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Santarém Travel Guide

Getting Santarém



By boat
Santarém is about three days by river boat from Manaus and Belém, making it an ideal place for a few days' stopover on a trip along the Amazon. All boats stop here. By small and medium size boats, travelling along the Amazon River, with an approximate duration of 60 hours. Navigation companies Alves & Rodrigues and A.R. Transportes connect Santarem with other cities, on a regular basis.

By plane
There's a domestic airport, but few foreign travelers use it to get in. It's handy if the Amazon gets to you and you need a quick ride out, though. Daily, direct and connection flights, with an approximate duration of 1 hour, on Boeing 737 airplanes, via the International Airport of Belem, or on smaller planes from Brasilia, in connection flights. A total of 28 airlines offer international service to and from Brazil with a variety of routes. Although most incoming flights head for Rio de Janeiro, depending on where you are coming from, there are also direct flights to São Paulo and Brasilia, Salvador and Recife on the northeastern coast, and to the northern cities of Belém and Manaus on the Amazon River. Santarém is half way between Belém and Manaus and about one hour flight from either city.

By Car/Bus:
There are bus services between most of the larger Brazilian cities. While undoubtedly a good way to see a lot of the countryside, where the distances are great, you sit in a bus for several days and nights. The 3-day bus trip from Rio or São Paulo to Belém is nevertheless a very interesting one. You can cross a variety of landscapes and weather types, from the Atlantic Ocean coastal plains through mountains and canyons up to the central plains one-kilometer high. From there, you travel north through a gigantic savanna until the bone-dry "sertão" region before hitching the Amazon jungle edge. From the green edge you go down again, and mile by mile the green takes over the dust brown and mile-wide rivers are more and more frequent until you get to the might Amazon, by Belém city. From there, you take a one-hour flight to Santarém or a 3-days boat trip up the Amazon river. There is access from Belem, along the BR-316 Federal Highway, and PA-140, PA-151, PA-256, PA-150, PA-263, BR-422, BR-230 (the famous Trans-Amazon highway) State Highways and the BR-163 (the Santarem-Cuiaba Federal Highway). Surrounded by unpaved roads, Santarem is quite isolated during the rainy season (Dec/May). During that period, access is available only by boat or by plane.


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