Belem Travel Guide

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Tower view of Belém

Tower view of Belém

Michael C Allen

The city of mango trees is the main port of the Amazon, and as harbor cities go a very busy and industrialized area. It’s the economic center of the north and the capital of the state of Para. Being close to Equator line it’s also very hot, and almost contradictory to this also one of the rainiest cities in the world. Attracted to the possible job offers, Belem has many poor inhabitants and quite extensive slum areas around it, but the center has quite some pretty places.

When in Belem, you should not miss the Cidade Velha, or old town. Here are the best colonial buildings preserved, among which the Cathedral (1748). Also the Praca da Republica (Republica Square), a nightlife hangout, crowned with the Neo Classical Teatro Paz is a must. Other sights are the 1909 Basilica of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré, with its astounding stained glass windows, paid for with the profits made on rubber plants, upstream. A peculiar sight is the replica of the Big Ben tower on the Praca do Mercado, just next to the fishing port. A very nice touristic center was recently opened in the old harbor area. There are three different spaces: one for events such like conventions, one for gastronomy and another one for arts. There you can also schedule boat rides. The most interesting of all leaves at four o'clock every mornig, and leads the tourists to the so called "Parrots Island"- these birds chose it to spend the nights, and the visit occurs at the time they begin to fly away: unforgetable for birds lovers...

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