Brasil

BELÉM

A Vibrant Spirit

At the mouth of the Amazon River lies the historical city of Belém, which was founded in 1655. The city’s colonial houses and palaces are shaded by the ancient mango trees that line its streets. For those fond of novel culinary experiences, Belém is paradise; there are numerous bars and restaurants serving  what is regarded as the most indigenous cuisine in Brazil. Venturing further from the Ver-o-Peso market, you’ll find riverfront refreshment on Ilha do Combu, with rustic restaurants suspended on stilts above the water, and Ilha do Mosqueiro, prized for its sandy freshwater beaches. If you’re in a musical mood, let yourself be swept away by traditional Afro-indigenous carimbó or the pulsing, electronic strains of contemporary tecnobrega, infectious rhythms that capture Belém’s vibrant spirit. An ancestral composition of European, Amerindian (Indigenous) and African. Belém continues to draw people in for dancing and music. Traditional music and dance, as well as Samba shows, are all popular throughout the city. As for the vibrant cuisine; the local Amerindian culture makes use of local elements to create the colors and flavors of its cuisine. One such dish, ‘Cupuaçu’, comes from the Cupuaçu tree, found in the Amazonian woods and is easily identified by its unique small and sour taste. Its pulp is also extracted to make juices, candies, jellies, liquors and ice creams. Come visit Belém for an authentic experience that merges bygone eras with the new and vibrant contemporary expressions that only a metropolis in the Amazon has to offer.

An invitation of local life

Belém do Para as the city is also known for, is the second largest state in Brazil and located in the Guajará Bay, Northern Region. Waking up early in Belém to the rising sun and parrot cries is an invitation to immerse yourself in the rhythms of local life. Head to Ver-o-Peso Market to watch sailors unloading spices, fruits and medicinal herbs from further up the river. After browsing the stalls, join workers at rustic kiosks for an energizing bowl of açai with crunchy manioc flour and an optional side of fried pirarucu fish. Behind the market, the narrow cobblestone streets of Campina and Cidade Velha showcase colonial palaces from the city’s Rubber Boom heyday, and atmospheric botecos serve crab-stuffed unhas de carangueijo and cachaça infused with jambu leaves which will leave your mouth tingling. Strolling beneath the mango trees of Nazaré offers shelter from Belém’s midday heat, because Belém lies 160km south of the equator in a tropical rainforest climate zone with high temperature, high humidity and rainy seasons. Return to the city centre for sunset views and happy hour at the Estação das Docas waterfront complex. This is one of the must-see attractions in Belém. The tourist and gastronomic complex occupies 500 meters of riverfront in the old port of Belém, built in the 19th century. Inside the three restored English iron sheds, you’ll find restaurants, bars, event space and even a passenger terminal. Outside, on the edge of the complex, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Guajará Bay and guarantee a photo with the famous postcards of the Station: the cranes manufactured in the United States, at the beginning of the century.