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An update from Evaneos

Belem (Brazil)

Practical information on Belem

  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Island
  • Port
  • River
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Festivals
  • Music
  • Museums
  • Handicraft
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
Three and a half hours by plane from Rio de Janeiro
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
2 to 3 days

Reviews of Belem

Delphine Teisserenc Seasoned Traveller
46 written opinions

Situated on the banks of the Amazon, Belém is architecturally rich and full of tourist attractions.

My suggestion:
If you're in Belém on a Sunday, make sure you go to the crafts market, with its Brazilian-style buzz.
My review

Having worked in the town, I can tell you that Belém is just as fun as its neighbors, Manaus and Santarem. Nestled at the mouth of the Amazon, when the heat becomes unbearable, head to Estacao das Docas, find yourself a shady terrace and freshen up with an 'Amazonas', the local beer. If you have a sweet tooth, go to the best ice cream parlor in town, Cairu, and try a local fruit sorbet made from cupuaçu or açaï.

But most of all, don't miss the riverside market at Ver-O-Peso, which springs to life at 4am when local fisherman arrive with their catch. You can also pick up some stunning crafts, made by local, indigenous tribes. It's a great place to buy some souvenirs.

There is, of course, the river itself. During a boat trip I was able to get up close to the local plant and animal life, particularly when we went down the river's little tributaries or iguarapés. If you don't get the chance to see the local wildlife in its natural habitat, you can always visit the Emilio Goeldi Park, a little primary rainforest in the heart of this Brazilian town.

Seasoned Traveller
8 written opinions

Viewed from the sky, the built area of Belém - which extends out into the estuary - offers a stark contrast with the wild, verdant appearance of the surrounding river banks. Opening onto both the ocean and the forest, the city serves as a major gateway to Amazonia. 

My suggestion:
Take a look round the port and watch the fishing boats returning. Just a short distance away, at the Ver-o-peso market, a wide range of Amazonian products is to be found, with food to eat on the go and good local beers to enjoy. I even found magic potions there.
My review

It was Sunday when I arrived in Belém. There was a market atmosphere around the Plaça Republica (Republic Square). Large historical buildings in the city recall its golden age, when it was Brazil's rubber production capital. In the middle of the market, in the park, I allowed myself a moment's relaxation lying on the grass beneath a large mango tree. A few minutes after selling me a chocolate sweet, a Rasta came back towards me shouting: " chuva chuva !" Rain? it didn't take long before the shower began and the rain was pelting down on me. I would later learn to recognize the light breeze that signifies approaching rain. On this occasion, however, I went to shelter a short distance away to wait for the Amazonian sun to return. 

With Belém being the gateway to Amazonia, be sure not to remain just on the threshold! People go to Belém above all to get closer to the forest – to see parrots flocking together at dawn on Ilha dos Papagaios ("Parrot Island"), to explore the immense island of Marajó ("ocean shield") located at the mouth of the Amazon, or to visit the ribeirinhos ("riverside dwellers") that live along the banks of the rivers throughout the region. Belém sets visitors on the path to explore Amazonia and admire all the beauty it has to offer.  

Returning from fishing
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