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Overview

Although famously surrounded by the largest rainforest on the planet, Manaus shocks as a concrete jungle with modern highrises, dense traffic, and surprisingly little vegetation. For many, its primary interest is as a gateway to the Amazon. From here, boats and planes depart for remote jungle lodges up and down the Negro and Solimões rivers (the point at which the clear brown waters of the Negro merge with the café au lait of the Solimões is a major tourist attraction in its own right). However, the chaotic city has a vibrant local culture and some worthy sights. Foremost among them is the sumptuous Teatro Amazonas opera house. Meanwhile, ...

Although famously surrounded by the largest rainforest on the planet, Manaus shocks as a concrete jungle with modern highrises, dense traffic, and surprisingly little vegetation. For many, its primary interest is as a gateway to the Amazon. From here, boats and planes depart for remote jungle lodges up and down the Negro and Solimões rivers (the point at which the clear brown waters of the Negro merge with the café au lait of the Solimões is a major tourist attraction in its own right). However, the chaotic city has a vibrant local culture and some worthy sights. Foremost among them is the sumptuous Teatro Amazonas opera house. Meanwhile, the surrounding historical center is undergoing a facelift that’s restoring luster to the architectural treasures constructed during the glory days of its 19th-century rubber boom. Manaus is also a great place to indulge in local Amazonian cuisine: from expertly prepared river fish to ambrosial fruits such as cupuaçu (used in juices and ice creams) and energy-giving guaraná, both of which help beat the often torpid heat.

Michael Sommers
About the Expert

Michael Sommers is the author of Moon Brazil and Moon Rio, as well as the blog Thrill of Brazil. He has been living in Salvador, Brazil since 1999.

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Michael Sommers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Manaus is a city in Brazil, the capital of the state of Amazonas. It is situated at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers.
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Currency: Brazilian Real
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    June to November (dry season)