Brazil travel blog by Mark Berman -
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Rio Branco in Brazil is located 3hrs by car north-east from Cobija / Brasileia on the northern border of Bolivia. Rio Branco is not exactly
tourist central but there are a few things to see and do here if you so happen to be passing through this part of the Amazon Basin. Although
I spent 5 nights in Rio Branco, you can see everything worth seeing in the city in a day or 2. I had spent the previous days before arriving
in Rio Branco in nearby Puerto Maldonado in Peru. With the Acre River flowing through the city, the most central area in Rio Branco is beside
the water and around.
Sights In Rio Branco
Beside the Acre River around Bandeira Plaza are some important sights in Rio Branco. The Mercado
Velho (Old Market), the yellow building built in 1929. Outside the front of the building are 3 bronze figures. Inside Mercado Velho are
restaurants with nice buffet food to enjoy, you pay by weight. Beside the Old Market is a row of small colorful buildings being shops and bars.
In the evening tables are set out in front with views of the river where you can enjoy a cold beer to cool yourself down from the Amazon heat.
The pedestrian bridge across the Acre River (Passarela Joaquim Macedo) is in front of the Old Market and will take you across to the other
side where there are some very fine commissioned wall murals. 2 blocks up the hill from Bandeira Plaza is the UNESCO listed Government
Palace (1549) with red stairs leading up to the front. At the back of Rio Branco Palace is a large pond with nice trees around. Up from the
palace is the Memorial Dos Autonomistas where during my visit was an exhibition of various works of art. The cathedral with red roof and tall
tower can be seen from several points around the city. 2 blocks from the main square (Praca Placido de Castro) is the Rubber Museum (Museu da
Borracha) which shows the process of rubber production and its history in the region, entrance is free. The Chico Mendes Ambient Park (1996)
is named after assassinated Brazilian rubber tapper and environmentalist Chico Mendes (1944-1988). The park has a few animals to see including
turtles, snakes, birds such as the tucan and owl and bigger creatures like felines.
Eating In Rio Branco
Joined to Praca Placido de Castro is
Praca Rodrigues Alves (2 plazas) in the center of the city. At night you will find fastfood here with some very large and yummy burgers. The
Central Market area near the river in front of the bus terminal a few blocks from the Old Market also has a lot of food including buffets and
street kitchens. Don't forget the buffets of delicious hot foods and salads at the Old Market (more expensive than the Central Market).
Flight To Porto Velho
From Rio Branco I continued my journey in this part of the Amazon Basin, a quick 1hr flight to Porto Velho. Why the flight? Because the roads
in this part of the country are full of potholes. The road between Brasileia and Rio Branco is such and Porto Velho is over twice that distance away. A very good idea!