This time we will visit the gate to the Amazon jungle: Manaus. What an amazing place it is. We recommend visiting this unique city while traveling around Brazil. Below we will give you some tips about what to see while being there. We will also write about where are Manaus Brazil and a few facts about the history of the city.
Where is Manaus, Brazil?
In the north-western part of Brazil, you can find a very interesting place, the capital of Amazonas, which is located at the confluence of two rivers – Solimoes and Negro. We’re talking about Manaus, which is also an international seaport. Located 1500 kilometers from the sea, it impresses with the number of monuments and the characteristic atmosphere. It is worth coming here for a few days.
With more than 2 million people, it is the main city and financial center of the entire Upper Amazon and the beating heart of the region.
A short history of Manaus, Brazil
The city was founded in the seventeenth century as a small Portuguese fortress called São José da Barra. In 1832, the name was changed to Manaus, which means “Mother of God”.
The city increased significantly in the nineteenth century – when the rubber trade revived.
Beautiful palaces were built, luxurious casino games and public houses were opened. Electric light shone earlier than on the streets of London. The opera featured such celebrities as Sarah Bernhardt, Enrico Caruso, and Anna Pawłowa. The wives of rich merchants sent beautiful gowns and clothes by ship to England, lace imported from Lisbon and dresses from Paris.
And suddenly it all ended. The English stole Amazon rubber seeds and transported them to Ceylon, and then to Malaya, where they created competitive plantations. The palaces were deserted and the representative building of one of the finest operas in the world began to be absorbed by the jungle. It was not until the 1960s that the jungle falling into the city center was cleared.
What to see in Manaus Brazil
– Teatro Amazonas
Teatro Amazonas (or Amazonian Theater) – the most beautiful building in Manaus and a magnificent opera built-in 1884 by rich barons in Brazil under the supervision of an Italian architect Celestial Sacardim with many paintings by another Italian artist Domenico de Angelis.
It’s a real work of art because its steel comes from Great Britain, marble from Italy and furniture from Paris. The great thing is that you can see there decorated ceramic tiles painted like the Brazilian national flag.
– MUSA Museu da Amazonia
If you do not want to go to the jungle with the guide but still want to get a feeling of it, visit MUSA. It is a place spread around 100 hectares of the Adolpho Ducke Forest Reserve. You can enjoy the breathtaking view from the 42 meters tower and see a few exhibitions, aquariums, lakes and laboratories of butterflies, snakes, and insects. We strongly recommend visiting this place. You will not regret it.
– Museu do Seringal Vila Paraíso
If you want to learn a bit about the rubber trade and how it is produced – visit this place. You will go there by boat which is a nice ride. Again – strongly recommended.
– Mercado Adolpho Lisboa
Also called Mercado Municipal is the largest art nouveau market in Manaus. It was created based on the famous Les Halles market in Paris, but it has not lost its Amazonian style.
You can buy almost anything you can imagine here: fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and exotic fruit-based drinks. Mercado Adolpho Lisboa in Manaus is a wonderful place where you can feel the Brazilian loud life and active atmosphere. It is also a place where you can buy food when you are going on a trip on the Amazon river or to the Amazonian jungle.
– Amazonas Jazz Festival
If you are a fan of music, especially jazz, you should think about getting to Manaus Brazil in July, when the Jazz Festival is taking place. This event takes place at the Amazonian Theater (Teatro Amazonas), and its first edition took place in 2006. During the festival, various other activities, workshops, and seminars are held.
The Amazonas Jazz Festival usually hosts the best jazz performers from around the world, as well as local bands, so you’ll find a variety of styles here. Concerts are held not only at the Teatro Amazonas, but also at other places in Manaus: the Palace of Justice and Largo de São Sebastião.
– Encontro das Águas
The ‘Meeting of Waters’, known in Portuguese as Encontro das Águas or Encuentro de Los Aguas, is the place where Rio Solimoes and Rio Negro meet. This is a great tourist attraction due to the different temperatures of the water, which make rivers flow for over four miles without mixing. Rio Solimões, mainly due to sand and mud, has the color of coffee, and Rio Negro has a dark, tea-like color. These colors make the ‘Meeting of Waters’ a natural phenomenon that you will not see anywhere else in the world.
– The Amazon river visited by boat
The city of Manaus has no road connections to any major city, so if you want to get from here to other cities, you will have to take a plane or a boat. Traveling by boat through the Amazon can be a great tourist attraction, but remember that these trips usually last 3-5 days and end in a different city.
Remember to buy a hammock in which you will sleep. You will probably find them without problems in the city of departure. Remember also to buy two ropes (1.5 m each) to attach the hammock. Buy a sleeping bag or a blanket as the nights can be cold.
You can also hire a private boat with a tour guide who will drive you around the small villages. This is an amazing experience. Ask around in the city, you will find a lot of offers like that.
Do not forget mosquito repellents (mosquito nets), books, flashlights, cameras, and power banks. You will need the hammock as well and clothes for the cold nights. Ask your guide what things may come in handy and buy them while being in the city.
– Amazon Jungle tour
This adventure is not for everyone. But if you decide to take a tour of the Amazonian jungle, you will surely know the secrets and the lush nature of the Amazonian jungle. Hire a guide. Do not go there on your own! You need some equipment to go there, so make sure that your guide tells you everything that you should take.
As you can see, there are a lot of places to visit in Manaus, Brazil. We are amazed by this place and recommend it to everyone – one in a lifetime experience.