Manaus is the capital of the state of Amazon. Located in the midst of the world’s largest rain forest, this forest city is one of the most important and populous cities in Brazil. This destination stands out for its great economic development as a city and for its abundant and varied vegetation. Founded by the Portuguese in the 17th century, it is the portico to remoter destinations that take you near the Amazonian dream.
Here go a few of the ‘must sees’ in this imposing city:
· São Sebastião Square is in the center of Manaus. It is surrounded by majestic buildings such as the church of São Sebastião, built in the neo-classic style at the end of the 19th century, and you can also visit the Palace of Justice or the Amazon Theater.
· The Amazon Theater, known as the jewel of the rain forest, was erected in 1896 as a tropical miniature reminiscent of La Scala in Milan. It features frescoes and statues of Amazonian inspiration and is lit by French chandeliers. In 1990, the theater was reopened following refurbishing works that lasted three years. This lavish building will take you back to the times when the rubber trade was burgeoning in Manaus
· The Adolpho Lisboa Municipal Market was designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel after Les Halles in Paris and was built in 1906. The market sells huge fish caught in the water of the Amazon, exotic tropical fruit, indigenous handicrafts and views of the boats going upstream and downstream as if they were on a highway.
· There are many cruises along the dark waters of the Rio Negro. On the cruise you can penetrate deep into the rain forest, find out about their people’s culture and admire the impressive natural surroundings. Near Manaus you can enjoy the Encontro das Aguas, the point where the Rio Negro and the Solimões join together forming the Amazon.
· While exploring this damp metropolis you’ll probably think about swimming in the river. You can do that at the beach of Ponta Negra, a festive center in the dry season, from June to November. This is the place where many of the well-to-do from Manaus withdraw. Check with the residents to find out how to bathe without running any safety risks.
You can’t leave without tasting the unexpected luxury of the Amazonian cuisine. The dishes are based on local ingredients: tucupi, a spicy sauce made from manioc roots; tacacá, a fiery soup made from the leaves and prawns; delicious river fishes; and plenty of meat: piracucu, pirapitinga, surubim and tucunaré.
The name Manaus means Mother of the Gods. Let this city from the heart of the Amazon seduce you!
“Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has an All Inclusive 5-star hotel in Manaus: the Iberostar Grand Amazon hotel, a ship that calls at various ports in the Amazon forest, from which travelers can go on small boats to explore the dense rain forest vegetation. This hotel ship is fitted with cabins featuring the most complete equipment.”