transport routes for latex extracted from the rubber trees in Belterra and Fordlândia.
It was a short period of development for the village, but from the 1950s onwards, the decline of Amazonian extraction occurred and the village was hit by the economic deficit, from the 1990s to the present day. The current district is betting on tourism to evolve economically, in which it has obtained good results.
Alter do Chão cuisine
In Alter do Chão, traditional dishes are represented by Caruru, a stew made with okra, chicken or meat and also, tucupi, a broth made with cassava and dried shrimp. The base of the local cuisine is the fish which is the strong point of the village and which cannot be missing from the restaurant menu. Among the most preferred species are the tucunaré and tambaqui, the sweets based on regional fruits are also highlights.
In cultural terms, the island’s inhabitants perpetuate the culture of their ancestors, manifesting themselves in the celebration of rituals practiced by the first inhabitants. The main cultural manifestations are:
The Festival began to be held in the 1990s, and attracts more visitors with each edition. The festivity portrays the origins of the Borari Indians, the first inhabitants of the village, and today it is the young people who strive to make the cultural rescue of the festival through dances and preparing the typical food of the Borari.
Festa do Sairé, folk event of Alter do Chão
It is the oldest folk event that takes place in September. The festival has been around for 300 years, featuring religious rituals and folk disputes by the Tucuxi and Cor de Rosa dolphins.
Alter do Chão has become one of the most famous ecotourism destinations in Brazil because of the Tapajós River, which is home to a scenic beauty, with its blue waters and white sand beaches that appear when the waters go down between August and December. The village became famous outside Brazil when it entered a list of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, made by an English newspaper (The Guardian), becoming popularly known as the Brazilian Caribbean. Some of its main attractions are:
It is the main destination for tourists arriving in Alter do Chão, the place is a point of sand connected to the mainland, where on one side is Lago Verde and on the other the Tapajós River, it is full of kiosks and services, such as renting kayaks.
Morro da Piraoca in Alter do Chão
The highest hill in the region, it reigns in the middle of the Amazonian vegetation and offers a 360º view of the surroundings of Alter do Chão.
Ponta de Pedras Beach
Ponta de Pedras Beach is part of the municipality of Santarém and is widely visited by boat trips that leave Alter do Chão, is bathed by the Tapajós River and has rocky formations on the riverside.
With several thatched huts on the banks of the Tapajós River, the beach is the ideal setting to relax and watch the sunset at dusk that happens in the waters directly in front of the beach huts.
With several arms of water that create small lagoons, the strip of fine white sand on the beach takes on beautiful shapes, the place has wooden huts with straw cover, and has several restaurants.
Ponta do Jutuba
With a point that enters the Tapajós River in the shape of a hook, Ponta do Jutuba has the most beautiful scenery of Alter do Chão, the place is an extension of Praia do Jutuba and it is possible to move smoothly between the two.
Icuxi beach near Alter do Chão
The beach is a mix of shallow and deep waters, which allows you to see the Arapiuns river in different shades.
Ponta Grande is a large point of white sand, also filled with small pools, with a long and thin strip of sand with water on both sides.
Visit to riverside communities in Alter do Chão
Prepared to receive tourists, the villages on the banks of the Arapiuns offer tourists typical food and exchange of stories. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the riverside culture and way of life.
Tapajós National Forest
The Tapajós National Forest is accessible by the Tapajós River. The most common points of support for tourists visiting the region are the communities of Jamaraquá (where the forest is named Flona Jamaraquá), Maguari and São Domingos.
The tour to the Canal do Jari is especially interesting for observant and nature-loving travelers, the route is made by speedboat that follows inside this channel and leads to beautiful scenery, where it will be easy to see typical riverside houses, Amazonian vegetation, many birds and even some animals, such as sloths, monkeys, alligators and some dolphins.
Alter do Chão is a paradisiacal destination that must be known. The Brazilian Caribbean is full of natural, gastronomic and cultural beauties.