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Belem Travel Guide, Brazil

Belém is the state of Pará (a state in northern Brazil) and happens to be the second largest city of Amazonia (a tropical moist forest in South America) and tenth largest metropolitan city of Brazil.

With a population of approximately 2.09 million inhabitants, Belém is famous for its huge number of mango trees (thus known as ‘city of mango trees’ or Cidade das Mangueiras in Brazilian). Belém is the most happening city of north Brazil as it hosts the busiest port in Brazil. One should remember that Belém is not one single land but it comprises of multiple islands all intersected by various rivers and channels.

Belém came into existence in 1616 when it used to be the European Colony in Amazon and it came under Brazil after 1775. As is the case with almost every traditional city, Belém has lots of trees, churches, and traditional buildings etc. in its older part while the modern part has breathtaking skyscrapers.

As is the problem with other parts of Brazil, Belém also faces hot and humid climate which rarely varies. Some relief can be sought in between the months of January and May as these months experience considerable rainfall.

Belém International Airport or Val de Cães International Airport (with IATA code BEL) is the only airport which connects Belém with the rest of Brazil and to many other cities in South America. Belém is also known as Belém do Pará (which means Belém of Pará) and this helps the Brazilians to differentiate Belém from the city of Bethlehem in Israel.

 Belém International Airport was designed by Sérgio Parada and what he came up with was a design which is appreciated worldwide. The large hall of the airport is covered with curves on the roof so that bright light can enter the hall to lighten it. Statistics say that around 2.7 million passengers utilize the services of Belém International Airport every year. The interiors contain lots of plants which give it the touch of Amazon.

The most talked about feast of Pará State, Círio de Nazaré (or Nazareth Taper), takes place in Belém itself. This festival started in 1793 and it is said that around 1.5 million followers take part in the festival every year. It starts in the month of October and renowned dishes like Pato no Tucupi and Maniçoba are enjoyed by followers during this festival.

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