The southern half of Pará, whose main towns are Marabá and Altamira, has virtually nothing to recommend it to the traveller; largely denuded of forest, it is now a jumble of unproductive ranches, poor peasants and depressing towns. When it hits the headlines it is always for the wrong reasons, such as the assassination of American nun Dorothy Stang in 2005. You are much better advised to head for western Pará and the area around Santarém, which has far more to offer. Basic details on southern Pará are given here, but our recommendation is that you avoid it unless you have good reason to go. Even then, take care.

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