Despite its isolated location, it is a large city with thriving industries and a rich and vibrant culture. Arrival by cruise ship is via a 1,600km (1,000-mile) passage along the Amazon River. Visitors are met with a city of great natural beauty, where grand colonial buildings sit amid amazing green spaces, waterfalls and ecological parks.
As the capital of Amazonas, Brazil’s largest state, Manaus’s population is a mix of cultures from tribes throughout the region, as well as those from its European settlers.
Most sites of interest are within easy reach of the cruise ship terminus, including Manaus Cathedral which is just outside the port. Although it is a big city the downtown area is an easy and pleasant place to walk around. The city’s key attraction is the Teatro Amazonas (Amazon Theatre) – a grand, Italian Renaissance style opera house built in 1896.
Manaus boasts many fine museums detailing the history of the Amazon and its people. But the main draws are the ecological attractions, many of which are accessible by river boat. One popular trip is to see the confluence of the brown waters of the Rio Negro and the clearer waters of the Rio Solimões.
• Amazon Museum
• Palácio Rio Negro Cultural Centre
• Encontro das Águas (meeting of the waters)
• Bosque da Ciência (forest park)
• Paricatuba Waterfall
• Museu de Ciencias Naturais da Amazônia (Natural Science Museum)
Manaustur – Municipal Foundation for Tourism
Avenida Sete de Setembro, nº 157, Paço da Liberdade, Downtown, Manaus, Brazil
Tel: +55 92 3231 1998.
Manaus is a free-trade zone which makes it excellent for cheap shopping. Members of Indian tribes from the jungle produce baskets, hammocks, knick-knacks and ornaments, which make great souvenirs of a visit to the city.
The food in this part of Brazil is rich and varied thanks to an abundance of local, fresh produce and influences. Local staples include tapioca (a heavy pancake made from manioc flour) and tacacá (thick yellow soup with shrimps and garlic). Many international cuisines can also be found.
When to go:
From December to May it rains a lot – this is a rainforest after all. This is a great time to see the city’s waterfalls and river at its fullest. From June to November it rains less and the river level drops to reveal popular beaches.
4.8km (3 miles).