Belèm, the off-the-beaten-track destination in northern Brazil

Belém, Santarém, Marajó … these exotic sounding names are synonymous with adventure and mystery amidst exuberant jungle. Who has not dreamed as a child of being an adventurer, or an explorer, landing at the mouth of the Amazon in search of some lost treasure or forgotten tribes? This dream can become a reality with a trip to the state of Pará.

As one of our more authentic Brazil vacation packages, the state of Pará is not one of the traditional destinations in terms of tourists coming to see the jungle in Brazil. Tourists are normally directed more inland, to the state of Amazonas. To take in Pará, the other region bathed by the biggest river in the world, means to go off the beaten track. Moreover, although this region is still relatively unknown to travelers, it has many centers of interest giving it status as a top choice destination for a trip to Brazil.

Come face to face with Belém, the gateway to the Amazon!


A vacation in Northern Brazil – a little known region full of surprises!

The relatively low level of tourism in Pará can be partly explained by the fact that it is a region that has long been valued primarily for its economic resources rather than for its extraordinary landscapes.

It was also a difficult area to access as soon as one moved away from the regional capital, Belém, which had mysteriously specific climatic conditions such as the famous daily rainfall at 17:00.

However, modern communication, Internet and regular flights at reasonable costs have considerably accelerated the development of the region and facilitated its openness to travelers.

Infrastructures adapted to international tourism appeared at the end of the last century allowing visitors to travel freely and easily in this part of Brazil. We now have the pleasure of offering you stays where comfort, pleasure and wonder are the fundamental elements in the most interesting and undiscovered parts of the country.

The amazon queen vessel, sailing up the Amazon river.

Pará, the perfect destination for exotic tourism

Amongst our offers are three very different and exotic stages that will allow an authentic immersion in the universe that is North Brazil.

Travelers with a fondness for history and art in general will enjoy a region occupied by indigenous peoples for millennia, then by European settlers from the sixteenth century onwards. Among its many parks, monuments, museums and public gardens, there is plenty to see and do!

If you appreciate being able to discover the way of life and customs of the locals, the port of Belém and its constantly active market, where everything is, sells and is bought, is an essential stop.

A whirlwind of flavors, colors and smells, it will flatter the senses and arouse the curiosity of the visitor eager for novelty. Do not miss out on tasting the many fish from the largest river in the world such as Tambaqui, or the largest freshwater fish in South America, the Pirarucu, up to 300 kg and 3 m long. A real treat !

Starting from the place called ” The Paris of the Americas ” (at the beginning of the twentieth century), you can also enjoy beautiful boat trips in the area. This is an opportunity to discover all the riches of the mouth of the Amazon and its islands. It is also possible to stay on the huge island of Marajó: planted in the middle of the estuary of the largest river in the world, it is the size of Switzerland!

If you like adventure, then we will meet you on the waves in the middle of the Amazon forest, in the city of Santarem. You can take a cruise between the islets that dot the confluence between the Amazon and Rio Tapajos, offering dozens of sandy beaches that are as much an invitation to bathe as any other thing.

The North of Brazil is therefore a region where all traveler profiles will be satisfied. With family, friends or lovers, Pará awaits you to share its wonderful wealth. A small warning however:  it is advisable to visit this region between June and December, because the rains can be heavy during the other half of the year!

Aerial shot of Piracuru swimming in the Amazon.

Vendors at the ver o peso market in Belém.

Belém, go through the gates of the Amazon!

Belém is a regional capital with a long history that began in 1616 with its first colonial founding. Prosperous at a time thanks to the export of rubber in the nineteenth century, its economic situation changed drastically with the appearance of Asian production of the famous latex in the early twentieth century.

It is a city ​​where pioneers, merchants, adventurers and other explorers from all ages and nationalities have landed to storm the world’s largest equatorial forest. For a long time it was the obligatory passage for those wishing to sink into the depths of the Amazon and enjoy a vacation in Northern Brazil.

