The eastern gateway to the Amazon region and a destination in its own right, Belém is worth at least a couple of days of your life. It's a rewarding city, with streets and parks shaded by mango trees, the pastel facades of once-decadent mansions now fading in the tropical sun, as well as a number of fascinating museums, pungent markets and decent restaurant-bars. It's also a launchpad for overnight trips to Algodoal and Ilha de Marajó, both appealing coastal destinations.