Macapá to Cayenne via Oipoque

A visit to the points of interest of Macapa, Brazil before taking the bus to Oipoque then over the border to Cayenne, French Guiana

Macapá is a city in Northern Brazil located on the Amazon River and the equator.   Macapá offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Ground Zero Ecuador – Half The World (Marco Zero)
  • St Joseph of Macapá Fortress
  • Fort Park
  • Trapiche Eliezer Levy

Finding a place to stay in Macapá should be easy, they have quite a few options, even an Ibis.

Marco Zero monument, Macapá, Brazil

Marco Zero monument, Macapá, Brazil

Macapá is a major city, it’s where the Amazon river meets the Atlantic Ocean, it’s also located on the equator and it’s very hot!  Being on the equator I decided to visit the the Marco Zero monument, also known as Ground Zero Ecuador – Half The World.  This location is perfect for making Instagram snaps with one foot in the Southern hemisphere and the other in the Northern.  To get to Marco Zero, you need to take a local bus, it’s a 10 minute journey from the center of Macapá and the huge monument (above) is easily visible so you should see it and know when to get off.

Being on the equator signifies the halfway point of my journey from Antarctica to Alaska.

 St Joseph of Macapá Fortress

St Joseph of Macapá Fortress

In the city of Macapá you’ll find a well kept Fort which is definitely worth a visit.  The St Joseph of Macapá Fortress was built by the Portuguese in the eighteenth century to protect the Amazon, especially from the French who weren’t too far away in French Guiana.  The city of Macapá was founded in 1758 and just 6 years later the construction of the Fort began.  Outside the Fort is a beautiful park with greenery, flowers and a wonderful view of the Fort itself (above).

There is a promenade alongside the beach which is probably best walked on during the early morning or evening (due to the heat during the day).  As I was traveling, which meant I wasn’t really exercising I took advantage of the promenade and went for a long run in the evening.  On the promenade you’ll pass Trapiche Eliezer Levy which is a long pier, a good place to watch the sunset.

Overnight bus from Macapá to Oiapoque, 10 hours, 99 Reais

Overnight bus from Macapá to Oiapoque, 10 hours, 99 Reais

The bus from Macapá to Oiapoque was a Santanese service which took 10 hours on an unpaved road.  This journey was a little bit too short as the bus arrived in Oiapoque at around 5 am and the border to French Guiana did not open until 8 am.  I decided that waiting in the bus station for 2-3 hours was the safest thing to do.  At 8 am I took a taxi to the border control and was stamped out of Brazil, then took a small boat over the Oyapok river to St Georges, French Guiana.  French Guiana is officially part of France and the EU, so as I have a UK passport I did not need a stamp into the country.  There are ATM machines in St Georges which dispense Euros, which is the official currency of France and French Guiana.

Minivan from St George to Cayenne, €31, 3 hours

Minivan from St George to Cayenne, €31, 3 hours

From the border town of St George it was easy to find a share taxi to the capital city of French Guiana, Cayenne.  The cost was €31, for a 3 hour ride which is a European price, a lot more expensive than Brazil.

Cayenne to Kourou

2017-06-02T17:45:42+00:00 November 2nd, 2016|Brazil, South America|9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Marcie June 4, 2017 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    It’s beyond cool that you were ON the equator! Good to know that it’s easily visible. Ten hours on an unpaved road on a bus from Macapá to Oiapoque doesn’t sound amazing. But, actually being there looks fabulous!

  2. Lee June 4, 2017 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Congrats on being halfway through your journey north. You’re right, that is a very cool IG opportunity. I haven’t been to Brazil yet, but will consider visiting her for the once in a lifetime photo op. Have a great time on the rest of your adventure from Antarctica to Alaska!

  3. Joella June 4, 2017 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    How great that you can be in two hemispheres at the same time. I can’t believe how long it takes to travel there. And also quite surprised on the high cost of the travel. Still it looks fabulous.

  4. Nicole Anderson June 5, 2017 at 1:38 am - Reply

    Congratulations on reaching the half-way point to Alaska! I’m sure that (aside from being really hot) it is also very humid as well, which just makes it feel a whole lot hotter as well. Nice shot of you on both hemispheres there! Best of luck as you continue your journey and sharing fabulous information and photos as you go.

  5. Anete June 5, 2017 at 2:45 am - Reply

    Very interesting destinations. I hadn’t read about anyone traveling to French Guiana before. It’s sounds really exciting. What was your hightlight from there? The only thing not so appealing about FG is European prices 🙂
    And being on the Ground Zero Ecuador also sounds amazing. I will add it to my bucket list right now! Thanks for the fun insight.

  6. yukti June 5, 2017 at 4:24 am - Reply

    Great to stand on iconic virtual line which divides world into two halves. I have been to Tropic of Cancer and I also felt same as you, it must be hooter because on Equator. Macapa Fortress looks like a worth visiting in this place.

  7. Natasha Haley June 5, 2017 at 5:00 am - Reply

    This sounds like a really awesome journey. I would love to do something like this. I am always amazed with your travels. I love the half the world monument. Never knew that existed!

  8. Riely June 6, 2017 at 2:05 am - Reply

    Such a neat experience to be both in the southern and northern hemisphere. Ground Zero Ecuador sounds like a highlight! Also congrats on making it halfway through your trip! So much to learn from your adventures.

  9. Global Girl Travels June 6, 2017 at 7:48 am - Reply

    That Ground Zero monument is so cool! It’s so amazing that you are standing on literally the part where the globe is divided in half! All of these other attractions look interesting too, I need to make a trip to Brazil soon!

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