Belem is a Brazilian municipality, the capital and largest city of the state of Para in the countrys north. It is the gateway to the River Amazon with a busy port, airport, and bus/coach station. Belem lies approximately 100 km upriver from the Atlantic Ocean, on the Para River, which is part of the greater Amazon River system, separated from the larger part of the Amazon delta by Ilha de Marajo (Marajo Island).

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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.

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