Belém, beaches, jungle and charm

Port of Belem

Bethlehem It is a destination in Brazil which offers travelers beaches, jungle and a lot of charm. It may be that outside of America what is best known about this South American giant is Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo, but the truth is that Brazil It has many wonderful destinations.

And Belém is one of them.



Belém do Pará is its full name, and It is the capital of the state of Pará, the gateway to the north of the country and to the Amazon or Amazonas.

The city was founded in 1616 to control navigation through the region and keep the Tupinambá Indians under control, and also keep the other European explorers out.

The economy was subsistence, livestock, some agriculture and fishing, and the society was so linked to Portugal that it only accepted the independence of Brazil a year later, in 1823.

Candle of Nazareth, in Belém

It grew a lot hand in hand with the rubber industry and that attracted workers from all over the world, so the composition of Belém society became even more mixed.

Belém has a typical equatorial climate, very hot and humid, with a lot of rain.

What to do in Belém

Amazonia Biopark, in Belém

First: being the gateway to the Amazon What we must do first is visit the Amazon Biopark, 15 kilometers from the city center.

It is a place where you can discover, in an abbreviated version, the rich Amazon jungle with its flora and fauna. There are miles and miles of s y four ecosystems connected to travel. It also has a Museum of Paleontology and Malacology, with mollusks and shells from all over the globe.

Amazon Biopark 2

The park is private and serves as a zoological so among its most outstanding fauna you will be able to see toucans, harpy eagles, lizards, monkeys, otters and many more animals. You can reach the park by car or on a tour and inside you can hire a guide who will take you on a three-hour tour.

Alves Botanical Garden

If you don't have time or desire to do this excursion but you do like nature, you can always visit the Rodrigues Alves Botanical Garden, inspired by a Parisian garden. Are 16 hectares of Amazon rainforest in the center of the city with thousands of native species of fauna and flora, waterfalls and even a small mountain.

Rodrigues Alves Garden, in Belém

El historic center of Belém It's a pearl. It is formally known as the Historical Center and is the most important window to the colonial Belém. It was born when the Fuerte do Presépio, today Fuerte do Castelo, was built, back in the 16th century.

old town of Bélem, Brazil

The first street was laid out here, Rua da Ladeira, here is also the old clock and its square, built in the '30s of the XNUMXth century, or many of the oldest buildings and private residences in the city.

Presepio Fort, in Belem

El Presépio Fort It was built by the Portuguese to avoid incursions by the Dutch and French. Today it works as a museum, small but very good, in principle about the native peoples of Pará, But views of the river from its walls stone are great.

Presépio Fort, in Bélem

There is also the Basilica of Our Lady of Nazareth of Exile, a temple that was built in 1909, of various styles. The religious procession known as Candle of Nazareth which takes place every second Sunday in October.

Basilica of Nazareth, in Belém

In 1688 the Portuguese settlers wanted to collect taxes on materials that entered or left the area, so they created the Ver-o-Peso Market which still works today and where you can see, smell and buy everything from meat and fish, to spices to medicinal herbs.

Ver-o-Peso Market, in Belem

There are two thousand positions and merchants come from all over to offer their own. People say that It is the largest free fair in all of Latin America and something typical of Belém.

Ver-o-Peso Market

Some of the city's richest buildings date back to the golden age of rubber, such as the Peace Theater. It is an elegant building neoclassical Built in the '70s of the XNUMXth century. Has marble floors, colorful frescoes, crystal chandeliers and a lot of charm.

Peace Theater in Belem

The interior is very well preserved and you can see the golden path that takes you right to the emperor's box, specially built for Pedro II of Brazil who, by the way, never set foot in the theater.

Interior of the Paz theater, in Belem

There are guided tours on weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm and on weekends until 12 noon, at a cost of around 2 euros or a little less. On Wednesdays there is no entrance fee and if you want to attend a play, opera or concert you can buy tickets since The theater is still in operation.

The local town hall building also dates back to the star era of Belém, when rubber was gold. It was built at the end of the 19th century and today the second floor houses the Belem Art Museum.

Mangal das Garcas, in Belem

The floors of the building are made of good wood and for this reason visitors must take off their shoes and put on special slippers. There are statues, antiques and many paintings of Brazilian art of the 20th century, like an oil painting by Braga from 1908 referring to the founding moment of Belém.

El Mangal das Garcas It is an ideal place to enjoy a sunny day because it is exotic and It is full of birds and huge iguanas who love to sunbathe next to the lake. This place is free entrance, but paying an entrance fee of around 4 euros you have access to the butterfly aviary and to the lighthouse.

Emilio Goeldi Museum, in Belem

El Emilio Goeldi Museum It also focuses on nature. Here in Belém, with the Amazon around every corner, it is impossible for it to be any other way.

Emilio Goeldi Museum, in Belem

The Emilio Goeldi Museum It is a zoo and museum located in the neighborhood and market of Nazare. There are giant otters and jaguars and what matters is that they all the animals have been rescued due to deforestation or illegal trafficking and are cared for by veterinarians and biologists.

Belém is a colonial past but it is also a modern city. In addition to the Ver-o-Peso Market you can visit the Docas Station, a market built on the boardwalk with bars and restaurants which is a symbol of the 21st century in the city.

Belem market stalls

It is the best place to go for a drink at sunset and enjoy the tasty local gastronomy. Even many of the cities depart and arrive from here. boat excursions through Guarajá Bay so it can be the beginning or arrival of your excursions.

Belem, Brazil

And among the excursions the truth is that the one of the Marajo Island. You navigate the Amazon River, see the local towns, explore the jungle and learn about the variety of medicinal plants it has, the natural treasures and the animals. Besides, the boats stop at some fishing villages where you can eat while watching their daily lives.

Finally, Practical information about Belém:

  • how to get: has one of the largest airports in Brazil, the Val de Cans International Airport. It is 20 minutes from the center. To get around Belém it is a good idea use the public transport or rent a car if you like the idea of ​​exploring.
  • When to go: Bethlehem It has a dry season and a rainy season.. The first runs from June to November with average temperatures of 27|C. November is the warmest month. The rainy season is from December to May. When deciding, think about how many days you are going to stay in Brazil in general. If you want to see the carnival, summer is the best option and the rains in Belém will be inevitable. If you plan to cross to the Guyanas then you should go in the dry season, from July to September much better.
  • where to stay: the best neighborhoods are Nazaré and Campina. Nazare is modern and richer, it is where most of the hotel chains are. In Campina there are more hostels and hostels, but both neighborhoods are close to the center and the most popular tourist attractions.

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