Manaus is a Brazilian city of about 2.5 million, located on the Rio Negro a few miles before it meets the Rio Solimões to form the Amazon River properly. The two rivers flow side by side for many miles, different in color, mixing in eddies: the "Meeting of the Waters." Legend has it that they never mix.
The wealth of the primeval forest becomes visible first of all in the architecture of the city. The city was rich and the rubber barons afforded the biggest luxury from Europe, a copy of the Grand Opera de Paris - the Teatro Amazonas. Other monuments from this epoch are the Mercado Municipal, a copy of the famous market halls Les Halles in Paris, and the arts center Palacio Rio Negro, located among fascinating Portuguese facades. Today Manaus is a foreign trade zone. Foreign enterprises don't pay import duties, what guarantees a certain income for the city and the region. Electronics, wood industry and oil refineries have settled in the outskirts in industrial areas. The harbour is the most important trading center in the city with regional, national and international products.
The city is pleasant and friendly, although quite hot, and is still a major port, and a good starting point for river tours.
The Rio Negro (northern) branch of the Amazon is the color of strong tea, peaty brown and its comparative acidity means few mosquitoes. At Manaus the Amazon rises and falls almost twenty meters between seasons. In May and June it's at its peak, full and very wide, spreading way out into the trees. In November and December it's low; still massive but with sandbars.
The airport is some 15 km by road from the city centre. A taxi will set you back 70 reais (fixed price).
Manaus is about 2200 km from São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro which takes about four hours by air. From North America, it's much faster if you go direct without backtracking via SP or Rio. From June 2014, TAP Portugal flies from Lisbon to Manaus and Belém, making the trip from Europe to the Amazon shorter.
American Airlines has one flight daily direct Miami in an Airbus A319.
Manaus is a major destination for boats on the Amazon River. From Belém on the Atlantic Coast, it takes about five days. Boats go to Porto Velho two-three times per week. Tabatinga on the border with Colombia can also be reached by boat from Manaus, with connections further on to Iquitos in Peru. To save a few hours on your way to Colombia or Peru, you can take a boat from Manacapuru instead.
Due to road conditions, there is very little (if any) long-distance bus service originating from major cities in this area. There are daily buses to Boa Vista in the north and to destinations in Venezuela. The bus from Caracas in Venezuela takes about 36 hours, but it is air-conditioned, has comfortable reclining seats and a toilet.
Opera House (Teatro Amazonas). n/n Praça São Sebastião, Center, +55 92 3622-1880. Everyday, starting time of shows may vary. The Opera House was built during the heyday of rubber trade, using materials from all over the world, and was once visited by all the most famous opera divas and maestros. Regular guided tours in English. There are frequent free performances; be sure to arrive at least an hour in advance to secure a seat. Prices vary.
The Meeting of Waters (Encontro das aguas), the mysterious place where the waters of two different-colored rivers meet to form the great Amazon. Served by many tour operators, but also entirely reachable independently by public transportation. One can take a public bus to Ceasa port, located outside Manaus (for example, there are buses departing from the giant station near Mercado Municipal), then a public ferry Ceasa-Careiro, which will slowly pass over the meeting of waters. (It is also possible to take an express boat, but it doesn't provide a good view.)
Mercado Municipal. n/n Rua dos Barés, +55 92 3234-8441. Every day, 8AM-10PM. The city's main market is modeled after the Les Halles market in Paris.
Natural Science Museum (Museu de Ciencias Naturais da Amazônia). n/n Estrada Belem , Colonia Cachoeira Grande. Few locals visit this museum, know about it, or would even want to, considering that it's basically critters they'd find (almost) in their backyard. For visitors, though, it's a chance to see a live pirarucu and other fauna (mostly preserved) of the region. The museum was constructed single-handedly by a Japanese entomologist (specializing in butterflies) with his own money and resources. It's out of the way and about half an hour by taxi. The nearby INPA is a preserve and research center with birds and other wildlife.
Rio Negro Palace. 1546 Av. 7 de Setembro , +55 92 3232-4450. Call for information on attractions. The Rio Negro Palace was built by German farmers in the "golden age". Nowadays it's a cultural center and theater. It's one of the city's postcards. Prices vary.
Ponta Negra Beach it's a nice spot,and popular river beach. It has several bars and restaurants and is some distance west of the city.
Praia da Lua Beach very clean and nice river beach a few kilometers from Ponta Negra upstream the Rio Negro. Access by shared motorized canoe from Estalagem de David.
