Capital and largest city of the state of Pará in the country's North region. It's the gateway to the Amazon river with a busy port, airport, and bus/coach station. Belém lies approximately 100 km upriver from the Atlantic Ocean, separated from the larger part of the Amazon delta by Ilha de Marajó (Marajo Island). With an estimated population of 1,439,561 people — or 2,249,405, considering its metropolitan area — it is the 11th most populous city in Brazil, as well as the 16th by economic relevance. It's the second largest in the North Region, second only to Manaus, in the state of Amazonas,
Founded in 1616 by the Kingdom of Portugal, Belém was the first European colony on the Amazon but did not become part of Brazil until 1775. The newer part of the city is filled with modern buildings and skyscrapers, which contrast with the colonial portion, often mere blocks away, which retains the charm of tree-filled squares, churches and traditional blue tiles. The city has rich history and architecture from colonial times, and we'll gladly include options to meet those in the Social Programs.
Belém, literally Bethlehem is also known as the Metropolis of the Brazilian Amazon region or the Cidade das Mangueiras (City ofMango Trees) due to the vast number of those trees found in the city. Brazilians often refer to the city as Belém do Pará ("Belém of Pará") rather than just Belém, a reference to an earlier name for the city, Santa Maria de Belém do Grão Pará, and also to differentiate it from a number of other towns called Belém in Brazil. It is named after Santa Maria de Belém in Lisbon, also better known by its shortened name, Belém.
- Ophyr Loyola Hospital
- Jean Bitar Hospital
Please contact our LEOs or LOREs for more information.
The host student or family will provide at least one meal per day.
The incomings are hosted in students flat house, family houses or republic houses, where students share a house and create a family bound. They will have their own bed and will be provided with one bathroom that can be shared or not, and wireless internet acess, at the house and/or at the college campus.
If you are coming from somewhere else in Central or South America, there are many other options via connecting flights from LATAM, Azul, GOL and Avianca. Common routes from other continents also include connecting flights from different regions of Brazil, at the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo-Horizonte, for example.
Our city is served by Val-de-Cans International Airport (BEL), and it's located just 15 minutes away from downtown.
Public transportation at the city is handled exclusively by buses, which may not be the easiest or most comfortable way to move around, but it's definitely the cheapest and your contact person will gladly help you getting around.
If you find yourself out late at night, lost, or stuck in the rain, taxi's in Belém are relatively inexpensive for short distances. Make sure you only take taxis from cooperatives. If you ask your hotel, hostel, contact person or someone at the bar or restaurant where you find yourself, they can direct you to the nearest cooperative, inform you their phone number or call a cab for you.
Another great option we recommend is using Uber, as it covers almost the entire city, is significantly cheaper than taxi's for both short and long distances and offers more comfort and convenience, as Uber drivers can pick you up wherever you are. It's definitely worth the extra from bus transportation if you can afford it. Both your contact person and host can help you getting it set up, if you need to.
There are a lot of modern high rises, but between them particularly in Cidade Velha, there are a vast number of well preserved colonial buildings, from the rubber boom and earlier. Many of the greater ones now house official bodies, and there's been a recent drive to preserve them.
Some of our city's postcards include:
- Estação das Docas (Revitalised docks with bars, shops, music etc.)
- Complexo Feliz Lusitânia (Complex Happy Portugal)
- Casa das Onze Janelas (House of Eleven Windows)
- Mercado Ver-o-Peso (See-the-Weight Market) - the old fish market a large and lively traditional market. Here you will find fish, fruit, vegetables, regional items and offers a good insight into traditional local culture.
- Mercado Ver-o-Rio (See-the-River), bars and a boating lake.
- Forte do Castelo The old fortress in the oldest part of town.
- Catedral da Se The oldest church in Belem.
- Praça Batista Campos (Batista Campos Square)
- Museu de Artes de Belém (Belém Arts Museum)
- Museu Emilio Goeldi (Emílio Goeldi Museum)
- Praça da República (The Square of the republic). The main square with statues and the Teatro da Paz.
- Teatro da Paz (Theater of Peace)
- Bosque Rodrigues Alves (Botanical Garden Bosque Rodrigues Alves). A large section of the the original forest (with some a lake, fish, animals and a cafe), perhaps a square kilometer in area, located only ten minutes away from downtown.
- Mangal das Garças - the region's vegetation, animals and food can be appreciated in this large park for tourists just off the city center.