This was also valid for those who came back, loaded with a thousand unknown and strange treasures gleaned throughout their journeys within what many have called the “green hell” (in reference to the film by James Whale).

From there, all these products went to supply the markets of Europe, North America and Asia. It is therefore primarily a trading town whose growth is closely linked to the value of products extracted from the forest and its subsoil, destined for foreign markets.

Also called ” the city of mango trees ” (because of the many specimens of the fruit that exist there), visitors have the pleasure of discovering a remarkable architectural heritage. A striking example is the “Ver-o-peso,” literally “see the weight.” Located at the port, it is the largest indoor market in South America.

Next door, you will find the Mercado de Ferro, a large market hall made from wrought iron and canopies imported from Europe. Not to be missed either, is the magnificent Peace Theater, symbolic of the prosperous era of the rubber industry.

One of the great events of the city is the Ciro de Nazaré. The most important religious festival in Brazil and one of the most important in the Christian world, it brings together nearly 3,000,000 faithful each year for a morning! It takes place in October in Belém; during a great procession, Catholics have the whole city covered with an effigy of our Lady of Nazaré.

A shot from the island of Marajó of some local houses.

Marajó, the largest freshwater island in the world

Pará is also home to the largest estuary island in the world, the island of Marajó, located in front of Belém. The eastern half of the island is occupied by man, the other has remained in the wild because it is practically submerged a good part of the year.

People mostly go on this vacation in northern Brazil to discover its exceptionally rich wildlife but also to discover the human agricultural activities such as the breeding of buffaloes and horses. A good opportunity for an excursion, go by boat, or for a more unique experience, on the back of a buffalo!

Fans of history and archaeology can go in search of “Tesos”, semi-artificial hills enlarged by indigenous “Marajoarenses” now disappeared to serve as a deposit for beautiful urns and funerary vessels. For over a century they have been the subject of important archaeological research to try to better understand the settlement of the Amazon basin before colonization. An exciting story to delve into!

stay on a farm on the huge island of Marajó, a real animal sanctuary, will leave you with unforgettable memories.

We offer simple but comfortable and pleasant accommodation to discover the daily life of the inhabitants of this island, share a little of their way of life and walk the surrounding land in search of wild animals.

Top Belém and the North of Brazil FAQs

When is the best time to travel to Belém and the North of Brazil?

If you are going to travel to Belém or the island of Marajó, it is better to go in the second half of the year. In Belém, the first half of the year (from January to June) is the rainy season and from July to December is the dry season. Although you can be sure to encounter heavy showers in Belém throughout the year.

What do you need to travel to Belém and the North of Brazil?

Travelling to Belém and the North of Brazil almost certainly means that you will encounter some rain. Depending on whether you go in the first half or second half of the year, you will have to prepare for heavier showers. From January to June is the rainy season, so you will need to bring waterproof clothes and shoes if you plan on going outside. Also, buy an umbrella when you arrive, you will see that all the local people in the city are equipped with umbrellas at all times! Don´t worry too much though, during the dry season, rain showers are usually quick burst of intense rain for about fifteen minutes then the water dries up almost as quick as it falls!

What are the top places to see in Belém and the North of Brazil?

Belém is often known as the “entrance to the Amazon.” A city of 1.5 million inhabitants, it has harboured many merchants who roamed these regions in the past in search for valuable resources from the jungle. Now it has a strong cultural identity in Brazil as well as an interesting architectural history with Belle Époque attractions. 

Some of the main attractions in the city include the Carmo church, the Sé Cathedral, the Teatro da Paz and the old town. “Círio de nossa Senhora de Nazaré” is a huge annual Catholic event in Belém with millions of visitors every year. “Ver – o -Peso” is one of the biggest markets in Brazil and it is crammed full of mysterious forest produce, definitely worth a visit!

From Belém, you can also visit the island of Marajó – this is the largest delta island in Pará. The island of Marajó is the size of Switzerland and has a very interesting history. It is home to cowboys who farm buffalo, which also are one of the main modes of transport on the island! Also on the island, you can get your very own piece of authentic Marajó pottery.