The area around Santarém is richly rewarding, with a variety of day-trips possible out to Alter do Chão, Belterra or Fordlândia as well as boat journeys further afield. Due north, on the opposite bank of the Amazon, some six hours away by boat, is the town of Alenquer, the jumping-off point for the stunning waterfall of Véu da Noiva, on the Rio Maicurú. Similar journey times west along the Amazon will land you in Óbidos, east takes you to the beautiful town of Monte Alegre, and a slightly longer trip south up the Rio Tapajós, through gorgeous river scenery, will bring you to Itaituba, a classic gold-rush town 250km from Santarém. To head into less disturbed forest and consequently have better access to wildlife, your best bet is one of the tour operators in Alter do Chão. An excellent option is a visit to the Floresta Nacional do Tapajós, a national park some forty miles out of town down the Santarém–Cuiabá highway.

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