“Belém of the Amazon”
Belém, with around 1,500,000 inhabitants, is the economic center of the northern region and capital of the mineral rich state of Pará .
One of the rainiest cities in the world, it has a “less wet”season from July to December. But this is not as bad as it sounds. Rain often comes and goes quickly and is a brief respite from the equatorial heat.
As it approaches the Atlantic ocean, the Amazon river splits into many branches and forms countless channels, fluvial islands, and finally two great estuaries. These estuaries separate Marajó island, “the continent island”, from the mainland. The southern estuary is joined by the mighty Tocantins river.
Belém is 120km from the Atlantic ocean at the point where Guamá river turns north and becomes the Guajará bay.It is the biggest port on the Amaz0on river. From Belém, you set sail for any place that is navigable on the Amazon and its tributaries.
At the Ver-O-Peso market and port, there is no much for a tourist to buy . Yet , the display of fruits, vegetables, plants, animals and fish, not to mention the people , is fascinating. The most intriguing section is filled with medicinal herbs and roots, dead snakes and amulets for every possible occasion.
The Emilio Goeldi museum has three parts : the zoological-botanical garden, the aquarium and the ethnology museum itself. The zoo has manatees, jungle cats, alligators ,snakes , monkeys and many amazonian birds. The highlight here is the museum founded in 1866. It is billed as the greatest anthropology collection of Marajoara ceramics (from Marajó island) in good display, indian artifacts, many stuffed birds and old photos.