Far the most interesting place in Santarem, at any hour of the day or night, is the waterfront.You can watch the boat traffic, check out some of the shops along the way and try one of the delicious local ice creams at Nido (look for the direction on Restaurants Tips) or Panificadora Lucy (on the Praca do Pescador). Many of the city's restaurants...more
A great place to visit while you're in Santarem is the village of Alter do Chao which lies along the bank of the green-blue river Tapajos. It's home to some of the pretiest fresh-water beaches in the Amazon. One of the most popular is Ilha do Amor (Island of Love), a sandbar in front of the village. Note that from April to July, when the water is...more
The meeting of the green-blue Tapajos river with the ochre-coloured waters of the Amazon, which flow alongside each other for many kilometres without mixing, is worth a boat excursion. It is even more spectacular than at Manaus. In Santarem it is best viewed from Praca Mirante do Tapajos, on the hill in the centre of the city and just a few blocks...more
Over 50 years it has been one of the most popular and famous restaurants in town. The palm-lined outside seating next to Praca do Pescador has a good view of the river Tapajos. The menu includes everything from sandwiches, pizzas, chicken, steaks and fish (tucunare and pirarucu are excelent!). All-you-can-eat lunch buffet is a good option, tasty...more
Imagine my disappointment when I found that the churrscaria listed in Lonely Planet was closed. I was in the mood to pig out on Brazilian beef. I had been thinking about doing this during my boat trip to Santerem as I saw cattle feeding along the river. Even seeing this working cow brought the idea of some good barbeque to mind. Wandering around...more
After dinner you can take a long walk along river Tapajos. It's perfect for people watching. There are many bars on the way where you can stop to have a drink. Every night locals are also coming to a promenade offering coconut water, brazil nuts, home made chocolates (cupulate - made from cupuacu seeds) with local fruit fillings... My favourits...more
Thanks to some local people I got to know some days before I spent a long night dancing in the nightclub in the middle of the Amazon... Without them I would never found this place as it is not really centrally located. But if you are going to ask some young locals about it they would most probably know what you are talking about.In Entretantos they...more
I was told that the boat I took from Manaus to Santarem which arrives in Santarem early in the morning would stay in port until the next day. I was invited to leave my things on the boat and return to sleep there rather than going into town for a hotel. I turned down the offer because I wanted to stay a couple days, but if you are just interested...more
There are two ways of getting to Santarem, by plane or by boat. The fastest and far more comfortable is by plane. Differents air companies have flights to Santarem and most go through Manaus or Belem. I found the cheapest at Gol although TAM has sometimes good options too, so it's always worth checking out. Buying tickets online is easy. The...more
The port (Docas da Para) for the main transport boats to Manaus and Belem is a little ways out of town. It is within walking distance, but if you have heavy luggage or want to save your energy you would do better to take the bus or a taxi. The ticket booths for the boats are just outside the gate to the boat area. According to the vendors their...more
These are the two artisan craft shops in Santarem. There are also several shops around the plaza in Alter Do Chao. There is little difference in the pricing between these shops and compared to the shops in Manaus and Belem. One of the shops in Altar do Chao claims to be a direct outlet for a crafts cooperative. Perhaps it was the time of year of my visit, but I did not see any local crafts being sold in the parks and streets. There were hammocks and T-shirts etc. for sale in the Praca da Matriz.
Santarem seems famous for its river beaches. In particular, Alter do Chao was described to me as a little piece of heaven. The sandbar between the Rio Tapajos and Lago Verde has been the subject to many postcards and travel pictures but none I suspect like the one attached. The guide book I carried indicated that the beaches were usually underwater in June and July. There was no beach in May 2006.
I knew this before I made my visit and also knew that the Centro de Preservacao des Artes Indigenas has been closed for quite a while. I went anyway because I suspected I would enjoy the bus trip and the little town without the tourists. I did, but that does mean I would recommend a visit when there are no beaches.