At the mouth of the Amazon River in northern Brazil lies Belem, the capital city of the Brazilian state of Para. The city contains a selection of historic colonial architecture alongside a series of fabulous modern developments, which different parts of the city contrasting atmospheres. The newest parts of the city are lively and bustling with huge skyscrapers and modern buildings dominating the skyline, whereas the colonial areas boast enchanting squares and historical churches, houses and other structures with rich culture and heritage. Belem is also popular due to its proximity to the Amazon River and Amazon Rainforest, where visitors can enjoy the spectacular scenery and wildlife found in this fascinating segment of the globe.
The city of Belem is home to a fantastic range of sights and attractions. One of the best ways to experience the city is by taking a walk along the rivers and around town, or strolling through the city's Mangal das Garcas Park just outside of the city centre. Excursions to explore the Amazon Rainforest and river are also available through local tour companies. Belem's stunning collections of colonial structures are also worth visiting whilst staying in the city.
Amazon Biopark Zoo
Situated only 15km from the centre of the city, the Amazon Biopark Zoo is an astounding Amazonian conservation area made up of dense forests, beautiful flora and fauna as well as mighty rivers and streams, encapsulating the environment of the Amazon Rainforest. The park is famous for its population of alligators, but is also home to variety of animals including monkeys, anteaters and a range of exotic bird species. A Museum of Palaeontology is also onsite and houses a collection of thousands of shells and fossils from across the continent.
Forte do Castelo
Located in the old part of the city, Forte do Castelo is Belem's oldest fortress. Original constructed in the 17th century for defensive purposes, the structure is now open to the public and houses a museum focusing on the region's colonisation by the Portuguese.
Rodrigues Alves Wood-Botanical Garden
This botanical garden captures the beauty of the Amazon Rainforest but is located in the centre of Belem. Encompassing around 16 hectares, the garden contains lakes, caverns, waterfalls and a artificial mountain as well as 2500 types of wildlife including native species such as monkey and macaws.
Shopping in Belem
Belem contains a selection of brilliant places to shop and pick up mementos and souvenirs of a stay in the city. The Ver-o-Peso Market is a vibrant marketplace selling many different items including fruits, herbs, meats, fish, furniture and clothes as well as a range of authentic local arts and crafts. The Complex Feliz Lusitania is another great place to shop, boasting a selection of great retailers and independent stores.
Eating Out in Belem
One of the best locations to eat out in Belem is the Estacao das Docas Complex. The complex is spread over an area of around 18,000 square metres and is home to a wide range of restaurants, cafes and bars serving traditional Brazilian cuisine alongside a variety of international dishes.