"Santarem - Pearl of River Tapajos" Santarém by mircaskirca

Santarém Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 44 photos

Santarem, the third largest city of the Brazilian strech of the Amazon river, is located in the center, halfway between Manaus and Belem. The city is at the confluence of the aquamarine river Tapajos and the muddy waters of Amazon.

Formally the main village of the indigenous Tapajos Indians, it became a city in 1661 and today Santarem is the second largest town in the state of Para. Until recently, it was a somewhat secluded jungle city, with an economy based primarily on wild harvesting and fishing. The later history of Santarem was marked by the wood, then rubber and more recently minerals. The most noteworthy of these may have been Henry Ford. He left his mark on this country in the form of two rubber plantations - Fordlandia and Belterra. Today this laid-back city has a new boom on the horizon - soybeans.

Santarem-based trips can take you into a little-known part of the Amazon, with few foreign visitors, to places where the ecosystem is greatly different from those around Manaus and Belem. And one of the main reasons why people come to Santarem is certainly a visit to Alter do Chao, one of the pretiest fresh-water beaches of the Amazon.

  • Last visit to Santarém: Dec 2006
  • Intro Updated Apr 2, 2007
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Reviews (10)

Comments (13)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    The beaches at Alter do Chao looks lovely! And walking along the river promenade sounds to be a good way to spend the evening. Great that you met some nice people who took you out dancing.

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2009 at 5:59 AM

    Interesting Santarém page! The waterfront looks amazing! Thanks for sharing. ~ho & pang

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    OK, it's Thursday now, so if I were in Brazil the weekend would already be beginning! This looks like another lovely place, with a fresh-water beach no less. I like the aerial photos in your travelogue.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2007 at 6:16 AM

    Having lived in both Africa and Papua New Guinea, I have always held a fascination for Brazil (and the Amazon in particular). Thanks for taking me on this excellent virtual tour of this very intriguing part of the world!

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Nov 10, 2007 at 12:14 AM

    Thanks for the informative page on this important Amazon city :-)

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2007 at 2:10 AM

    Well written page. Santarem looks like a natural getaway to relax and chill out. Cheers, SL :)

  • vesna04's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2007 at 12:20 AM

    Hello Mira! It must've been a great vacation. I envy you :(

  • schurlif's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2007 at 3:43 PM

    sigh... without the stop in Santarem I probably wouldn't have survived the boat trip Manaus-Belem :¬) ... what a fantastic experience the supermarket with real food was !! And what did you drink with your tucunare ? cupuaçu juice ? Feliz Aniversário !!

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2007 at 8:52 AM

    The meeting of the waters looks fantastic - great descriptions & nice serenades

  • nixca316's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2007 at 4:51 AM

    Hi Mira! It's nice to learn about this place...

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