Everything you need in just one place
Estação das Docas is a place you should go if you are in Belém, the old harbour which was transformed in a leisure complex. It has regional food and ice_cream, regional beer, tours in the river with local dances , permanent and temporary exhibitions, music concerts, regional gift shops and a wonderful view of the bay. It is closed on Mondays.
Castanha do Para (Brazil Nut)
One of the most important economic plants of the Amazon is Brazil nut. It's in fact a seed of an enormous Brazil nut tree which is native to Amazon rainforest. It has high caloric and proteinic contents.
You can find Brazil nuts all around Belem, from Ver-o-Peso to other markerts and shops. But the best ones I bought from street vendor. They were the freshest I've tried. The seller had to break the woody seed capsule to get the seeds, then break the seeds and finally peel them. Yummy!! Brazil nuts that we usually buy in Europe can defenitely not be compared with the ones that you find in Belem.
Fruits of the Amazon
No stay in Belem would be complete without sampling the remarkable variety of tropical fruit the region has to offer, and which form the basis for top quality juices and ice creams. Most have no English or even Portuguese translations.
Palm fruits are among the most common; you come across acai, taperaba, tucuma, bacuri and buriti. Also good, especially as juices and ice cream, are jenipapu, murici, ajiru, pupunha, graviola, fruta de conde, guava, acerola, mango, passionfruit, cashew, cacau, papaya, umbu and, most exotic of all, cupuacu.
Cotijuba island: a paradise
Cotijuba still is not a very touristic destiny so, if you want to visit local fishermen's community surrounded by clear sand beachs, you should go there. One of the best thing to do there is to chat with the natives, they have many stories to tell. To go there you can take a bus or a van to Icoaraci and them take a boat to Cotijuba. It takes about 2 hours to get there
A Jungle Tree Climber
The berries of the acai palm tree are used for everything from medicine to condiment to beverage. (Only manioc, the most versatile of plants, has more uses.)
On a 'jungle walk' our Amazon Star Tour guide just happened upon a man who, on cue, folded several palm leaves into a wreath, wrapped it around his ankles, and used the leverage it provided to enable him to climb the tree -- to get to where the precious acai berries were.