Brazil travel blog by Mark Berman -
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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.
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
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
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