Macapá, Brazil

Capital of the Amapá state in northern Brazil, Macapá is located in the Amazon delta along the river’s northern channel where it feeds into the Atlantic. It also sits directly on the Equator, a distinction marked by the 98-foot-high Marco Zero monument where you can stand astride the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Portuguese settlers established an outpost here in the early 18th century; the Fortaleza de São José, dating from 1782, stands as a symbol of the city’s colonial past and one of the best-preserved military structures in Brazil. Macapá — which is accessible only by boat or plane — serves as a pitstop for migrating birds, seen feeding alongside flamingos, ibises, and other local species that inhabit its rich wetlands. Surfers flock here for a chance to ride the Pororoca, one of the longest tidal bores in the world with waves that reach 12 feet in height. Less extreme activities include relaxing on a wide river beach like Fazendinha and Araxá, browsing Casa de Artesão for unusual handcrafts made by the area’s indigenous people, and visiting the nearby village of Apa do Curiaú, home to descendants of escaped slaves.