The huge Amazonia National Park, founded in 1974 north of Rio Tapajos and 1,550 mi/2,500 km northwest of Rio de Janeiro, can best be seen by hiring a guide locally for hikes through the dense rain forest (hiking without a guide is allowed only on certain trails). Be sure to take food and treated water with you on the trail. During the rainy season (February-April) you can tour the flooded rain forest by boat.
Basic cabins are available in the park if they're not being used by scientists. Visitors can also stay in hotels in the town of Itaituba, which can be reached from Santarem on a side road of the Transamazonica highway via Belterra and Alter do Chao, and from there by boat. http://uc.socioambiental.org/en/uc/481.
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