OVERVIEW OF MANAUS
For those who expect to see only a the vast Amazon rainforest when they arrive into Manaus, the modern city with high-rises and a busy port can be a surprise. Situated on the north bank of the Rio Negro, from about 18 km above the Meeting of the Rivers where the Negro merges with the Rio Solimões, photo, Manaus is 900 miles (1,450 km) inland from the Atlantic. It’s the heart of Amazonia and thus the hub of tourism for the rivers, the jungle lodges and the river cruises.
Walking through the city center is like going back to a charming past that much resembles the habits of an old Rio de Janeiro. Meet the Palácio Rio Negro, the Palacete Provincial and it is obvious the amazing Teatro Amazonas, main postcard, with a dome and indoor decoration.
Even with all the natural and architectural beauties, there is room for one facet of the city that is simply delicious. Experience the regional cuisine is sure to taste exotic dishes such as tacacá, or eat fish so soft that dissolve in the first contact with the mouth.
Charming, historic and amazing, Manaus breaks paradigms and thin prejudices. A city where people have no marked traits – the Indians mingles with whites, which blends with blacks … that becomes a mixed accent and enjoyable to listen to.
The city is the main entrance to visit the fauna and flora of the Brazilian Amazon. Few places in the world afford such a variety of plants, trees, birds, insects, etc. Manaus has been one of the host cities of the 2014 World Cup.
WHEN TO GO
ALL YEAR LONG AVAILABLE
There are two different “seasons” in Manaus: dry and wet. Traveling in the dry or rainy seasons provides completely different experiences, so it is so important to choose the date of travel. It is recommended also that you visit the Amazon in the two seasons, so you can see live the impressive change in river levels. (Depending of the location, some lodge will be closed for few weeks i the dry season).
Get ready for high temperatures in any season, especially in September, the terror of locals when the temperature passes 40ºC. The average annual temperature is around 27ºC, but the humidity and sultry weather, make the thermal sensation higher.
Heat and humidity are present all year; during the dry season, from June to November, it rains less. The dry season (winter) is when the rivers has the lower water level and form the river beaches. The rainy season (summer) is from December to May and reflects on the level of the rivers, causing it to be very full and forming the flooding forest. The level reached vary about 15 meters between flood and drought, so the construction are adapted to changes – very interesting to watch and experience indeed.
Using the Manaus International Airport is not only the fastest option, but also the most comfortable. Manaus is in the middle of Amazonian forest , getting to other capitals in the North by roads is exhausting, endless and to be frank, impossible. The river transportation, characteristic in cities bathed in rivers, is one of the alternatives most used by locals and by you as you will reach the jungle after your arrival.
The pier where depart the boat to the lodges is at the Tropical Manaus hotel.
Primary means of arrival of domestic and foreign tourists, the Manaus International Airport has been renovated to receive the World Cup. It is a little away from the city center.
Importantly, in addition to serving as arrival in Manaus, the airport offers flights to overseas countries, especially the United States, subject of many promotions throughout the year.
The boats are often used by the inhabitants of the Amazon region to go from one city to another. It is common to use them to get from Itacoatiara and Parintins to Manaus, for example; however, the negative factors are the longest duration and the discomfort of the vessels, which only have hammocks. To get an idea, between Belem and Manaus the boat trip takes about four days.
The transfers to the lodge can vary between 40 minutes and 4 hours.
WHAT TO DO IN MANAUS
Two to three days should be enough to discover the main attractions of the capital of Amazonas; however, if you want to feel a little of the natural environment and become, in fact, next to the forest, we recommend extending the stay and divide it between Manaus and the jungle. Thus, during the same trip, you can enjoy two experiences: the natural and urban.
In this tour you will visit one of the most important points of the city, the Amazonas Theater, the most important monument of Manaus, the City Market with a big variety of local handicraft and the Floating Port, and more at your demand…
You´ll board on a regional double deck boat. The boat goes down the Negro River navigating along the shore of the City of Manaus. The phenomena is a spectacular merge of Negro and Solimões Rivers forming the famous Amazon River that runs all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The phenomenon happens due to differences in temperature, density and speed of the waters of the rivers.
What to consider before traveling?
- Drinking water is very important when visiting the city to avoid dehydration and malaise.
- It is very hot in Manaus, so put many light clothes in the bag, sunscreen and sunglasses.
- When compared to other capital, Manaus is quiet fine on security issues. Do not be afraid to walk the streets, but keep the usual care to be taken when visiting an unfamiliar city.
- Manaus and the Amazon has a delayed time relative to the time zone of Brasilia; stay tuned and change the time on your watch not to miss appointments and flights. UTC/GMT -4 hours
- The Negro river has a significant low Ph that make the mosquitoes reproduction difficult, then it might be strange but the quantity of mosquitoes is not as much important as expected. This does not mean that they are existent, take your repellent always with you.
- Be sure to try fish, fruit or guarana – which has a very different flavor from the rest of Brazil. The Amazon flavors are an attraction in itself, always startling.