Lago Maicá

Top choice in Pará

The floodplains east and southeast of Santarém are among the Amazon's most rewarding excursions. Flooded for much of the year, the plains are home to fabulous birdlife (including toucans and macaws), pink dolphins, howler monkeys, sloths and anacondas. The sunrise and sunset views are pure magic and there's a real sense of tranquility out here. Take an overnight boat trip, go canoeing through the flooded forest and relax far from the tourist hordes. Gil Serique organizes especially enjoyable excursions here.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Pará attractions

1. Museu de Santarém

21.3 MILES

Housed in a large yellow waterfront mansion, this museum is also known as the Centro Cultural João Fona, after the Pará artist who painted the frescoes on…

2. Church

21.33 MILES

A local church that serves as something of a minor local landmark in the city center.

3. Praça Mirante do Tapajós

21.5 MILES

This pleasant oval-shaped plaza and viewpoint has two open-air food stalls and good river views. An observation tower affords an even better view,…

4. Museu Dica Frazão

21.52 MILES

Dona Dica Frazão spent three-quarters of a century making clothing and fabrics from natural fibers, including grasses and wood pulp. She died aged 96 in…

5. Museu de História e Arte Sacra

21.76 MILES

This modest museum has exhibits on Santarém's history and several artifacts related to the Cirio de Nazaré, the massive religious celebration held every…

6. Igreja Matriz

21.77 MILES

Facing Praça da Matriz, the city's pretty blue-painted church dates from 1761. Its predecessor church, made of palm fronds in 1661, was Santarém's first…

7. ZooFIT

22.57 MILES

Enclosures are rather desultory at this rehabilitation center, but the animals are not intended to stay for long. Affable guides lead interesting tours …