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Macapa, Brazil - The Must See Attraction Is The Fortress

Brazil travel blog by a backpacker - April 2015   » View Photoset (38 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for nearly 10yrs!
Located in the northern Amazon, Macapa is known as 'the capital of the middle of the world' because the city sits right on the equator.
Brazil Photo - Boy rides a bike on a ramp into the Amazon River in Macapa.
Boy rides a bike on a ramp into the Amazon River in Macapa.
However, apart from the great fortress in the city center beside the Amazon River, it is not much of a capital, it's a shabby place, the equator monument and gardens are not even attractive. If you want to see the equator in a nice setting, visit Mitad del Mundo in Ecuador! I arrived in Macapa by ferry, 26hrs from Belem. The reason being that I was traveling north to the 3 Guianas afterwards.

I Must See the Fort

After finding a hotel near the fort, that's exactly where I went, it's called Fortaleza de Sao Jose de Macapa and is a great sight and definitely worth a visit! After construction the fortress opened for action in 1782 but was never used in any combat. The fort is in perfect condition - the
Brazil Photo - A fortress bastion positioned above the Amazon River in Macapa.
A fortress bastion positioned above the Amazon River in Macapa.
walls, buildings, church, bastions, tiled roofs, brick ramps, paths and green lawns. There are many cannon around the edge walls also. As good as the fort itself are the views of the bay and river from up there. That's a reason in itself to come see the fortress! It's open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8am - 6pm. From here I walked down to the waterfront where people sell food like hot fries etc. There are restaurants and bars also. The long wharf you can walk out to the end of and sit down, it's called the Trapiche Eliezer Levy, it's 386m long and was built in 1945. There's a statue of a woman sticking out of the water near the end of it. I had some food and headed back to
Brazil Photo - The church (capela) in perfect condition at the fort in Macapa - Fortaleza de Sao Jose.
The church (capela) in perfect condition at the fort in Macapa - Fortaleza de Sao Jose.
the hotel.

Equator Monument

Next morning by taxi I headed to Marco Zero, the equator. There is nothing there to see apart from a tall dull monument. The idea is to stand on the line that separates the northern and southern hemispheres and have your photo taken. I managed to balance a coin, some people do it with eggs, that's pretty cool. Apparently the adjacent football stadium uses the equators line as the center line of the soccer pitch! I wonder if that gives each team an advantage for half of each match? Macapa also has a bunch of museums, one is at the equator center but I didn't visit.

North by Road

From here the taxi took me to the terminal where cars leave from to take people north to Oiapoque on the border of French Guiana. It's an 8-9hr journey.

     

View all photos in the Macapa Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from Macapa (Brazil) to:


Map location: Macapa, Brazil. See the fortress & the equator monument in this Amazon city, then leave north to French Guiana or south to the Amazon!
 A : Macapa to Oiapoque - Brazil 169 kms 169 kms straight distance
 B : Santarem to Belem (Amazon River) - Brazil 205 kms 205 kms straight distance
 C : Belem to Macapa (Amazon River) - Brazil 222 kms 222 kms straight distance
 D : Belem - Brazil 370 kms 370 kms straight distance
 E : Oiapoque - Brazil 421 kms 421 kms straight distance
 F : St Georges / Oiapoque Border - French Guiana / Brazil 426 kms 426 kms straight distance
 G : Santarem - Brazil 464 kms 464 kms straight distance
 H : Saint Laurent / Albina Border - French Guiana/Suriname 671 kms 671 kms straight distance
 I : Saint Laurent du Maroni, French Guiana 666 kms 666 kms straight distance
 J : Cayenne to Kourou to Saint Laurent - French Guiana 582 kms 582 kms straight distance
 K : Cayenne, French Guiana 547 kms 547 kms straight distance
 L : Paramaribo, Suriname 768 kms 768 kms straight distance
 M : Sao Luis - Brazil 843 kms 843 kms straight distance
 N : Nickerie & the Journey from Paramaribo - Suriname 897 kms 897 kms straight distance
 O : South Drain / Moleson Creek Border - Suriname / Guyana 910 kms 910 kms straight distance
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Macapa, Brazil:

Hotel America Novo Mundo, Macapa, Brazil - Large Photo
Hotel America Novo Mundo, Macapa, Brazil (April 2015 - 1 night) - Hotel America has cheap basic rooms and more expensive flashier rooms to choose from. I decided to get a flashier room with air-con, fridge, tv and private bathroom. This room was also close enough to the office so the wifi worked for me also. Located just 5mins walk from the fort and waterfront area where there are restaurants and bars too. The man at the desk was very helpful to me when I asked him a bunch of questions about travel related stuff. Breakfast was on the house in the morning which is typical of many hotels in Brazil, I like that! I payed $90 Reals for my room (just under $30USD). Recommended.

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