Alta Floresta is a small town near the mighty Tapajos river system. This river runs through the rainforest to emerge next to Santarem and join with the Rio Solimoes, a river you probably know better as the mighty Amazon.
Alta Floresta sits at the southern Brazilian boundary of the Amazon Rainforest in the state of Mato Grosso. This section of the Amazon has a very high number and diversity of Amazon animals and plants. Birding around this area is spectacular and many birding and Nature tours are led from the Cristalino Lodge, a wonderful tour lodge linked to the nearby protected area. The area is lesser known than other Amazon sections but with its crystal clear rivers, waterways and rainforest brimming with life, it is hailed by nature lovers the world over.
Quite recently, the land around Alta Floresta was covered with rainforest and in recent years this has been cleared both for wood and to make way for farmland. Fortunately, just north of the city is an ecotourism venture, which includes the Cristalino Lodge and Cristalino Reserve, protecting a large portion of Brazilian lowland rainforest. The idea of this venture is to promote ecotourism, research, and to educate local people about the importance of tourism and rainforest conservation.