I can hardly imagine a reason why Macapa would draw the average tourist if not as an entry or an exit point for exploration into the great Amazon Basin. That being said, this easy going town on the edge of the mouth of the Amazon river makes for a fairly pleasant stop for a night’s rest and good place to stock up on food if you’re heading up the river. There isn’t exactly a huge list of things to do in town, however there are a couple of things worth checking out.
Things to do in Macapa
- The Fort: If there is a must see in Macapa it is the fort. Fortalzeza de Sao Jose de Macapa is a very sturdy structure right on the water and is worth about an hour’s worth of exploration. It is here that you realize the history that is held in the region, one of gold hunters and pirates, it’s really quite fascinating.
- The Amazon by boat: From Macapa you actually have a couple of options for excursion by boat on the Amazon. From here to Belem, across the river, is a simple 24 hour journey and the boat leaves 3 days a week. If you want to head into the Amazon there are boats 3 days a week that head to Santarem (2 days) and then later Maunaus (4 days).
Where to Eat in Macapa
The restaurant situation is not the most enticing in South America, and if you arrive on a Sunday you can pretty much forget about eating out. Just off of one of the main streets of town, Coaracy Nunes, has a couple of places worth grabbing some grub including a couple of buffets. There is also a big supermarket in town that has a very good selection and even a nice bakery.
Where to Stay in Macapa
While in Macapa I stayed at Hotel America Novo Mundo, and I have no real complaints for the price. I payed 25 Reais (about 9US$) for a private single room. The only issue was that the bathroom was a bit of a hike. Apparently you can also get private rooms with private bathrooms for double the price. For me, half price for a 30 pace walk to the bathroom is well worth it.
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