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The fascinating Brazilian village of Alter do Chao is one of the country’s most beautiful, but least known destinations. The village sits between the mighty Amazon River and the smaller Tapajos River on a small sliver of land. Alter do Chao boasts some of Brazil’s most immaculate beaches and crystal clear waters along its beautiful coastline. The region also contains spectacular rainforest scenery, which is home to an array of stunning wildlife including a fabulous range of tropical birds. This tranquil location, surrounded by an incredible tropical natural landscape is one the Brazil’s hidden gems and an astounding cruise destination.
Alter do Chao itself is a quaint and serene village community, with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, but the area's main attraction is its inspiring scenery. Boat trips along the Amazon River are available so visitors can observe the vast rainforest that makes up much of the surrounding region. Spending time on Alter do Chao’s pristine beaches and swimming in the stunning, translucent ocean waters is also an essential part of any stay in the village. The region’s stunning natural attractions include:
Tapajos National Forest
Covering an incredible 600,000 hectares, the Tapajos National Forest is a well preserved and wonderful area of conservation. The region contains flora, fauna and wildlife typical of a diverse rainforest environment and is a great place to trek through the Amazon Rainforest safely.
Bosque Santa Lucia
The Bosque Santa Lucia is a beautiful botanical garden encompassing around 109 hectares of land. The garden contains an enlightening information centre as well as several hiking trails from which visitors can view the superb flowers and flora native to the area.
ZooFIT is a large animal rescue and recovery centre located close to Alter do Chao. The protected area is a safe haven for regional wildlife and a great place for visitor to learn more about the animals native to Brazil and the Amazon Rainforest. The conservation area also contains a research centre and several hiking trails from which visitors can explore the rainforest.
A fantastic place to pick up authentic local souvenirs and artwork is Arariba Arte E Artes. Items on offer range from low cost jewellery to expensive masks and statuettes. Alternatively, for a wider range of familiar items, travellers should consider making the trip 16 miles north east of Alter do Chao to the Paraiso Shopping Centre in Santarem. The larger shopping centres located in the bigger towns and cities nearby will sell a wider variety of produce and souvenirs.
Exotic local delicacies in Alter do Chao include peacock bass butter, Pirarucu stew and the acai berry which is often eaten with Tapioca flour and barbequed Pirarucu. Many restaurants will serve the traditional Brazilian meal of beans, rice, fried fish and flour. Seafood is particularly popular around the region but visitors will find other eateries serving a range of meat, pasta and pizza dishes.
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