Free shuttles are offered the Village of Icoaracy to the marketplace in the city of Belem, a 35-minute nice ride. On arrival, helpful locals will hand out maps and will answer any questions.
Many of the city's highlights can be taken in with a walk along the rivers edge, starting with the docks and continuing to the old fort. Numerous old churches along the way are worth a look and the bustling market life is not to be missed.
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Belem, like Manaus, is a jumping-off point for those seeking Amazon adventures, and also one of Brazil's busiest ports -- about 60 miles upriver from the Atlantic Ocean. The river is the Para, part of the greater Amazon river system, and the city is built on a number of small islands intersected by channels and other rivers.
One part of Belem contains modern skyscrapers and the other part, the colonial section, has charming tree-filled squares, churches, and traditional blue tiles.
Belem is a hot and rainy city with very high humidity. The equatorial climate means a little variance from day to day, but the wettest months are between January and May.
The city has several good museums and restaurants and several distinctive buildings and colorful colonial structures, some with ornate iron gates.
As you walk around central Belem, you quickly get a feel for the city's layout and the location of the main tourist attractions, which include a series of colonial buildings. The Teatro da Paz (Peace Theatre) is one such attraction, as is the rather distinctive waterfront Mercado Ver-o-Peso.
An impressive and highly successful renovation project in Belem, the Estacao das Docas (Station of the Docks) complex saw a total of three early 20th-century riverfront warehouses transformed into a modern commercial space, complete with a small theater, shops, and restaurants offering al fresco dining with a view.
The market is on the dock and one of the largest in Brazil. It was designed and built in England and assembled in Belem. Here you'll find plenty of fresh fruits, plants, and fish, and also medicinal herbs and potions, alligator and crocodile body parts, and anaconda snakes.
Cafes which offer free WiFi for customers are sparse.
Basic hours for most stores and businesses are from 9am to 6pm, with an extended lunch hour from around noon to 2pm.
Many museums are closed on Monday.
Every year on the morning of the second Sunday of October, Belém explodes with the sounds of hymns, bells, and fireworks. Started in 1793, the Círio de Nazaré is Brazil’s biggest religious festival. People from all over the country flock to Belém, and even camp in the streets, to participate in the grand event.
Carnival - the five days leading up to Ash Wednesday
April 21 - Remembrance of Tiradentes
May 1 - Labour Day
September 7 - Independence Day
October 12 - Nossa Senhora Aparecida
November 2 - Dia dos Finados (the Day of the Dead)
November 15 - Proclamation of the Republic
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