Santarem, first settled in 1661 by Jesuit priests, is today one of the Amazon's most important centers of commerce.
It is here that the murky (brownish-yellow) waters of the Amazon River meet the aquamarine waters of the Tapajos River. For some distance (after joining) the different colored waters don't mix and there's a very visible dividing between them. See the bottom of this page.Just a few miles to the southwest of Santarem along the Tapajos River, the charming village of Alter do Chao is a popular tourism destination for Brazilians.
Literally surrounded by the Amazon Jungle and fronted by the Amazon River, Santarem street art uses an obvious theme.
Few roads exist in this area of Brazil so riverboats literally cover the city's shoreline, from end to end. They take animals, people and supplies up and down the river 24/7.
This is a very typical street in the Santarem, one that leads down to the river.
This city, like most that I've seen in South America, uses bright colors almost everywhere. The local Catholic church was no exception.
In town there seemed to be only three types of stores; one that sold shoes, one that sold clothes and one that sold hammocks. I guess that's why I saw mostly women on the street.
This ficus tree, and a few dozen just like it, provided shade for shoppers and merchants in the central market.
Now I ask you.....if you developed a tooth ache while visiting Santarem, would you go to a dentist with a questionable reputation, or would you use this one? I know what I would do.
Off the edge of Santarem the murky (brownish-yellow) waters of the Amazon River meet the aquamarine waters of the Tapajos River.
For some distance (after joining together) the different colored river waters don't mix and there's a very visible dividing line.
The locals call this the "Meeting of the Waters," and it's a very unique phenomenon.
This is the business-end of a toothy piranha, the Amazon's most fascinating creature. They live in many of Brazil's river systems and their teeth are razor sharp. This one had long since assumed room temperature, and like hundreds of others he was mounted on a wooden block for sale to tourists. $10 please!
This twisted tree really caught my attention, and no one could tell me what it was. Of course I don't speak Portuguese, so that was part of the problem.
Note the use of color on this store. It and others like it in Santarem reminded me of buildings found in small towns across rural Mexico.
For $1 you buy a coconut on the street. The vendor opens the top with a large knife, inserts a straw and refreshing coconut water is the result. It's not bad, and it's certainly clean, but I wish the liquid was a bit colder.
A shady spot to enjoy on a very hot day in Santarem, Brazil.
Hammocks were on sale everywhere. Very few of the houses in Santarem have air conditioning, and hammocks provide a much cooler sleeping surface than a regular bed in this hot and humid climate.
Another example of Amazonian street art. I purchased this one for $20.