Lying 500 miles upriver, near the Amazon's confluence with the clear blue waters of the Rio Tapajos, Santarem has been a major river port since the glory days of the 19th century rubber boom. In the 1920s, Henry Ford carved the immense rubber plantations of Fordlandia and Belterra out of the nearby jungle. Santarem's prosperity survived the boom's eventual bust; the port lies at the heart of a region rich in natural resources, including timber and major deposits of bauxite and gold. Covering an area of some 15,000 square miles, this bustling commercial center is the third-largest city in the Brazilian Amazon with a population over 200,000.
Take in a manioc flour demonstration on the correct preparation of this Amazon staple, view the family's native garden, and see how latex is extracted from a rubber tree.
Joao Fona Cultural Center
This historic building now houses a superb museum featuring pre-Columbian ceramics from the region.
Praca do Pescador
Located in the heart of Santarem, village artisans often display their crafts in this main square.
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