One of Brazil’s loveliest beaches is not on the coast, nor is it bathed by salt water. The Amazon Caribbean – as the small fishing village of Alter do Chão is known – was elected by the respected English newspaper, The Guardian, as the first among the ten most beautiful beaches in Brazil.
An ideal place to enjoy the “Amazonian summer”, between the months of August and December, it is the main tourist attraction of the second largest city in Pará, Santarém, with its sandy beaches and blue, crystal-clear water. The place becomes a popular bathing resort when the river waters recede, and leave the paradisiacal landscape in view.
Tourists can enjoy some of the beaches on foot, leaving from the center of Alter. Cajueiro, Jacundá, and Praia Pequena are the easiest beaches to reach. The most popular choice – the Praia do Amor (Beach of Love) – is a strip of sand right in front of the district’s main stairway. The other strips of sand, farther away and private, such as the tip of Cururu and the tip of Mureta, are strategic places for enjoying a beautiful sunset. The transportation to these beaches can be made by the “catraieiros” (boat pilots) that wait at the bottom of the Alter do Chão stairway.
It’s not a bad idea to visit Alter during the flood period. At that time, one can enjoy boat trips and excursions into the forest.
The small village is an incredible option for those who wish to know the Amazon: it offers all the infrastructure necessary to receive tourists, the calm of the lovely beaches that are formed when the waters recede, and the experience of knowing one of Brazil’s main natural beauties: the Amazon Forest.