By Alison McGowan
September 18, 2009

The hotel BeloAlter was a wonderful find. Originally rejected as being too remote and a hotel, rather than a pousada per-se, we only moved here when the original pousada with the fabulous views turned out to have no windows to see them through, no hot water, and a plethora of plastic flowers. It turned out to be a great decision. Far from being remote, the hotel is only a 5 minute cab ride or a 20 minute walk along the beach from Alter do Chao, and it has most of the attributes of a jungle lodge whilst costing less than half the price. Owners Irene and Ze Carlos do everything to make your stay comfortable, service is excellent, there is a choice of beach or pool and the solar heated showers are wonderful. If you want some simple comforts in the jungle, with lots of things to do and places to go, you couldn’t find a better place.

About the Location
I had heard rumours for a couple of years of the existence of sandy beaches in the Amazon, but had not realized there are actually hundreds of them in summer, when the rivers are at their lowest (July through to November). The beach at Alter do Chao is probably the prettiest of all and has the most beach bars. However, relaxing on the beach with your feet in the water, eating freshly fried fish, is only one of the many things to do this Boat trips are a must- round the Lago Verde (Green lake) up the Igarape dos Macacos for a swim in the stream, bird watching, over to Ponta de Curucu for the sunset. Then there is the Escola Floresta nature reserve/ school and finally a visit to Belterra, Henry Fords rubber project, established in 1934 and sold back to the Brazilian government at a US$20m loss in 1945. The town is a copy of small town America, and it has been little touched since the Americans left. Everyone smiles and the old timers will tell countless stories of how it used to be if you can manage to take a Portuguese speaker with you.

Not to be Missed
– boat trip round the Lago Verde (Green lake) and up the Igarape dos Macacos
– eating fish cooked on a bonfire on the beach at full moon (piracaia)
– dolphin watching at sunset with John Lennon, local boat man
– visit to Belterra

Starpoints
* great swimming pool and local beach
* walking distance from Alter do Chao village
* excellent food and service

Try a different place if…
… you mind the noise of monkeys and frogs
… you want to be near restaurants and bars

Alison is a British writer, musician, and marketing consultant, based in Rio de Janeiro. She can be contacted on alison@hiddenpousadasbrazil.com. Visit her site at http://www.hiddenpousadasbrazil.com/.

Previous articles by Alison:

Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Fazenda Santa Marina, Santana dos Montes, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casarão da Amaznia, Soure, Ilha de Marajo, Par
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Mila, nr. Ubatuba, São Paulo
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Beleza, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Bambu Bamboo Pousada and Spa, Parati, Rio de Janeiro
Random Ramblings on the Weather in Brazil
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Beijamar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel 7 Colinas, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada dos Quatro Cantos, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Estrela do Mar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Vivenda, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Terra, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Mirante de Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada do Caju, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Amendoeira, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Estalagem Caiuia, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Lagoa do Cassange, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Ponta do Muta, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Santa Clara, Boipeba, Bahia

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