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The Richness of Alter do Chão, the 'Caribbean of the Amazon'

03/22/2018 - 11h03

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ROBERTO DE OLIVEIRA
SPECIAL ENVOY TO ALTER DO CHÃO

Alter do Chão, in the State of Pará, appeared out of nowhere on the route of exotic destinations in 2009, when the British newspaper The Guardian published a list of the ten most beautiful beaches in Brazil based upon voting and included it as a representative from the North of Brazil.

Islands and extensive tracks of sand are formed during the ebbing of the Tapajós River, which takes place between July and December, a period when it recedes by as much as one-hundred meters.

Ilha do Amor (Island of Love), the main one, emerges right in front of the Alter village and receives visitors during this six-month period.

But the region also holds surprises during the high-water period, when day trips by boat go out from Santarém heading towards the riparian villages, with inland excursions into the forest.

For those seeking a bit of peace and quiet, a good tip is to head to the Pindobal beach, about 50 km from Santarém, which is more peaceful during the high season.

Lucas Reis/Folhapress
Alter do Chão beach
Alter do Chão beach

This is one of the broadest sections on the Tapajós River, approximately 20 km wide.

The population of 6,000 inhabitants of the village, known as the Caribbean of the Amazon, nearly quadruples during the festive Amazonian summer.

The influx of tourists, as is to be expected, has brought with it accompanying problems. The most visible being perhaps the disorderly development along the river margin.

The most serious problem, however, is the presence of faecal coliforms in the waters of the seaside village.

Even though it is a tourist destination, the district still doesn't have a sewage system, a situation that the Mayor's Office promises to remedy next year.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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