Places To Visit In Belem, Brazil
Para, a state in northern Brazil, is home a large part of the Amazon Rainforest as well the imposing Amazon Tapajos Xingu and Tocantins Rivers. Belem, which is also the capital of the state, is an amazing city.
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The history of Brazil’s development is told in Belem, from the Portuguese arrival in 16th-17th centuries to the rubber boom of 19th-20th centuries. On your Belem vacation, you’ll discover a vibrant mix of markets, restaurants and museums.
Anthony Bourdain, the late chef and food journalist, frequently stated that he always visited the local municipal market when he first arrived in a new area. To get a sense of the city’s culture, way of life and habits, visit local market sellers to see their wares. Bourdain’s maxim rings even more true at Belem’s Ver-o-Peso street market. The Mercado Vero o-Peso, located on Guajara’s docks, was established in 1625. It is a vast open-air market that includes a butcher, fish market, crafts stalls and exotic spices and herbs.
Take a seat in one of the many food stalls, and you can have lunch at the market on the weekends. Box da Lucia has the best fried fish. Order the Peixe. Another option is to visit the market in the early morning for something tourists won’t get to see: the boats arriving on the shore, full of fresh seafood, and freshly picked cacao. Ver-o-Peso starts work early, with some stalls already up and running before 4am. Don’t forget your alarm!
Complexo Feliz Lusitania
The Complexo Feliz Lusitania cluster of historical buildings is located just a few minutes from Belem’s Mercado. Forte do Presepio, an ancient fort built in 400 years ago that overlooks Guajara bay is the most striking.
It is now home to a small museum that exhibits the colonization in the north of Brazil. The Feliz Lusitania also contains the Casa das Onze Janelas, a mansion and museum of art, the Museu d’Arte Sacra late Renaissance-style, and the magnificent Se Cathedral.
Theatro da Paz
Belem played a pivotal role in Brazil’s 19th-century rubber boom. In the early 1900s, Europe and the USA were industrializing at a rapid pace. Rubber was a valuable commodity for the production of automobiles and machinery. But rubber was not even grown in the Amazon until the 1910s. Belem, which was the main gateway to the Amazon for rubber traders, was modernized as one of the earliest Brazilian cities. The Belem city was home to wealthy European families. They transformed the city by building ornate architecture and gave it the nickname of the Paris of the Americas.
The Theatro da Paz, with its marble floors, striking frescoes, pristine chandeliers, gives you an unforgettable impression of Belem’s belle. The interior is in excellent condition. Visitors can see the golden-paved path from the entrance to the Emperor’s Box. Guided tours of the theater are offered every weekday, from 9am to 5pm, and on weekends from 9am-12pm. On Wednesdays, entrance is free and visits cost R$6. The theater hosts operas, concerts and other performances. Tickets can be bought at the box-office.
Mangal das Garcas
The stunning Mangal das Garcas is a small zoo/botanical garden located in southwest Belem. Visit it on one of Belem’s sunny and beautiful days. The lush green grounds of the park are home to exotic birds and huge iguanas that love to sunbathe on the lake.
The park is open to all, with the exception of the butterfly house, lighthouse, and aviaries which require an entrance fee. Take advantage of the opportunity to grab lunch at Mormaco, a bar on stilts that overlooks the water and serving delicious local food and drinks.
Museu Emilio Goeldi
After visiting Mangal das Garcas you might still be hungry for more wildlife. The Museu Emilio Goeldi in Nazare is an excellent zoo/museum.
A variety of animal species will be displayed, including giants otters, jaguars, and anteaters. All animals in the Museu Emilio Goeldi are rescued from illegal trafficking and deforestation.
Remanso do Bosque
Para State’s food is the best on the continent. Paraense cuisine is well-known for its extensive selection of freshwater as saltwater fish. While Belem has a high standard of food, many local restaurants will serve you delicious pieces of pirarucu fish and bowls full of manitoba sauce, but the best is where you’ll find the most exquisite Paraense cuisine.
There are many delicious, innovative desserts and starters made with Amazonian products. While there are many choices for main dishes, you should stick with the grilled filhote. This is a large freshwater fish also known as the goliath Catfish. You can prepare the buttery, meaty Filhote on the grill in a few minutes. This fish is delicious and will melt with just a touch of a knife.
Ilha do Combu
Take a boat to Ilha do Combu from the south, across the Guama river. This island, known locally for its cacao and acai, is a great place to spend a day. Ask your speedboat driver where to drop you off. Dona Nena is a charming chocolate factory that teaches you about the process of making chocolate from cacao collected on the island.
There are many delicious products you can take home as well as samples. Combu ships depart from Princesa Isabel docks. This is a very sketchy area of the town. The docks are very safe with tourists and locals regularly making the crossing. However, it is safer to take a taxi to and fro the docks.