Manaus is a metropolis full of contrasts, in which the lush nature of the Amazon rainforest mixes with an industrial complex of cutting-edge technology and the remains of the glorious past, when the international rubber trade was at its peak.
Located in the middle of the Amazon, Manaus is the perfect starting point to experience the wealth of the greatest rainforest in the world from within. From the city center it is possible to take a boat trip or hire a canoe to sail the Rio Negro and delve deep into the jungle. The ideal option is taking an excursion with an expert guide leading the way. One of the most highly-recommended trips is sailing down the Rio Negro up to its confluence with the Solimões River, where dark waters merge with others full of sediments. That said, to enjoy the Amazon rainforest to the absolute maximum and not miss a detail, the ideal plan is to take a cruise through its waters lasting several days!
The Amazon Theater is one of the architectural gems of the city, with a stunning dome decorated with the colors of the Brazilian flag. Construction of the building, which used materials imported from Alsace, furniture from Paris and Italian marble for the walls and staircases, was carried out between 1885 and 1892. On December 31, 1886 its official opening took place. Since then, the Amazon Theater has played host to operas, classical music concerts, ballet performances and other cultural offerings.
The Mercado Adolpho Lisboa is an old municipal market which still operates as such and remains one of the city’s attractions. It was built between 1880 and 1883 in a typically art nouveau style, inspired by the Les Halles market of Paris. In fact, its metallic structure was manufactured in France and later shipped to Manaus to be installed. The Mercado Adolpho Lisboa gathers a significant number of merchants offering fish, vegetables, medicinal herbs and other products.
Manaus has a rich cultural heritage and boasts large museums which conserve an important part of its tradition. One of the most visited is the Museu do Indio, which houses a complete ethnographic archive of the indigenous history of Brazil. Another interesting site is the Amazonia Museum of Natural Sciences, which exhibits a broad collection of the native flora and fauna of the region.
Manaus is a city with pretty beaches, which become vast during the dry season (between June and November) when the volume of the river reduces. The most famous is Praia Ponta Negra, which offers a beautiful view of the river, especially at sunset. Located in a residential zone, it boasts restaurants and bars which make it an appealing option for a nighttime stroll. Other beaches of note include the Praia da Lua and Praia Grande.
If you want to sample and delight your palate with authentic Amazonian cuisine you must not miss a visit to Banzeiro restaurant. In a warm and pleasant atmosphere, the menu of Banzeiro offers typical dishes from northern Brazil, prepared with the greatest creativity to delight all the senses. The fish and shellfish of the Amazon dominate the menu: the name of the establishment, Banzeiro, is not a term which reflects the waves on the river caused by a passing boat for nothing. Make sure you try the tambaqui, pirarucu and matrinchã, the seafood specialties of the house.
“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a 5-star, all-inclusive boat hotel in Manaus: the IBEROSTAR Grand Amazon, which stops off at various points of the Amazon rainforest for excursions exploring the dense, unspoiled vegetation in small boats.”