Alter do Chão, Pará

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Alter do Chão is one of the administrative districts of the city of Santarém, in Pará state located on the right bank of the Tapajós. The distance to the city center about 37 kilometres across the highway Everaldo Martins (PA-457). It is the main tourist spot of Santarém, it houses the most beautiful freshwater beach in the world according to the British newspaper The Guardian', and is popularly known as the Brazilian Caribbean.

Beach at Alter do Chão
Riverside walk


The name is a tribute to the Portuguese town of Alter do Chão.

Boat landing


Founded on March 6, 1626, by Portuguese Pedro Teixeira, was elevated to a town by Francisco Xavier de Mendonça Furtado, governor of the State of Grão-Pará and Maranhão, during Colonial Brazil, on March 6, 1758.

Alter do Chão, during the 17th century and 18th century, received several religious missions, led by the Jesuits of the Franciscan order. The cult of Our Lady of Remedies was established. This became the patron saint this holy place.


Until the 18th century, the village was inhabited mostly by indigenous communities Boraris. It still has traces of the natives because of the existence of several sites with lots of pottery shards, pipes, and th polished stone axes.

In the early 20th century, Alter do Chao was one of the transportation routes of latex extracted from rubber trees Belterra and Fordlandia. It was a short period of development for the town. In the 1950s the decay of Amazonian extraction began, and the village was hit by the economic deficit. From the 1990s to the present day, the district focuses on tourism to evolve economically, which has achieved good results.

Alter do Chão


Coordinates: 2°31′S 54°57′W / 2.517°S 54.950°W / -2.517; -54.950