About Santarem

500 miles up the Amazon, American Confederates fleeing the Civil War originally settled in Santarem: even today, O'Malley and Higgins are common surnames!

Today it's a city of some 150,000 inhabitants, with a bustling harbour full of riverboats and ancient dugout canoes. Around the port, you'll see huge cargoes of rubber being loaded for export. This is the foundation of the local economy.

Further upstream, you'll glide through virgin rain forest, enlivened by the calls of monkeys and the songs of exotic birds.


Shore excursions in Santarem

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Nature Walk From Santarem

Activity high

Duration: 3½ hours

This nature tour gives you the chance to observe the local agriculture and learn about the Amazon’s native trees.

Set off on an 8-mile journey along the Cuiaba Highway, the only road connecting the middle of the Amazon to the rest of Brazil. During the journey you’ll observe the ‘slash and burn’ agriculture and the effect it has on the forest and land.

The highlight of the tour is a nature walk through the Santa Lucia Woods on special designated trails. The guides and local woodsmen will choose one of more than 3 miles of trails for your nature walk. You’ll have the opportunity to look at some of the 400 species of native trees and palms and experience the mystery of this living forest with its beautiful flora and fauna. Although the feature of this ecological tour is the flora, local guides will try to sight locan wildlife.

Your return journey will take you back along the Cuiaba Highway.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by bus and on foot. This tour involves approximately 1½ hours’ walking over muddy, uneven and slippery surfaces, which includes some steep inclines. Comfortable, flat, non-slip walking shoes are recommended. The buses are not air-conditioned. It is advisable to wear a long-sleeved shirt, trousers and a light raincoat. Passengers are also recommended to take along insect repellent, sunglasses, sun block, a hat and a bottle of water. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed.

River Journey

Activity low

Duration: 3½ hours

Explore the wonderful eco-system of the Amazon, home to a myriad of flora and fauna and the emerald-blue waters of the Tapajos.

Departing Santarem on board a regional riverboat, you’ll navigate the clear emerald-blue waters of the Tapajos River to encounter the muddy waters of the magnificent Amazon River. A natural phenomenon, the two rivers flow side by side and are known as the ‘meeting of the waters’.

Your journey will continue on the Amazon River to Maica Lake, an enchanting outlet of the Amazon River surrounded by various ‘igapos’ (flooded forest), where the flora is both beautiful and diverse. If you’re lucky the fauna may reveal a variety of birds for your delight. Time permitting you’ll also have the opportunity to see a demonstration of the primitive methods the locals use to catch their fish.

Views of the old and modern wooden houses are evident as your riverboat navigates the waters alongside the city of Santarem.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by river boat. Passengers must be able walk approximately 400 yards to reach the river boats and to negotiate the gangway onto and off the boats. The toilet facilities on board some of the boats may be located down a 5 step, steep ladder. Many of the riverboats used have 2 or 3 decks and are local boats without elevators. Please remember to bring sun protection, hats, insect repellent and a bottle of water.

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