South America Cruise Guide: Brazilian Beach Resort Towns – Alter do Chao

South America Cruise Guide: Brazilian Beach Resort Towns - Alter do Chao
Brazilian Beach Resort Towns – Alter do Chao

Brazilian Beach Resort Towns

Everyone’s heard of Rio de Janeiro and its legendary beach playgrounds. Ipanema, Copacabana, and Barra da Tijuca are famous worldwide.  Some international visitors have recently even been fortunate enough to travel to Paraty or Trancoso—both recognized by national magazines as celebrity “It spots”. But Brazilians know that those beach destinations are just the beginning if you’re seeking beautiful beaches. Rio is a city, and there are many other Brazilian cities fronted by a beautiful beach. But the resort towns are where people from Sao Paulo, Rio, Brasilia, and South American cities go to escape and chill out. Here’s our South America Cruise Guide: Brazilian Beach Resort Towns for Alter do Chao!

Alter do Chao

South America Cruise Guide: Brazilian Beach Resort Towns - Alter do Chao
Alter do Chao

While it recently earned the nickname “the Caribbean of the Amazon,” this beach deserves special recognition for its own special qualities that even the Caribbean cannot match. It’s a freshwater lagoon beach on a sand spit that only appears during the dry season when the waters of the river Tapajos recede to expose it. The water is calm and clear, partially encircled by jungle along the shore, and shallow enough that you can wade out to visible sandbars. It’s great for swimming or exploring by small watercraft. This beach is among the top excursions for people cruising the Amazon—even though it’s not on the Amazon and is about a 45-minute drive from the main town.

South America Cruise Guide: Brazilian Beach Resort Towns - Alter do Chao
Alter do Chao, Ilha do Amor

What to Do: Take a small boat for a few Brazilian reals to Ilha do Amor (Love Island) which is a tiny unique hangout that appears when the water levels are low. It’s otherwise submerged in the convergence of the river Tapajos and Lago Verde. Somehow, this island is set up with beach shacks and simple picnic tables where people hang out drinking cold beers all day.

South America Cruise Guide: Brazilian Beach Resort Towns - Alter do Chao
Piracuru fish

What to Eat: Fresh river fish–specifically the filet of pirarucu served boneless—fresh Amazon fruits or fresh-squeezed juice, and local plates featuring grilled meat and vegetable. It’s easy enough to eat healthy vegetarian here, although a lot of locals will opt for the Brazilian typical plate of grilled beef or pork with three starches thickly sprinkled with farofa.

Looking for another type of adventure? Check out our post on South America Cruise Guide: Brazilian Beach Resort Towns – Maragogi

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