Official language: Portuguese
Time zone: UTC -3
Currency: Brazilian real (BRL)
Belém prides itself on having beautiful wide and sandy beaches. Among the most popular ones are Ponta Negra and Tupe. They provide water sports equipment to rent as well as places to relax and eat well.
Every morning, on Ilha dos Papagaios (Parrot Island) thousands of colorful birds take to the sky and circle around. Valeverde Turismo offers cruises to let you enjoy this view. Boats depart at 4.30 a.m. from the waterfront of Traslados hotel. It costs R$180 (€50) per person.
Rain is a common thing in the jungle, but if you plan to take an Amazon cruise, avoid the February-April period – this is when the heaviest rainfall occurs. If you also think about walking through the jungle, go to Belém between September and the end of January.
Located in the tropical rainforest climate zone, Belém captivates travelers not only with the fascinating fusion of modern skyscrapers and colorful colonial architecture – it is also a great base camp to explore the jungle and Amazon River.
Belém is the largest city in the Brazilian part of Amazonia and the main port accessible to seagoing vessels. Before the Portuguese colonized the region in 1616, it was settled by the Tupinamba Indians. The city reached its peak of prosperity in the 19th century when it started extracting and exporting latex to become the center of the Amazon rubber industry.
The city is the gateway to the Amazon River. It lies on Marajó Bay, about 130 km up the Pará River (the southeast arm of the Amazon) from the Atlantic Ocean. This is the point from which many tourists start exploring the jungle or take a cruise to Manaus. Another popular destination is Ilha de Algodoal – an island in the Atlantic Ocean with no access for vehicles, known for as many as 18 stunning beaches and perfect conditions to windsurf. You may also want to see Ilha de Marajó in the Amazon River delta. Encircled by fresh water, it’s the world’s largest fluvial island. Before you get on the ship, consider buying a hammock so that you can relax on deck. You’ll buy it cheap in most of the stores nearby.
In Belém, just like in many other Brazilian cities, you’ll be spoiled for choice of bars and restaurants serving local cuisine. For an evening out, choose a place which offers not only delicious food but also live samba and bossa nova such as Cosanostra on Travessa Benjamin Constant 1499 or Boteco das Onze on Praça Frei Caetano Brandão. When you’re in the city center, go to Cervejaria Amazon Beer on Estacao das Docas by Guajará Bay and try some local beer. If you’re into typical Brazilian food, it’s worth getting out of the city center and visiting Remanso do Peixe at 2590 Travessa Barao do Triunfo.