The city of Belém, capital of Pará, is full of indentations and recesses forming islands all around it; there are fifty five of these islets, most of which are wild and uninhabited, although some are home to small populations. These include the islands of Mosqueiro - fringed by fourteen fresh water beaches - and Caratateua which receive a large number of visitors in summertime.

In addition to these and also near Belém, is the island of Tatuoca which is the location of the only geodesic station in Latin America, one of seven in existence in the world.


Known as the "city of the mango trees" because of the large number of those trees growing there, Belém's historic buildings reflect cultural traces of the seventeenth century. These buildings include the City Market for meat and the Iron Market for fish. Around the markets and forming part of the same complex is the quayside Ver-o-Peso market, like a picture postcard where colours, smells and flavours are all mixed together into a scene that is varied and original.

Tied up at the quay are picturesque fishing boats and canoes that unload a variety of products each day, from indigenous ceramic articles to herbs and aromatic roots from Amazonia