The village of Alter do Chão is blessed with soft white-sand beaches bathed by the blue waters of the Rio Tapajós to the west and the green waters of Lago Verde to the east. The main river beach facing the town is actually a large sand bar.
During the rainy season, it becomes an island, known as Ilha de Amor (Island of Love), that can be reached by canoe-taxi. Throughout the year, its rustic barracas serving beer and fried fish make it an utterly relaxing place to while away the day (although it can get pretty packed on weekends and holidays).
You can also rent canoes and kayaks to explore the Lago Verde. By car or boat, you can get to farther flung, but equally seductive beaches along the Tapajós such as Pindobal, Cabutuba, and Aramanai. One thing to watch out for is stingrays. Since they aren’t fond of waves, make sure you splash around a lot before making your way into unknown waters.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition