"Magnificent Belém" Top 5 Page for this destination Belém by NedHopkins

Belém Travel Guide: 136 reviews and 351 photos

Amazonia at Its Best

Belem is nearly as improbable as Manaus. Who'd expect a city of nearly two million people located in what was once jungle?

It's here, though, in the estuary of the great Amazon River, about 120 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean -- near enough that the tides vary the river's water levels by as much as three meters.

And what a city! Fine restaurants, magnificent colonial and other buildings, good shopping, jungle and river tours-- all in a city that seems more European than most in Brazil, and also cleaner and more prosperous.

It rains in Belem: it rains a lot. But the rain comes at fairly predictable times; it pours for only a few minutes; and people (even tourists) easily work around it.

One curiosity: Though Belem is "below" the equator -- in the southern hemisphere, that is -- prevailing winds and ocean currents make its seasons like those in the northern hemisphere. That means, for example, that "winter" is from the December to the March solstices. Not that winter is all that different from the other three seasons, given Belem's proximity to the equator.

Belem is a really great city. (Its name, BTW, is Portugese for Bethlehem.)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful, fascinating city with much to see and do.
  • Cons:It rains. A lot, though usually only for an hour or so each afternoon.
  • In a nutshell:At least as interesting as Manaus.
  • Last visit to Belém: Feb 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (20)

Comments (4)

  • sanguin's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    I believe that they have turned the Equatorial into the BelémSoftHotel. Today, it's a nice place to stay, around R$ 60 per night, and it's actually pretty central. The street also has a number of bars and cafes around.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2007 at 10:15 PM

    Nice tips!

  • Jul 18, 2006 at 8:42 AM

    I lived in Belem and as far as I know those are not palm tree but huge mango trees all over town. Belem is called the mango tree city, never seen a palm tree in the city... just a detailed observation for all!

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2005 at 8:54 PM

    well, De Gaulle had always something to say, even when he had better not ..and yes, Brasil and Argentina did pummel poor Paraguai, what an empty victory. but Belem is beautiful, always was! great presentation with superb infos and pix. tks for sharing

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