NEW RIDE: -5% ON FIRST BOOKINGS
Amazon is a big place full of rich experiences to offer. The locals say that it would take many lifetimes to experience it all. Marajó is an island located at the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil. It is the largest fluvial island in the world. With a land area of 40,100 square kilometres (15,500 sq mi) Marajó is roughly the size of the Netherlands and Switzerland. It is approximately 295 kilometres (183 mi) long and 200 kilometres (120 mi) wide.
Together with several smaller neighboring islands, separated from Marajó by rivers, it forms the Marajó Archipelago, with an aggregate area of 49,602 square kilometres (19,151 sq mi). Large parts of the islands are flooded during the rainy season because of higher water levels of the Amazon River along the coast and heavy rainfall in the interior. Marajó is almost entirely flat and during the rainy season much of the island turns into a large lake.
The east side of the island is dominated by savanna vegetation. There are large fazendas (ranches) with animal husbandry. There are large herds of domesticated water buffalo on the island –700.000 of them (breeds Carabao, Jafarabadi, Murrah and Mediterranean, this last of higher numerical expression, have good potential for meat and milk production).
The island was the site of an advanced pre-Columbian society, the Marajoara culture, which existed from approximately 400 B.C. to 1600 A.D.
Washed by fresh and salt water at one of the world's most majestic deltas, Marajó Island is an alluring destination for riding in the Amazon environment.
No more than a dozen towns are scattered on Marajó, which is the main island in an archipelago. Most of Marajó's 250,000 inhabitants live on the main island's eastern shores, where the towns of Soure and Salvaterra are located.
Just like the ancient marajoara mound builders, whose culture thrived between the 5th and 14th centuries and whose survival was closely tied to the Amazon river, today's marajoara life greatly revolves around water.
To give a succinct overview of the complete fauna of Amazonia is difficult as it is to adequately describe the great diversity of its flora. The rivers and streams of the basin teem with life, and the forest canopy resonates with the cries of birds and monkeys. There is a notable paucity of large terrestrial mammal species; indeed, many of the mammals are arboreal. Avifauna is particularly rich with about 540 species. Marajó is a birdwatcher's dream. The scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber), or guará is one of many species of birds which can be seen on the island - roseate spoonbills, parrots and little blue herons are some of the other birds easy to spot during the dry season (roughly May-November).
Dance is one of the highlights of amazon marajoara life. Lundu and carimbó are the island's signature dances, whose origin goes back to the slaves brought to the archipelago in the eighteenth century to work in cattle raising. You will watch performances of one of these sensuous rhythms at Marajó (*) for groups of 6 or more.
Water Buffalo was introduced in Marajó in the late nineteenth century, can be seen in great part of the island. It is part of the Marajó experience, including the local cuisine.
Buffalo meat and cheese, as well as fish, shrimp and turu, a mangrove mollusk often served as a seasoned broth, are some of the ingredients in the rich marajoara culinary. Frito do vaqueiro, or the "cowboy's fry", a local dish which consists of a buffalo meat cut cooked in its own fat, served with a kind of pirão made from buffalo milk and white cassava flour.
Filé marajoara, the local buffalo steak, is smothered with melted buffalo cheese. Shrimp fritatta, chichen with fried bananas and Brazil nut farofa are some other delicacies you'll find on the ranches you will stay.