Located on the Bay of Guajara at the mouth of the Amazon estuary, the Port of Belem is imbued with a sense of adventure and romance. Dating back to 1616, the town preserves and protects several historic properties. The annual Cirio de Nazare (Portuguese) in October is one of the biggest Catholic processions in the world, attended by as many as two million people.
Visitors to the Port of Belem should be sure to see the Mangal das Garcas, a large park in the city center where local plants and animals can be seen. The Station of the Docks and Complex Feliz Lusitania make real the port’s rich history. The Mercado Ver-o-Peso is the biggest traditional market in Latin America. It’s housed in a historic building where visitors can find regional goods, foods, and scented baths that can make a person fall in love with you.
The Forte de Castelo (Portuguese) was a wood and straw building in 1616. Rebuilt many times since then, restoration and preservation efforts in 1983 made it the home of the Army Officer’s Club of Belem. Visitors will want to visit the city’s museums, particularly the Museu de Artes del Belem and the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi. The beautiful Teatro da Paz is an impressive reminder of the days of the rubber boom, and guided tours are available throughout the day. The Bosque Rodrigues Alves botanical gardens are well worth a quiet visit.
Tourists can see many of the city’s sights by walking along the shoreline past the docks and the old fort to the city center to enjoy the busy markets.