Begin your visit to Belém with a stop at the Ver-o-Peso Market - a huge outdoor market that spans four city blocks. It’s the city’s best-known landmark and possibly the largest market in Brazil. The myriad of stalls offer typical foods with an Afro-Indian influence, pottery, handicrafts, handmade clothing, charms made by the practitioners of macumba (Brazil’s version of voodoo), vegetables, tropical fruits, and a fish market.
Next, you will explore Forte do Castelo - a fortress built by the Portuguese in the 17th century. It stands on the highest point in the city and served to protect the new colonies against attacks by Holland and France. From this place in the picturesque, old city center, take in the marvelous panoramic view of the large bay in front of Belém. The Emilio Goeldi Zoo & Botanic Park covers five hectares of wooded area and is a renowned research center dedicated to studying Amazonian fauna and flora.
The gardens feature more than 1,500 samples of plants species and more than 1,600 fruits (in season) that grow in the region. More than 700 types of trees as well as animals from Amazonia, birds, rodents, and mammals flourish here. Your last stop will be at the Basilica of Our Lady of Nazareth, which is an elaborate copy of St. Paul’s Basilica in Rome. Built during the rubber boom at the beginning of the 20th century, this church is a fine example of beauty and architecture with a central nave, stained-glass windows, and a lovely altar.