The hills close to the dusty provincial town of Monte Alegre shelter one of the Amazon's most important archaeological sites – the rock paintings here, which may date back more than 13,000 years, have changed the way that historians understand the human history of the region. You'll need at least a two-day round-trip from Santarém, which is 120km upstream, to make the trip here worthwhile. The town itself is a fairly unappealing place, and it sees very few tourists.
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