With Surinam Airways to Belém. There is so much to explore in the capital of Pará, Brazil. This time we highlight Ilha de Combu (Combu Island). I came across the name for the first time in an exercise in my Portuguese class at the Centro Cultural Brasil-Suriname (CCBS). “You just have to experience this”, my friends from Belém tell me, when I mention it. The nice thing about this place is its proximity to the city: Ilha de Combu is situated directly across Belém. Spend half a day there to fully enjoy the place. Tell the cab driver or enter ‘Praça Princesa Isabel’ in the Uber app; the starting point for a great day. When a minimum number of passengers is reached the lança, a long narrowboat for 15 passengers, departs.
The people on the island depend on the yield of the açaí berry palms (podosiri), that grow lushly here. These are the berries of which açaí is made, known in Suriname as podosiri. Acaí is sold in every city, residential area and on markets. As for local tourism, Ilha de Combu is an attractive outing. A ‘hidden’ secret … On the roadless island there is one creek, on the banks of which almost every family has a restaurant. There are large terraces on poles in front of the houses, one more beautiful than the next, where guests can sit down. Weekdays are quiet, but at the weekend troops of city dwellers arrive and there are live bands.
A visit to Ilha de Combu means fun, Brazilian culture and great food. The menu consists mainly of special comida caseira (oso nyan, or home cooking), which you don’t come across easily in the city. Dress lightly or bring your swimwear for the hot weather. You can cool off sitting, in a natural pool. No one is in a hurry. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the natural environment.
Another attraction is Casa do Chocolate. After a short explanation about the processing of biological cocoa, there are tastings. Whenever you’re ready to leave, just tell the lança skipper.
Ilha de Combu
Lança rate: R$ 7 one way transportation (R$ 1 = US$ 0.25 on 27-10-2019, ed.)
Dishes: average R$ 30 per person (R$ 1 = US$ 0.25 op 27-10-2019, ed.)
Text en photos: Charles Chang, November 2019
Translation: Roline Brahim-Tjen A Kwoei/Equivalence Translations
Want to experience this too? Book a ticket with Surinam Airways: Belém do Pará. You can also book online: www.flyslm.com. The flights from Paramaribo to Belém will be on Thursday and Sunday from November 3, 2019.