Alter do Chão
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Alter do Chão

If you didn't know better and stumbled upon Alter do Chão, 32 kilometers (20 miles) west of Santarém, you'd be well within reason to think Eden was laid out before you. From Alter's riverside promenade, you can see the Ilha do Amor (Island of Love), a narrow strip of paradise rising from the Rio Tapajós like an inverted oasis. Its sun-toasted sands—the beach is often voted one of Brazil's best—are hard to resist. During low-water season (August to December), you can wade across from Alter's waterfront, but be careful of stingrays.

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