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Parintins is a township of just over 80,000 that has become one of the cultural hubs of the Amazonas region. Although it is larger in size than many of the ports on the Amazon River, it still retains the vibrant heart and soul of the locales that are scattered up and down the world's most famous river.
Over 200 years old, this lively township has held an idyllic commune with nature since its inception, its buildings surrounded by lush jungles and greenery as far as the eye can see. And then of course, there are the magnificent waters of the Amazon minutes away from the centre, with boats of all descriptions travelling its majestic expanse day and night. If you were looking for the authentic side of Brazil, this is a fantastic place to start.
The Parintins Waterfront
The life and soul of the town resides within its picturesque waterfront, which has an incredible fervent energy. The locals tender their colourful yachts ashore, ferries unload cargo, and fishing boats bring in their catches, all while all sorts of items are bought and sold among the locals. IF you're looking for a different side of Brazil than beach resorts and skyscrapers, this is undoubtedly the place for you.
Catedral Nossa Senhora do Carmo
This awe-inspiring cathedral is one of the tallest buildings in Parintins- a testament to its quaint size- and its central tower can be seen from anywhere within the town. Wonderfully adorned with brightly coloured pillars on its exterior, this magnificent building is just as intriguing on the inside. Altar inlaid with gold leaf, and carvings of religious figures in vaulted alcoves on either side of the church, while a series of pillars painted by local artists depict everything from the journeys of John the Baptist to the last supper, adding vivid splashes of colour to the cavernous interior.
The Parintins Mountain Ridge
Once you've explored the fast-paced thrills at the centre of town, make sure to head to the outskirts, strap on your hiking shoes, and venture up the northern wilderness trail to the Parintins Mountain Ridge. Standing at 152 metres high, this ridge is flecked with colourful stony outcrops and mossy ledges that make it an outstanding sight. If you wish to head down the slope of the mountain, you will be rewarded by a visit to the crystal clear Valeria Lake.
Parintins has no real branded or franchise stores to visit, but the township is filled with craftsmen looking to sell their wares. Look out for tribal wood carvings and authentic garments weaved completely by hand.
The authenticity of Parintins means it doesn't have commercial eateries. The delectable bonus to this however is that you can choose to indulge in fresh fish caught daily by the local fisherman. Simply head down to the harbour to enjoy fresh seafood which was caught hours, if not minutes before. The amount of fishmongers on the waterfront means you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining.
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