Encantado is a word in Portuguese roughly translating as "enchanted one", and is also a commonly used greeting in Spanish meaning "enchanted", as in "enchanted to meet you". The Brazilian term is used for creatures who come from a paradisiacal underwater realm called the Encante. It may refer to spirit beings or shapeshifting snakes, but most often it designates dolphins with the ability to turn into humans. Although belief in them is starting to wane, there are still plenty of South Americans who believe in their existence ardently, and claim to have seen and interacted with them, or even that they are related to them. They share the most of the same themes and features as the fairies of European folklore.
Most commonly, the stories involve a type of freshwater dolphin which lives in the Amazon River called the Boto. It is larger and more primitive-looking than the other type of Amazonian dolphin, the Tucuxi. The stories also involve snakes, whose kinds can vary from the common type to coral snakes.