Experience the life of the Pará cowboys on the largest river island in the world!
Around the same size as Switzerland, the island of Marajó protects the Amazon and the northern region of Brazil from the power of the Atlantic Ocean. Located in the middle of the mouth of the largest river in the world which it divides in two, it is made up half of large “fazendas” (buffalo farms) and half of inaccessible jungle and thick mangroves.
The latter part of the island is totally uninhabited and flooded half of the year. Its particular geography is a major attraction for visitors as it stimulates a fantastic biodiversity reserve. This is the main reason for the abundance of wildlife on the island and there are now facilities to observe it. Wherever you are, you will always see small and large animals with fur, feathers or scales around you, as curious about your presence as you are with theirs.
There are also mysterious mounds of oblong earth called “Tesos.” These are the last funerary remains of a vast pre-Columbian local civilization. Archaeologists have uncovered thousands of fine pottery from these mounds which contribute to tourism in the region. If you take the time to visit Salvaterra or Soure, two villages on both sides of the Paracauti River, you will meet the last guardians of this know-how and acquire delicate pieces to bring back as souvenirs.
To really uncover the mysteries of this destination, why not slip into the boots of a cowboy? Experience this island for what it really is, and take part in a total immersion getaway, where you will stay in a pousada located in the heart of a buffalo farm. On site, the guides of the Fazenda Hotel Sanjo will help you experience their daily life with treks by buffalo or on horseback and also by boat. These excursions are an ideal opportunity to observe wild life evolving against a beautiful backdrop of tropical nature.
During your stay on the island of Marajó
you will discover :
The Amazonian fauna
The lives of the cowboys of Northern Brazil
Accommodation on a fazenda (a local farm)
The Belém & Marajó package includes:
. 1 private transfer between the airport and the hotel in Belém
. 1 night in a double room at the hotel in Belém
. All transfers (boat and van) back and forth to the island of Marajó
. 1 day full board at Sanjo fazenda with programmed excursions
. 1 private transfer from the jetty to a hotel in Belém or the airport
Marajó, the real land of plenty!
A chunk of Earth just 10 meters above the waves, the island will offer you an unforgettable experience facing the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean with beautiful beaches battered by the waves. Its relative isolation and focus on rural development have allowed it to retain its authenticity.
It is precisely this traditional life that you will discover during your stay on the island – housed in a hotel located on a fazenda, closer to the reality of your environment. All without sacrificing comfort and well-being on site thanks to simple and welcoming installations on the premises.
On this fazenda of thousands of hectares where herds of buffalo graze freely, you will have the opportunity to discover the simple way of life of the natives, one of listening closely to nature. The local culture is Métis, rich from the meeting between the agricultural science of the European colonists and the unparalleled knowledge of the local environment exhibited by the natives.
Horseback and buffalo riders, the “vaqueiro” (local cowboy) will take you across the land to see how the day-to-day life of men and women living from meat production is. You will also find along the “igarapés” (waterways) the traces of the first inhabitants of the island, the Amerindian civilization Marajoara, famous for its ceramics.
On the coast, a few quiet villages huddled around their stone churches overlooking beautiful white beaches that seem to reach the horizon will allow you to discover more deeply the lives of locals but also to acquire some pieces of the famous local pottery.
The mouth of the Amazon, an exceptional ecosystem
The diversity and the preservation of the biotopes offered by the island of Marajó, results in a trip in the presence of an exceptionally rich fauna and flora.
This travel package will allow all nature lovers to easily reach places where the observation of species as varied as the crested caracara (falcon), the scarlet ibis, the toucan, or the capybara is very much possible.
In the rainy season, from January to June, it is one of the rare northern destinations that is of real interest despite heavy rainfall. Indeed, the island is home to very large colonies of migratory birds from North America, bringing a new dimension to bird watching.
To the west of the island lies a dense equatorial forest, reputed to be impenetrable without a pirogue (boat). It is home to all the typical Amazonian wildlife including caiman, anaconda and lazy animals as comfortable on the land as in the water!
During the excursions that will be available to you, you will be able to mount a Marajoara horse , (the race native to the island) in unique surroundings where vast meadows, Amerindian tesos and marshes with giant trees are dotted with houses supported by stilts.
We can testify that every moment spent here is one spent in awe at the beauty of nature and the culture it has shaped. Herds grazing serenely in the marshes with flamboyant parrots passing by over monkeys and sloths, you will discover a remarkable and colourful natural world!
Herds of buffalo and their mysterious arrival on the island…
The island of Marajó today has a population of more than 400 000 buffalo, but the story of their arrival here remains rather vague. Legend has it that a French boat carrying a flock to French Guiana sank in the Amazon Delta on a stormy day.
These large animals are notorious swimmers and the survivors are said to have found the island by swimming here.
Considering the extreme richness of the local environment, the few animals multiplied and breeding began. Today there are more than 400,000 specimens that populate the island and they are the main source of local income.
Detailed Itinerary for Belém & Marajo
DAY 1 : Belém in
Arrival of your flight to Belém.
Transfer by private driver to hotel.
Arrival and check-in.
Night in Belém.
DAY 2 : Belém/Marajó
Brazilian breakfast buffet at the pousada.
A driver waiting for you at the reception will transfer you to the port.
Arrival at the port, embark for connection to Marajó (3h).
On arrival, transfer by van to reach the village of Salvaterra. From there, go up the Paracauti River by motorboat to the port of La Fazenda Hotel Sanjo, the local farm where your pousada is located (45 minutes). It is then 15 minutes on a buffalo or if you prefer by cart to arrive at La Fazenda.
Lunch (full board, excluding drinks) at the fazenda, then boat trips, buffalo or horseback riding to observe wildlife.
Return, dinner and overnight at the Fazenda Hotel Sanjo.
DAY 3: Marajó / Belém / Out
Brazilian breakfast buffet at the fazenda.
Leave for a morning trek with a local guide to observe the morning wildlife in the pousada’s surroundings.
Return to the farm for lunch consisting of produce from the fazenda.
After lunch, transfer back by canoe, van and boat to Belém.
A driver receives you on arrival at the port and then drives you according to your choice to a hotel or Belém airport.
Accommodation in Belém & Marajo
Quintas das Pedras Hotel Atrium (standard)
The Atrium Quintas das Pedras Hotel is an original establishment developed around an old eighteenth century building refurbished and restructured to offer alternative accommodation in Belém.
The simple rooms offer a pleasant setting to rest between your two excursions to discover the city and its surroundings. A beautiful courtyard planted with local vegetation, 2 swimming pools, a restaurant and a bar complete this hotel located in the heart of the historic district.
Hotel Radisson Belém (standard & superior)
The Radisson Hotel Belém is an upscale hotel well located in the upmarket part of the city.
It consists of functional, modern and well – equipped rooms. The Luxo suites in particular, offer small apartments with 2 bedrooms and a kitchenette which are very practical for families. Facilities such as the beautiful swimming pool, gym and bar satisfy all travelers.
Fazenda Hotel Sanjo (standard & superior)
In a vast property of more than 2000 hectares, Hotel Sanjo offers rooms with a rustic but comfortable charm. A unique opportunity to experience the life of livestock farmers in Marajó. Suitable for everyone. The staff speak Portuguese, Spanish and English.