The Amazon: Places to Explore

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  • Alter do Chão

    The cruise down the Rio Tapajós to the village of Alter do Chão, on the Lago Verde (Green Lake), is one of the best excursions from Santarém. The area has been called "the Caribbean of the...

  • Belém

    The capital of Pará State, Belém is a river port of around 1.4 million people on the south bank of the Rio Guamá, 120 km (74 miles) from the Atlantic, and 2,933 km (1,760 miles) north of Rio de...

  • Ilha do Marajó

    With an area of roughly 49,600 square km (18,900 square miles), Ilha do Marajó is reputedly the world's largest river island. Its relatively unspoiled environment and abundant wildlife make it...

  • Ilha do Mosqueiro

    Most Belém residents head for one of 18 beaches on Mosqueiro Island, along the Rio Pará. Mosqueiro is easily accessible by car or intermunicipal bus Beira-Dão.

  • Macapá

    Macapá is on the north channel of the Amazon Delta and, like Belém, was built by the Portuguese as an outpost. Today it's the capital of and the largest city in the Amapá State, with 150,000...

  • Manaus

    Manaus, the capital of Amazonas State, is a hilly city of around 1.8 million people that lies 766 km (475 miles) west of Santarém and 1,602 km (993 miles) west of Belém on the banks of the Río...

  • Monte Alegre

    Wedged on a hillside between fertile Amazon wetlands and cerrado (dry scrub forest), the Monte Alegre area has long been a preferred site for human habitation. In the hills behind the town, carbon...

  • Praia Outeiro

  • Presidente Figueiredo

    One of the Amazon's best-kept secrets is a two-hour drive north of Manaus. The town of Presidente Figueiredo (founded 1981) has dozens of waterfalls—up to 32 meters (140 feet) in height—and...

  • Salinópolis

    Commonly known as Salinas, this old salt port on the Atlantic coast is loaded with beaches. It lies south of the mouth of the Amazon River, three to four hours from Belém on good roads, making it...

  • Santarém

    Since its founding in 1661, Santarém has ridden the crest of many an economic wave. First wood, then rubber, and more recently minerals have lured thousands of would-be magnates hoping to carve...

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