Situated along the Amazon River between Manaus and Belem, Santarem is 870 mi/1,400 km upriver from the Paraense capital. Once you get to it, the sleepy port town is ideally located for discovering still-virgin patches of the Amazon forest. Santarem lies at the junction of the Amazon and the Tapajos rivers, and the meeting of the two—one muddy brown and the other blue—is quite spectacular. The town's other claim to fame is the fantastic white-sand river beaches of Altar do Chao; their pristine beauty is such that the region is known as "the Caribbean of the Amazon."

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