Manaus is a tropical city in northwest Brazil and the main starting point for visitors coming in to explore the Amazon rainforest.
Many Amazonian tours start from Manaus. The world's largest rainforest is home to many species of birds, fish, monkeys, and more.
At the point where the Negro River and muddy Solimões River meet, the two bodies of water do not merge, giving the off a block-colored marble effect.
The Teatro Amazonas was built in the 19th century during the profitable rubber trade. There are many English tours telling of the history of the building as well as free performances.
The former German-built Palace is now used as a cultural center for Manaus' theater and dance performances.
Jaú is one of the largest National Parks in Brazil and is a critically important ecosystem packed with diverse fauna and flora.
Manaus' magnificent theater is easily the city's most famous attraction. That's mainly due to the simple wow factor of finding such an elegant building so deep in the Amazon. Built in 1896 out of materials brought in from Europe, it was part of Manaus' bid for greatness. The rubber boom burst, the city stagnated a little, but the dome, columns and beautiful interior of the theater survived - and remain a startling attraction for everyone who visits. Why not catch a show to see the venue in all of its glory?
It doesn't matter where you've traveled, you won't have entered a city park like the Jardim Botânico Adolpho Ducke. The sheer scale of this park is what sets it apart. Stretching across some 40 square miles, it's a showcase of the Amazon's flora and fauna within easy reach of central Manaus. Start at the Museu da Amazônia, for a great introduction to the natural wonders of the park, then explore the trails. The Janauari Ecological Park is also a great visit for nature lovers, and can be reached by boat from Manaus' dock.
For over a century, rubber cultivation ruled the roost in Manaus, and the surrounding forest was covered in thriving plantations where, it has to be admitted, life wasn't always peachy for everyone. This museum brings home the reality of plantation life at a site just northwest of the city center. See the recreated shacks of the workers, and the smokehouses where they labored, and find out how they extracted rubber sap, which ended up on tires across the world.
One of the most magical sights in the Amazon basin, the "meeting of the waters" is much more awe inspiring than the simple name suggests. Around 15 miles south of Manaus, the Amazon meets up with the Rio Negro and the River Solimões. While the Negro is, as the name indicates, almost black in color, the Solimões is much lighter. But they don't mix straight away. Instead, for miles on end, the two rivers run in the same course, but seemingly separate, creating a two-tone effect that's as captivating as it is mysterious - at least until your guide explains what's going on.
Get a feel for the opulence of Manaus' golden age by visiting this palace, which was once home to a German rubber baron by the name of Waldemar Scholz. Appropriately attractive, the palace was luxurious enough to pass from Scholz to the state's governor, but now it's a cultural center, and surely one of the most handsome in Brazil. Tour the art gallery of Brazilian talent, wander the building itself, and catch a musical show if you can.
Weather in Manaus is typically very humid and goes through two distinct seasons: wet and dry. The best time to visit is between the months of May and July when the weather is not too hot, and the jungle is most accessible with little rain.
The Eduardo Gomes International Airport (MAO) is the most common way to reach northern Brazil and just nine miles outside of the city. Flights from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil will take about four hours to reach Manaus. Taxis from the airport to anywhere in the city are around R$75, while bus number 306 runs into town every 30 minutes; tickets are R$3.
One of the easiest ways to reach Manaus is by boat on the Amazon River, which offers passage to nearby ports in Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela.
The roads leading into Manaus make it very difficult to access the city by bus. However there are however several bus companies which will get you to Manaus from Boa Vista or Caracas taking anywhere from 15-32 hours of driving.
The Tropical Manaus Ecoresort on the Rio Grande river has a large swimming pool and mini zoo. The Anaconda Amazon Island is slightly cheaper but includes transfers, meals, and additional excursion options.
Centro Histórico - explore the region's colonial history and admire the impressive architecture, palaces, and cultural events.
Plateau - this neighborhood is a nice blend of shopping centers and nature with the Parque dos Bilhares being the most popular destination.
New Town - New Town is the most populated district and is known as the culinary and entertainment center of Manaus.
Local buses around Manaus cost about R$3. You can buy your ticket on board or at the station before boarding.
Taxi fares between destinations are on average around R$25.
Pick your rental car up for around R$190 from the airport. The main AM-010 or AM-070 highways are best for driving as they are paved and cover most of the Manaus region.
Avenida Djalma Batista is the main road featuring both big shopping malls and smaller boutique stores selling clothes, jewelry, and home decor.
The main grocery stores are Big Amigao, Supermercado Big Boi, and the open Mercado Adolpho Lisboa. A dozen eggs will cost around R$7.
Pirarucu, the biggest fish found in the Amazon is a very popular dish. Tambaqui de Banda is a great place to try Pirarucu and many other local Amazonian foods. Average meal prices are around R$30.