Alter do Chão, Brazil: Travel/Tourist Guide

Alter do Chão is a town in the Brazilian state of Pará, in the council of Santarém. It is found on the right bank of the Tapajós river at the entrance of a dark blue lake, Lago Verde. In the months of July to January, when the water level of the Amazon river is low, sands appear to form its popular beaches that give it the name the Brazilian Carribean. The name of the town must not be confused with the Portuguese town of Alter do Chão from which it takes its name from.

Getting There

Visitors can take a flight to Santarém from the cities of Manaus or Belém. The travel time takes one hour. There are also boats from those cities that land in Santarém. This takes two days and costs R$125 from Manaus or R$170 from Santarém. There is a bus terminal in Praça Tiradentes in Santarém with buses that stop at Pousada Tia Marilda. Tickets are cheap at R$2.50 for a 45-minute ride to Alter do Chão. 

Climate and Geography

The town has a tropical climate with a rainy season between January and July. The landscape is comprised mostly of white sand beaches with forests in the center and several green hills.


The most popular beach in town is Ilha do Amor, which translates to "Island of Love." It has many beach restaurants and calm waters ideal for swimming. 

Lago Verde can be explored via canoe or paddleboat. Tourists would be able to discover a diverse variety of animal species there.

Floresta Nacional do Tapajós is another notable river in the Amazon region that can be explored in a day tour.