Macapá is the capital of Amapá, and one of the most deserted state capitals of Brazil. The locals call it "the capital of the middle of the world", as the equator runs through the city. In 2020, it was home to 513,000 people.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
As a city cut by the equator and with a climate similar to cities like Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, get ready for intense heat, high temperatures and high humidity in Macapá. Regardless of the time of year, temperatures don't vary much and stay pretty much the same. The minimums are usually 31 ºC (88 ºF) and the maximums reach 24 ºC (75,2 ºF).
The rainy season occurs between December and July. Despite being an inconvenience for those who want to go outdoors, during the rainy season, there is a tidal wave called Pororoca, which takes place in Macapá between April and June. These are huge waves that are formed when the Amazon River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The pororoca is a tourist attraction that even allows surfing championships to be held.
Macapá is to the north of the immense mouth of the Amazon River, in a region covered by Amazon rainforest, and is separated from Belém by Marajó Island and is completely isolated geographically from the Brazilian capitals, having a land connection only with French Guiana. The only way to get to Macapá from Brazil is by plane or boat.
- 1 Macapá-Alberto Alcolumbre International Airport (MCP IATA). Flights from Belém and Brasília. A taxi from the centre can be negotiated at R$ 15.
- Boats from nearby Santana from Belém (24 hours), Santarém (30 hours, hammock R$ 120, cabin R$ 250) and Manaus (5 days), among other smaller destinations.
- There are buses from Oiapoque on the border of French Guyana. Travel time varies greatly with the rains.
Metered taxis and moto taxis abound; some buses.
- Apa do Curiaú (8 km). A quilombola village of descendants of escaped slaves, which continues its traditional commemorations such as Marabaixo. You can also try gengibirra, a drink made from cachaça and ginger.
- Fort Park (Parque do Forte) (next to the fort). Park with walkways along the riverbank, playground, fountain and lawns.
- Marco Zero (Right south of the city). Closed on Mondays. Where the equator comes through, and even crosses a football stadium! It is marked by a small monument. At the spring and autumn equinox, the sun rises and sets on the equator and shines in the circle at the top of the monument. Other than that, there is not much to see. The only reason to see this is to say you've been at 0 degrees latitude putting one foot in the northern hemisphere and one foot in the southern hemisphere. If you come by taxi, ask the driver to wait the 5 minutes it takes you to take a picture. But there is also a express bus that goes there from the city center and the bus going to the Universidade also passes by. Entrance is free.
- Sacaca Sustainable Development Museum (Museu Sacaca do Desenvolvimento Sustentável), Av. Feliciano Coelho, 1509 - Bairro do Trem, ☏ . M-F 07:30-11:30 and 14:30-17:00; Sa 15:00-18:00. Open-air museum which presents the social diversity of the state. Free, but worth paying for a guide if you speak Portuguese.
- São José de Macapá Fort (Fortaleza de São José de Macapá). Completed in 1782 to protect Brazil from external invasion on the Amazon River. It is a cultural heritage site recognized by IPHAN but is not very well preserved. It is possible to visit the various spaces inside, see rusty iron cannons, appreciate the view of the Amazon river, and visit temporary exhibits. You can also visit the archeological excavations outside.
- There are a number of small beaches around the city, particularly popular on Sundays. The easiest to access is Fazendinha, with direct buses from the centre.
- Casa do Artesão, Av. Francisco Azarias Neto, ☏ . Handcrafts from indigenous tribes in the region, wicker furniture, and ceramic works covered in rubber, known as balata.
- Macapá-Santana Free Zone (Zona Franca de Macapá-Santana), Rua Cândido Mendes with Rua São José. Free trade area with a great diversity on imported products.
There are various restaurants and churrascarias just next to the fort at the riverside. They offer meals for R$7 to R$20 (March 2016) and are a popular spot for locals to grab their lunch (11:30 to 14:00).
All these are around the fort:
- 1 Restaurante Beltrão, Rua:Azarias Da Costa Neto Centro. A buffet restaurant
- 2 Cristal Restaurante em Macapá, Av. Profa. Cora de Carvalho, 292.
- 3 Louca Pizza Express, Rua: Tiradentes, 904 Esquina com, Av. Padre Júlio Maria Lombaerd.
- 4 Restaurante Temperarte, R. Tiradentes, 614.
- 5 Peixe sem espinha, Rua General Rondon, Av. Coaraci Nunes, 2224.
- 6 Flora Bistrô Restaurante, Salvador Diniz Hwy., 1370 - Santana.
- 7 Peixaria Amazonas, Rua Beira Rio, 218. Extensive range of fish, shrimp, and crab dishes. The regional (pink) shrimp with garlic and oil is phenomenal.
- Armazem (15 blocks west of the center). Lively Sunday evenings until the wee hours
At the river side and relaxed atmosphere.
Most mid-scale hotels give a straight 20-30% discount on posted prices.
- Amazon Plaza Hotel, Rua Beira Rio, 208 (on the riverbank toward Fortaleza).
- Macapá Hotel, R Francisco A S Coelho Neto, 17.
- Hotel Versalhes. Has air conditioners bu no electric shower heads.
- Ibis Macapá.
- Hotel Mais, Av. Salgado Filho, 969 CEP, ☏ , [email protected]. 24-hr front desk, rooms with A/C, TV, WiFi. Breakfast included; soda and beer available at the front desk. CC accepted. Spacious, very clean rooms with en-suite shower; cleaned daily. Staff only speaks Portuguese but willing and able to communicate with hand and feet if necessary. A R$15 taxi ride away from the Fortaleza San Jose de Macapa. Double room for R$ 154. single for R$110.
By boat from nearby Santana to Belém (24 hours), Santarém (40 hours, hammock R$ 125, cabin R$ 250) and Manaus(5 days), or by bus or 4WD to Oiapoque (7 to 12 hours, depending on road condition) 3 buses/day official price R$115 (February 2017).