"Alcantara" Alcântara by mircaskirca
Alcântara Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 99 photos
If you like history, you have to visit a town that seems to have stopped in time - Alcantara. The town is set in a wonderful tropical landscape on the other side of the Baia de Sao Marcos from Sao Luis. Founded in the 17th century, it was one of the richest and most important towns in Maranhao and the seat of the rural aristocracy.
While the town has been in decline since the latter half of the 19th century, it is still considered an architectural treasure. Alcantara is virtually untouched and was listed as a National Heritage Site in 1948. It has an outstanding architectural heritage, with over 300 colonial buildings as well as some interesting ruins. Heart of the town is Praca da Matriz, a square plaza surrounded by colonial buildings, a pelourinho (pillory), ruins of the Igreja Mariz de Sao Matias and century old trees.
Beside the ancient, Alcantara has been home to a sample of modern air-space technology since the 80s. One of the most modern Latin American space bases, where satellite launching projects are developed, is installed just 7 km from the town.
Alcantara has also some nice deserted beaches, accessible by canoe. Even better is to sail through igarapes (mangroves) and visit Ilha do Cajual, an island where you can see beautiful guaras (red ibis).
You get to Alcantara by boat from Sao Luis. The journey takes about an hour.
Every year tens of thousands of migratory shorebirds reach the Maranhense coast. An importing nesting area is found deep... more travel advice
Soon after my arrival at Pousada dos Guaras I agreed with the boatman about the transfer across the canal to the beach.... more travel advice
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