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Belém

Travel Guide South America Brazil Pará Belém

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Introduction

Belem

Belem

© All Rights Reserved bungacom

Belém is a city in the nort of Brazil, located at the Amazon estuary in the state of Para with about 1.5 million inhabitants. The Atlantic Ocean is still about 100 kilometres away. Belém has a surprising variety of museums and monuments and great nightlife to offer, though compared to cities further south, this place might not be everyone's choice though. It is also the starting point for short trips to places like Ilha de Marajó and longer ones upstream along the Amazon River to places like Santarém, Manaus and even into Colombia and Peru, though this usually involves switching boats in Manaus.

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Weather

Belém has a hot and humid tropical climate. Temperatures are extremely consistent throughout the year and are around 31 °C during the day and around 23 °C at night, January to April only being one degree colder during the day, mainly because it is the cloudier rainy season.
Like many places in the tropics, there is a significant wet season, though in the case of Belém not a real dry season, just a drier season from June to November. Average precipitation is still around 150mm a month during that time though and from December to May this varies between 300mm and 450mm a month, peaking in March.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max30.9 °C30.5 °C30.4 °C30.8 °C31.3 °C31.7 °C31.7 °C32.1 °C32.1 °C32.2 °C32.3 °C31.9 °C
Avg Min22.1 °C22.2 °C22.4 °C21.8 °C22.6 °C22.1 °C21.7 °C21.7 °C21.7 °C21.6 °C21.9 °C22 °C
Rainfall366.5 mm417.5 mm436.2 mm360 mm304.4 mm140.2 mm152.1 mm131.1 mm140.8 mm116.1 mm111.8 mm216.4 mm
Rain Days262628262519181617151520

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Getting There

Kids climbing onto the boat

Kids climbing onto the boat

© All Rights Reserved Steve-Kay

By Plane

Val de Cães International Airport (BEL) serves as the main gateway by air and is located a short drive from the city.
Destinations include Cayenne, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Manaus, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador, Paramaribo, Santarém, Sao Luis, Curitiba, Foz do Iguacu and a variety of smaller cities and towns in the northern half of Brazil.

By Bus

Belém is a long drive from anywhere in Brazil. There are many bus companies serving the city. Some of the main destinations are Fortaleza (14 hours), Sao Luis (20 hours), Salvador (36 hours) and Rio de Janeiro (50-53 hours!). You will note that finding a cheap plane ticket might work out almost as cheap as buses, if not cheaper if you are lucky.

By Boat

Slow boats travel across the Amazon River between Belem and Tabatinga on the border with Peru and Colombia. It takes around a week downstream but over one and a half upstream to cover the route.
There are usually about 3 weekly departures for the trip to Manaus (5 days) stopping in Monte Alegre (2 days), Santarem (2,5 days), Obidos (3 days) and Parantins (4 days) en route.
Boats in northern direction towards Macapá leave twice weekly and take around 24 hours.
To Ilha de Marajó, there are two services a day (one on Sunday) taking around 3 hours one-way.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Hotel AmazôniaRua Ó de Almeida, 548Hotel70
Pousada Riosrua do farol 190, ilha cotijubaGUESTHOUSE-
HI AmazôniaAv. Governador José Malcher, 592Hostel73
Eco Pousada MiritiTv. Padre Prudncio, 656 CampinaGUESTHOUSE-
Arte FazendaEstrada de Pacuquara, km 01 Apeu, CastanhalHOSTEL-
Gold Mar HotelRua Professor Nelson Ribeiro, 132 TelegrafoHOTEL-
Hotel Ver O PesoAv Boulevard Castilhos Franca, 208 CentroHOTEL-
Hotel Paraiso MariliAv Souza Irmaos , 762 Praia de MarudaHOTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes (Lan houses) are increasingly common, and even small towns often have at least one spot with more or less decent connections.
An increasing number of hotels, airports and shopping malls also offer hotspots for Wi-Fi with your laptop computer or of course smartphone. Sometimes it is free, sometimes you need to register and there is a time limite and sometimes you need to pay a small amount for (day) use.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Brazil is: 55. To make an international call from , the code is: 0014. All cities use the following emergency numbers: 190 (police), 192 (medical) and 193 (fire department). However, if you dial 911 or 112 while in Brazil, you will be redirected to the police.
Brazil uses two-digit area codes, and phone numbers are eight digits long. Numbers beginning with digits 2 to 5 are land lines, while eight-digit numbers beginning with digits 6 to 9 are mobile phones.

Public payphones use disposable prepaid cards, which come with 20, 40, 60 or 75 credits. The discount for buying cards with larger denominations is marginal. Phone booths are nearly everywhere, and all cards can be used in all booths, regardless of the owner phone company. Cards can be bought from many small shops, and almost all news agents sell them.

Brazil has 4 national mobile operators: Vivo (Telefónica Group), Claro (Telmex/América Móvil Group), OI and TIM (Telecom Italia Group), all of them running GSM and HSDPA/HSPA+ networks. Pay-as-you-go (pré-pago) SIM cards for GSM phones are widely available in places like newsstands, drugstores, supermarkets, retail shops, etc.

Post

Correios is the national postal service of Brazil. It is a government run postal service and overseen by the Brazilian Ministry of Communications. Post offices are generally open from Monday to Friday from 09:00am to 5:00pm, although post offices located in shopping malls have their own opening hours, usually from 10:00am to 10:00pm. There are no set opening hours at weekends and as post office owners can choose when to open and close. More and more post offices are open until 1:00pm on Saturdays though. You can check things at the nearest post office.

Sending postcards, letters and parcels is a rather straightforward process and services are reliable, though not overly fast when sending post internationally, mostly taking about a week to the USA and Europe, and there is a track-and-trace service for this as well. Domestically, there are both next day as well as more expensive same day delivery options. Stamps are available at post offices, as well as some kiosks or other places where they sell postcards.

For sending packages internationally, you can also used competitively priced private companies like TNT, UPS or DHL. They are generally much quicker and not much more expensive.

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This is version 9. Last edited at 9:16 on Jan 21, 14 by Utrecht. 15 articles link to this page.

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