After 2 days in São Luís we wanted to leave again. As I have some friends in Belém I thought it could be a great idea, considering how close I was from them (if you think about Brazilian distances).
Search flights, contact them, everything fits perfect, so, let’s go out of plan again!
Belém is known as the gate of the Amazon Rain Forest. Was the city which hosted me for 2 years in the past, and there i made so nice friends, that i bring in my heart until today.
The city experienced moments of fullness, among them the golden period of rubber, in the early 20th century, when received numerous European families, that influenced the local architecture. Was known at the time as the Paris of America. Actually, unfortunately is not like this. Many parts of the city are so dirty, the smell is not so good. And in some parts is better to not walk, specially if you are alone and fully equipped.
But, it’s an interesting place to visit and discover the neighborhood. Here is another Brazil even for us Brazilians.
Start exploring the historical center. The Cathedral, the Sacred Art Museum, the Theater. They are icons of the city that tell a bit about its history. Don’t forget to walk trough the Ver-o-Peso market. It’s the heart of Belém, where you can see many elements from their culture, from the food to the craft.
Then, go and explore the amazing nature around. They have some parks into the city like Mangal das Garças, Emílio Goeldi ou Rodrigues Alves. You can also take a boat and cross to the other side of the river to have lunch in one of the familiars restaurants over there, swim in the channels, and see the life of the natives. Take care because the area where you take this boat to Cumbu Island is not so safe, specially if you need to wait for a taxi on the street to go back.
If you have more time try to plan a short trip to Marajo’s Island. It’s insane! Already the boat trip is an adventure.After 3:30h (some times shaking into the boat) you arrive at Camara’s Port, where you need to take another transport to arrive to your final destination, that will be Soure or Salvaterra (the main cities in the island).
With approximately 3.000 islands and islets, Marajó is the largest archipelago estuary in the world. Its natural beauties are divided between the plain covered with savanna and dense forests. Until today the primary transport in the island are the Buffalos, the island has around 700.000 animals, about three times the population of all municipalities.
Handicrafts made with marajoara pottery (legacy of an Indian tribe of advanced culture that populated the island for 3000 years), is the most reproduced art by local artisans. You can do also many tours to explore this amazing place. On the hotel you choose they generally organize it for you. So, do as much as you can!
If you still wanna enjoy the area to kite, around Belém there are some spots as well. The beach called Atalaia in Salinas, the island of Mosqueiro and Algodoal are some examples.
Don’t miss the Tapioca & açaí ice cream from Cairu on the old port where now you can find many restaurantes, bear garden & others!!! Try the Tacacá, a kind of soup with manioca sauce and shrimps, the “unha”, a kind of fried ball with crab meat inside, and many other typical delicious meals they have in the city. TAKE CARE with the açaí! People from amazonia are used to eat/drink it without sugar, with manioca powder or beside the fish or chicken, totally different of what you are mostly used to see.
If you have any doubts just write me here on the comments, will be a pleasure to help you guys! From belém we go back to my home town in Bahia for a relaxing time in family, before we pack to travel again around Brazil. Stay tuned!