Amapa (Portuguese: Amapá) is in a state in the North of Brazil. It occupies the northernmost part of the country's Atlantic coast, bordering French Guiana and Suriname.
- 1 Macapá — the locals call it "the capital of the middle of the world", as the equator runs through the city
- 2 Laranjal do Jari — near the Tumucumaque Mountains National Park
- 3 Mazagão — known for the Festival of São Tiago which takes place between 16 and 28 July, and re-enacts the war between the Moors and Christians
- 4 Oiapoque — the northern-most city in Brazil, on the border of French Guiana, its attractions include Cachoeira Grande, Vila Brasil at the headwaters of the Oiapoque river, Cabo Orange National Park and Serra do Tumucumaque
- 5 Porto Grande — visitors come for the annual Pineapple Festival in September and the spa near the Araguari River
- 6 Santana — a port city where the larger passenger boats depart for Amazonian destinations
- 7 Vitória do Jari — a farming and mining town of 16,000 people (2020)
Other destinations edit
Unexplored rainforests cover more than 70% of the territory of Amapá. Most of its intact beaches are mixed with swamps, creating the largest representation of this biome in Brazil.
Amapá is one of the poorest states in Brazil, but has among the fastest growing economies and populations. Almost the entire region is covered by rainforest, only in the southeast there is a larger urban area around Macapá and Santana.
So far, the state has hardly been discovered by tourism, apart from the shopping tourism from French Guiana. The almost untouched rainforests are of particular interest to travelers, even if there are also problems with illegal logging in this region. On the Atlantic coast, which has hardly been developed, there is a lagoon landscape that is interspersed with swamp areas. There are no beaches that are open to tourists.
Amapá has a very humid tropical climate with 2,000 to 3,250 mm of rainfall per year and a short dry season of 2-3 months between September and November. The wettest months are January to May with more than 300mm per month. The maximum temperatures during the day are a little under 30°C in the rainy season, around 33°C in the dry season, and at night it just cools down to around 23°C.
Get in edit
By plane edit
The most convenient way to get here is via Macapá-Alberto Alcolumbre International Airport (MCP IATA), which has daily connections to several other major cities (Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Foz do Iguaçu). Some international flights arrive in Belém.
- Oiapoque Aeroporto de Laranjal
- Pista de Pouso (Cunani, Calçoene).
By road and ferry edit
The state is cut off from Brazil's road network because of numerous rivers, and there are only connections to the north of Pará, which is also remote.
If you come by car, you have to take a ferry across the Amazon from Belém to Macapá. The journey takes 36-38 hours and goes around the Ilha de Marajó, the largest river island in the world. Passenger ships also operate on this route. A lesser-known alternative is to arrive from Santarém, where you have to take a ferry to Almeirim. From there there is a dirt road to Laranjal do Jari via Monte Dourado, where a river is crossed in a short ferry.
There is also an (expensive) car ferry from French Guiana to Oiapoque, a bridge completed years ago has not yet been released for border traffic (as of 2017). On foot or by bike you can take one of the small boats that are waiting about 2 km downstream of the bridge in the village for little money. In Oiapoque, the border post is in the middle of town, and taxis that know the "immigracion y onibus para Macap" tour are already waiting at the "port". In the rainy season, look for a ride in one of the four-wheel drive pickups at the port, as the road to Macapa is long and partly a mud desert with tree trunks as bridges
Get around edit
The main thoroughfare is the BR-156, which runs from Oiapoque in the north via Macapá to Laranjal do Jari in the south-west. Its central part is tarred. Buses run daily on the BR-156. Road BR-156 connects10 Laranjal do Jari, on the river of the same name, 167 km to the junction of the AP-020 (102 km towards Macapá via11 Santana). Further than Perimetrál Norte 106 km to the junction of the AP-340 (34 km direction Curicaca and Itaubal or to the north Cutias) further to Oiapoque, the border town to French Guiana.
River navigation is still important for passenger transport today. The largest port is in Porto Santana, where the ferry to Belém also departs.
In Macapá, the capital, the Fortress of São José is the main point of visit and is considered one of the most imposing and solid military monuments in colonial Brazil. It was built to ensure the definitive conquest of the Amazon by the Portuguese. The Church of São José is the oldest building in the city, inaugurated in 1761. It underwent several renovations, but still preserves its original features.
To mark the passage of the imaginary line of Ecuador through Macapá — one of the only ones in the world — a monument was built, Marco Zero, with a sundial and a terrace for observations.
The "Amazon Stonehenge" is a megalithic stone circle, consisting of 127 blocks of granite, each up to 4 meters tall, standing upright in a circle measuring over 30 meters in diameter at the bank of the Rego Grande river on a hilltop in Parque Arqueologico do Solstício. Archaeologists believe that this site was built by indigenous peoples for astronomical, ceremonial, or burial purposes, and likely a combination.
One of the points that most attract attention in tourism in Amapá is a natural phenomenon called Pororoca. Pororoca is a tidal bore where the waters of the sea meet the waters of the Araguari River, making a deafening noise and a water elevation of up to 6 meters that travel as much as 800 km inland upstream on the Amazon River and adjacent rivers. The tidal bore can take trees from the banks. In its rivers, waterfalls and rapids there is a great variety of fish, highlighting the Tucunaré, a symbol of sport fishing.
There are the many nature reserves, but the tourist infrastructure is poor and access is not permitted to everyone.
Amapá has beaches such as Araxá and Fazendinha, close to Macapá, in addition to the forest forest in Calçoene, Praia Oceânica do Goiabal, which stands out for its natural beauty and the richness of fish and flocks of ibis.
The boat trip on the Amazon River and Igarapés, the mine and the extraction of manganese in Serra do Navio is one of the places that cannot fail to be highlighted.
The state's biggest religious festival is organized in Macapá in honor of São José, to mark the passage to this saint.
Amapá has a unique cuisine, prepared with Amazonian fauna and flora. The use of forest products is a legacy of the first inhabitants of the region: the Indians. It was with them that people from Amapa learned to prepare delicious dishes, such as Pescada da Gurijuba, a typical fish from the region, Tucunaré na Brasa and Camarão ao Bafo. There is also the tasty and today international Açaí juice.
Stay safe edit
The BR-156 is notorious for raids, particularly on the unpaved sections. Therefore, you should only stop in unpopulated areas in extreme emergencies. Robbers often fake car breakdowns - so don't stop even then.