The Amazon River – Parintins and Santarem, Brazil

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DSC04711 C Along the Amazon River (600x450)  DSC04713 C (600x450)

This is a very big river and it’s not very busy.  Or maybe it doesn’t seem to be very busy because it’s a very big river!  The jungle comes right up to the river bank in most places so there is not much to see from the ship.  Needless to say, If you really want to see the land of the Amazon, a ship is not the way to do it.  Our ship made two “landfalls” as we traveled down the Amazon River.

The first was Parintins (pronounce ‘para-chintz).  It is on an island, Tupinambarana, about 350 miles from Manaus.

The townspeople set up a market for our arrival. 

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We took a short walk around town.

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Each June Parantins hosts a folk festival called Boi Bumba. Thousands of visitors come to town for a week long party.  The festival involves lots of music, dancing, costumes and huge animal floats.  The costumes and sets are very elaborate.  They compare it to Rio’s Carnival.  We were treated to a “mini Boi Bumba” where characters and giant puppets presented myths and legends through dance and song. 

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It is quite a production.  Many people have posted clips on YouTube so you can see a short video of the show here.

It was a gray day and we did get caught in a little rain shower after the show.  Then it was back to the ship and on down the river.

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The second stop on our Amazon River Cruise was Santarem, Brazil.  It’s about halfway to the sea from Manaus. 

We chose to do the Santa Lucia Arboretum tour.  First we were bussed along the Santarem-Cuiaba Highway, the only road connecting this remote region of the Amazon with the rest of Brazil. 


Then we covered ourselves with bug repellant and headed into the jungle.  Our guide took us on a walk pointing out and naming plants, trees and flowers.   



These are bird’s nests.

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The black blob on the left is a termite nest.  On the right are wasp’s nests.

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A cut in a rubber tree starts a slight flow.

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A peanut headed butterfly and bullet ants.  One sting is compared to being shot with a bullet!  Yikes!

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Back on the river we could see the town of Santarem.


There is another “meeting of the waters” here.  The dark water of the Tapajos River runs side by side with the muddy Amazon for several miles before mixing.

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We cruised down the Amazon River for another day, crossed the equator and entered the Atlantic Ocean.  

About graciamc

Gracia's Travels is a photo blog. I always take too many pictures on trips so I justify my compulsion with this blog! The blog is mostly photos - they tell the best part of the story. Please contact me if you would like to use any of my photos.
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5 Responses to The Amazon River – Parintins and Santarem, Brazil

  1. gooddayrome says:

    The bullet ants alone would probably keep me away! Many scary things in the jungle!

  2. Janet Freeman says:

    I had no idea the Amazon river was so big. I pictured it cutting through the jungle with lots of trees overhead. Also, I would like the arboretum tour but it is scary in the jungle. thanks again for the usual fine pictures and comment.

  3. I enjoyed your trip down the Amazon. It’s not a real pretty river, is it? I’ve been down it twice. The best way to see the Amazon is in northeast Ecuador where many of the tributaries are protected by a national park. There is plenty of wildlife to see: macaws, anacondas, caiman, howler monkeys, everything. And spiders. Lots and LOTS of spiders. Camping was a challenge. We caught and ate piranha. But it was like living in an outdoor zoo for a week.

    John Henderson
    Dog-Eared Passport:

    • graciamc says:

      Yikes! Though I wish we had seen some animals, camping in the jungle is more than I’m prepared to handle. I know my limits. But it sounds like the tributaries would be a good choice for anyone wanting more of the animal experience.

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