Ilha de Marajó is the largest island in Brazil. It is located in the Amazon Valley in the northeast of the country and offers an incomparable experience for nature lovers. With nearly 50,000 square kilometers, the island is larger than Switzerland. About 250,000 people live there.
Most of the inhabitants are descendants of the Nheengaíba Indians who were pacified in 1659 by a priest named António Vieira and mingled with African slaves and Portuguese immigrants. During the rainy season (January to June), parts of the island are often flooded, so that roads are impassable. It is safer from July to December.
Ilha de Marajó is scenically very diverse and absolutely natural: There are tropical forest, savanna, meadows, rivers, lakes, streams, mangroves and swamps. Countless bird species – including flamboyant red ibis (Guara) -, alligators, piranhas and the infamous boa constrictor will gather – in addition to the ubiquitous buffalo and cattle, from their reproductive lives of the locals.
Apparently, the first buffaloes swam in 1920 from a ship that flowed on land, which was to transport them from India to French Guiana. They feel very comfortable in the climate and the landscape of Marajó and are very modest. Their thick layer protects them from parasites and snakes. During the rainy season, they graze pastures. Islanders use buffaloes for meat, milk, work and horseback riding – and even as a police “vehicle”!
In addition, fishing, wood and rubber production play a role in Marajó’s economy.
The best way to reach Marajó (Souré, capital) is by boat or ferry from Belém, or by light airplane (three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays).