Praia do Pesqueiro, about 10 km north of Soure, is the island's most popular beach. It's fairly secluded during the week and can be slightly more frequented on weekends.
When you stand on the white sand expanse looking out at the watery horizon, the waves lapping at your feet, it's hard to believe you are not on the ocean. The beach has several barracas (thatch-roof restaurant-bars), making it even more ideal place to spend the day. Besides fish and shrimps they serve great caranguejo (crab) and casquinha de caranguejo (stuffed crab). There is an overnight accommodation in a rustic pousada.
From Soure you can get to Praia do Pesqueiro by moto taxi (for one passenger). The best beach section lies to your right. Arrange with the driver about the return time and he is going to pick you there. You only pay on the return.
There are several nice villages to discover close by, as Pesqueiro, Ceu and Cajuna, you can take a long walk along the beach where you might spot a flock of guaras (scarlet ibis) and there are water buffalo everywhere.
I fell in love with Praia do Pesqueiro in a moment!!! So my day trip came to a couple of days stay!! I will definitely come back sometime :))
more pics in the Travelogue
The island is filled with hundred of bird species such as egrets, flamingos, herons, parrots, ducks, hawks, toucans and the graceful scarlet ibis with its long curved beak.
The sight of a flock of deep-pink ibis flying against Marajo's green background is truly spectacular!!
more pics in the Travelogue
Staying or visiting one of the fazendas (farms, ranches) is certainly the best way to get to know the life on the island. As I really fell in love with Praia do Pesqueiro, I stayed there overnight so I only made a daily excursion. Fazenda Sao Jeronimo was in the area and seemed the obvious choice.
The property has 400 ha with rainforest, mangroves, waterways, fields, lagoon, island and private beach. Toucans, parekeets, herons, ibis, owls, hawks, guariba monkeys and turtles are some of the residents.
The excursion consisted of boat navigation in the waterways, walking accross the mangroves, riding in buffalo cart throught the forest and at the end we made a stop on the beach. Having agua de coco (coconut water) and some local fruit from the tree, observing various bird spices and taking a bath on the beach where there was nobody... Sounds too good to be truth :)
When we returned to fazenda we had delicious lunch made by dona Jeronima. Everything she prepared was fresh and home grown. Some of the ingredients: early in the morning, fishes and shrimps still alive are caught in the river, crabs in the mangrooves, acai in the palm trees and the milk comes from cows and female buffalo.
The easiest way to get to fezenda Sao Jeronimo is by mototaxi from Soure (or in my case from Praia do Pesqueiro).
With almost 20.000 people, Soure is Ilha de Marajo's largest town. Its many palm and mango trees, simple but brightly painted houses and shore full of fishing boats make it seem more Caribbean than Amazonian. The tide along the city's shore oscillates a remarkable three meters.
The streets are sandy and grassy, cars are a rarity and bicycle and sometimes buffalo are the principal forms of transport. In fact, the buffalo outnumber the humans by more than two to one. You'll see buffalo all over town, pulling carts and carrying people from place to place.
Besides buffalo, Soure is also famous for its rustic indigenous pottery in the Marajoara tradition. You'll find some of the most recognized potters in the region and you can visit their workshops. The most famous and respected is Carlos Amaral, whose works are found in museums around the world. To find his workshop, just ask around town.
Staying at fazenda (farm, ranch) is one of the best ways to learn about life on Ilha de Marajo. They provide a mixture of rural and jungle adventure.
Finally, the coastline around Soure presents a few excellent beaches, most being quite secluded on weekdays but slightly more frequented on weekends when people from Belem visit the island. The most beautiful is without doubt Praia do Pesqueiro!!
With regular boat service from Belem and easy access to several of the best beaches and fazendas, Soure is probably the best place to stay on the island.
Mangroves are tropical trees and shrubs that grow in mud, at the edge of rivers or in saline coastal habitats. Their roots are above ground. They developed a root system that is typical for mangroves and make them possible to keep and grow in such conditions. A wide variety of plant species can be found. Mangroves occure in numerous areas worldwide and 15% only in Brazil (most in the Amazon Basin).
Marajo island is full of mangroves. You can see them on the beach or make a boat trip through mangrove forest that is usually organized by one of the many fazendas (farms).
One of the most beautiful museums that I've visited is the tiny little museum in Cachoeira do Ararí on the Island of Marajó. Everything is interactive; wooden "computers" teach you what alternative medicine you need for which disease, images and stories tell the history of the Island, including the inidigenous cultures, the history of slavery and local flora and fauna.
The museum even features a two-headed buffalo!
Seriously, I spent hours there and still didn't see and read everything, it's very beautiful and certainly worth a visit.