Marajo is the largest fluvial island in the world – about the same size and shape as Switzerland. It’s a place like no other where the houses are built on stilts, the local police patrol on water buffalo and where dragonflies grow to the size of small birds.
Our journey takes you between fazendas, through farmland and into the jungle where the forest canopy resonates with the cries of birds and monkeys. The rivers and streams teem with life and there is a huge diversity of flora and fauna.
We ride Marajoara, a local breed descended from Portuguese horses introduced in the early 18th century. They are tough and well adapted to the extreme seasonal variations. Water buffalo, which are also ridden, are an integral part of the island culture and there are opportunities to see the local cowboys work with horses and buffaloes.
• Tips are commonly paid in Brazil. Tipping is not essential, but if you are happy with the service you have been given, then it will be gratefully received.
• If you wish to tip, then we recommend a tip of c. US$10 per guest per night. (can be paid in local currency).
• Open from May to August
• Set departures & private groups
• 7 nights / 5 days riding
• 2 – 6 hours riding per day
• Weight limit: 14st 1lbs (90 kg) (197 lbs)
• Usual maximum: 6
• Nearest airport: Belem
Type of ride
Location & Weather
There is little seasonal variation in temperature in Marajo as it lies on the equator. Average maximum daily temperatures are consistently between 28ºC and 35ºC year round. Evenings are warm.
The rides are scheduled to run in the drier months, May to August. But there is the possibility of showers at any time of year.
Meet Your Guide
Paulo Junqueira Arantes:
He started riding, still as a child, in his grandparents’ farms in São Paulo and Minas Gerais. Participated in the time of the traditional hunts in the south of Minas Gerais and on horseback games in farms of São Paulo. Following his passion for travels, he went to the United States to learn English and to search for new knowledge. At this time he had the opportunity to ride in Texas and Wyoming.
It was for some years, a Mangalarga horse-breeder, director of the Breeders Association in the South of the country. In this position, he participated of the organization of many trail rides.
Due to his passion for horses and horseback riding, he has made many horseback ridings in all regions of Brazil, and in several countries such as Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Hungary, Italy, Mongolia, Morocco,Namibia, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, United States, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.
In 2017 he became a member of the Long Rider’s Guild.
Cattle Drives, Forest Ride, Swim with horse.
Arrival in Belem:
Transfer to your hotel.
Visit Mangal das Garças.
Early breakfast (6 AM) 6.30 departure to the Port of Belem to take the boat to Marajo island. We sail for two hours crossing the Amazon river to reach the world’s largest freshwater island at the mouth of the Amazon. On arrival at the island, we take a car to the port of Salvaterra village where a fast boat will be waiting to take the group to Ilha da Roça Farm. In the afternoon our first ride goes to Flecheiras farm, through the forest of Ingás, palm trees, with beautiful view of the fields. At Flecheiras farm we will do a short buffalo ride. Return to Ilha da Roça Farm for dinner and overnight.
Early breakfast, leaving the farm carrying everything in the saddlebag. Our destination is Anjos farm and it’s big pirarucús fish lake. We will have lunch there. After lunch ride with Anjo’s gauchos on their water buffalo daily job.
In the afternoon return to Ilha da Roça farm for dinner and overnight.
Early breakfast and start the ride to Fazenda Bangu, on the way we pass Tapera farm and São Luiz farm. At the dock of Fazenda Bangu we will take a fast boat to go to Sanjo Farm.
On the way we may take the Furo Miguelão, channel under the mangrove forest and igapó forest, built with human strength in the first half of the 20th century, to shorten navigation among farms in the region. Inside the hole, with a bit of luck, we will have to spot howler monkeys, sloths, giant otters, and some species of birds. Our goal is to observe species of the Marajoara fauna such as maguaris, white and blue herons, red guarás, loons, mallards and many others. With a little luck we will be able to see guariba (howler monkeys) and capybaras, common in this region.
Dinner and overnight at Sanjo Farm.
After breakfast, ride with Sanjo’s gauchos to bring the grazing water buffalo back through flooded fields to the ranch, separating the females to take to the maternity, those pregnant. Also collect the females who already have already given birth. Lunch at Sanjo. In the afternoon ride to Bom Jardim farm, crossing bush areas, reaching the river’s edge, and farm port. On the way we stop in the farms house for a coffee.
Return to Sanjo for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, ride to San Sebastian farm where we arrive for lunch. After lunch, ride through open fields and return to the corral where the cowboys will make a demonstration on how they work their horses.
Latter, return to Sanjo for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, departure by boat from Sanjo to the village of Soure where we will visit Marajoara Ceramics Works of the Artisan Carlos Amaral, which reproduces pieces based on the Aruan culture, the last indigenous ethnic group to inhabit Marajó; we also will visit the Artisan’s Works of Ronaldo Guedes, a contemporary artist, who reproduces ceramic pieces based on the various indigenous ethnic groups that inhabited Marajó, as well as pieces of wood collected from beaches and mangroves; latter we will visit the local Saddle maker, a artisan production of leather articles, a tradition transmitted by generations. Lunch at the village and after lunch take the boat to Belem.
On arrival transfer to our hotel.
Transfer to the airport
Note: The itinerary can be changed due to weather conditions and availability on the ranches.
This is not a typical tourist destination so don’t expect too many luxuries. Accommodation is limited and we overnight in traditional simple farmhouses.