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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