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Belem de Para, gate with entry towards the Amazonia

The visit of the capital of the Para State was recommended to me by a Brazilian friend. It is therefore at Belem that I have begun my discovery of Amazonia. Between flamboyant nature, colonial architecture and dynamism of a large town, I have come under the spell of this portuary city.

The discovery of Amazonian Flora

Mango trees border the avenues, palm trees along the estuary, no doubts in Belem, the Amazonian forest is integrated into the city. The exuberant nature associated with urban life is found in almost all the towns of the city and gives it a charm which I have never found in any other Brazilian town. Exotic fruit amateurs will be particularly keen to go to the biggest market of the city, the Ver or Peso.

Situated close to the old port, this market is of an area of 26000 square metres and allows visitors to discover spices and fruits of the region. If you have not had the chance yet, the Belem market is the ideal place to discover the Açai. The famous fruit of the forest, tried in all of Brazil in sorbet or juice, it has been one of my favourite culinary discoveries.

At 15 kilometres from Belem, if you don't have the possibility to plunge into the Amazonia, the Belem ecological park "Gunnar Vingren" giving at first glance, the wild flora and fauna. 14 km of walks through the natural flora with a magnificent view onto the canal Sao Joaquim. This place is ideal for those who can't reach Belem.

Situated in 180km from the equator, Belem do Para enjoy the equatorial climate. I advise you to visit the city outside of the rainy season.

A colonial city

First town colonised by the Portuguese on the Amazon, in 1616, the city of Belem do Para still holds beautiful traces of its past. In the remains of the old town, informed visitors find architecture similar to those of Portuguese batiments from the beginning of the century. In the heart of the city, the Sé cathedral also brings to mind its European similarities like the sanctuary basilica of Nazaré based on the model of Saint Peter in Rome. I advise you to visit these places during the day and to avoid staying once night has fallen. The risk-factor is one of the things to bear in mind when visiting the old town.

View of the Belem docks quarter

The city of Belem, is organised around the Vargas avenue , commercial heart of the city, it relies on the centre of the old docks. On the border of the river, since the 00s, the industrial port docks have become a open top shopping centre where restaurants and shops abound. It's one of the most agreeable places to make the most of the sunset on the Amazon to the sound of live music.

Adeline Haverland
21 contributions
Updated 21 November 2015
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