July 19, 2024

10 interesting facts about Alter do Chão, Pará

Famous for its sandy beaches which only appear during the dry season, Alter do Chão is a relaxed, laid-back destination which combines jungle, history and beach experiences into one charming package.

Here are some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about this hidden Brazilian gem:

1. The most famous beach of Alter do Chão is the Ilha do Amor, voted by the Guardian as the “best beach of Brazil” – although it only exists for 6 months of the year!
2. The reason for this is that the beach is actually a river beach, or more accurately a lagoon beach – it disappears as the waters rise in the rainy season.
3. The Ilha do Amor (Love Island), where the famous beach is located, is actually a sand spit rather than an island which almost encircles the Lagoa Verde (Green Lagoon) dividing it from from the river Tapajós.
4. Winter in the Amazon is different from winter elsewhere in Brazil and refers to the rainy season from December to May; summer is the rest of the year.
5. In dry season there are no mosquitoes and in winter there are far fewer than on the Amazon, due to the composition of the river Tapajós.
6. There are waves on the beaches, but no tide. The waters take over the island – this is because the level of the Tapajos river rises in the rainy season.
7. Waters are blue green in colour rather than the muddy brown of the Amazon river.

The ice cream man commeth

8. The guy paddling knee-high in water up and down the beach pulling his cart behind him is the official ice cream salesman.
9. Fish dishes on the “island” are tasty and very good value – around £2.50GBP for Pirarucu na manteiga, a local fish with no bones cooked in butter with tomato onion sauce, and it comes accompanied with all the typical side dishes.
10. Everyone puts tables and chairs in the water whilst barefooted waiters run around bringing food and a constant supply of “stupidly cold” beer.