Paricatuba Waterfall is on the right bank of the Negro River, along a small tributary, is formed by sedimentary rocks, surrounded by abundant vegetation. Access is by boat. The best time to visit is from August to February.
Love Cascade is in the Guedes bayou, with cold and crystal clear water, is accessible only by boat and, then, hiking through the Forest.
The National Park of Jaú The Park is situated in the lowland plateau in the Western Amazon and North of Amazon state, it is one of the largest National Park in Brazil and in Latin America. It is 2,272,000 hectares in size and 1,250 km of perimeter. It was created on 24th September 1980. It is of paramount importance in ecological terms for its high endemism and richness of its wild flora and fauna. Part of the Park area constitutes of varzea denominated as Pluvial Lowland. Terra firme (formlands)is divided in two: (1) large flat tops separated by shallow valleys occupying the largest area, and (2) small hills on a higher level. There are small areas which are flattened by sand sediments in the Park central part. Open Forest is predominant throughout represented by either Tidal Flat Open Palm Forest especially in varzeas (wet lands) alongside Jau and Carabinani rivers, or Tidal Flat Canopy Dense Forests. In the tidal flat areas, frequently flooded, alongside the Carabinani and Jau rivers there are a great number of palm trees such as paxiúbas (Iriarte spp), cabbage palm (Euterpe oleraceae) and Jauaria (Astrocaryon spp). In older tidal areas, rarely flooded, the predominant palms are miriti and carana (Mauritia spp). Many other tree species are found in the Park area, some of them with commercial value such as Brazilnut tree (Bertholletia excelsa), sucupira (Bowdichia virgilioides) and others.
For details on the Jaú National Park and other nearby attractions, see the Get out section below.
There are a number of companies operating jungle adventure trips from Manaus, but only a few seem to be more established and reputable.
First you need to check if the Tour Operator has a valid Embratur (Brazilian Tourim Board) registry.
Then you make up your mind what you really want.
You need to travel at least 100km from Manaus to see virgin rain forest and the wild life you are looking for.
Location of trip
There are basically two main areas which you can explore: the Rio
Negro basin and the South of Rio Amazonas. Both of these regions are (sparsely)
inhabited, so you will not be completely isolated from civilization. If you want to
make a trip to a reserve or a remote area, ask for a special expedition package and
plan to pay much more and spend a few days for the transfer to and from the reserve.
Rio Negro is an area that is great for the jungle vegetation and for the lack of
mosquitoes (due to the acidity of the river). Unfortunately, the lack of mosquitoes
means there are a lot fewer animals that live there. The South of Rio Amazonas
is a network of rivers, lakes and channels. There are mosquitoes and wildlife, however,
there are quite a lot of houses and farms -- and thus
civilization is a lot more visible. Most tours go to or through lake Mamori. There are
quite a lot of jungle things to see around the lake, but do not expect pristine nature
due to all the farming going on around the lake. There is a reserve nearby called
Jurara. It also seems to be inhabited and there is not much difference between
the reserve and lake Mamori. A better option may be a trip to lake
Juma which is a special protected area.
Time of travel
There are two seasons in the Amazon basin: wet season and dry season.
During the dry season it's very hot (that means 40 C plus the humidity) and thus may
be unbearable for some. As well, many channels and rivers dry out. On the other hand,
fishing is much easier since all fish concentrates in the remaining water basins. During
the wet season, it rains almost every day. When there is a storm, the amount of rain
may be overwhelming. Thus, if traveling in wet season, be prepared to get wet and not dry
out until the end of your trip. During the
season the rivers and lakes rise several meters and many new channels are formed in
the flooded jungle. Temperature-wise, the weather is more bearable and only the
humidity will be a problem. The wet season lasts roughly January to July, with the
best time to visit the jungle May to August.
If you travel during the wet season, keep your important things like documents
in (tested) waterproof bags/containers. Cotton clothes let your skin breathe but there is
no chance that they will ever get dry. Some people find nylon/synthetic clothes to work well.
Long sleeves and long pants are not 100% necessary but you will not regret wearing them.
A flashlight is necessary for the night, as the jungle is pitch-black. A machete most probably
will not be required on short/casual trips but is essential for longer expeditions.
A lighter and a pocket knife are a good idea. The pocket knife is especially important since
it can provide the only defense against the boa and the anaconda (indeed, attacks do occur).
A mosquito repellent is most probably a very smart idea. It keeps other
bugs away too and it reduces the risk of being infected by a disease-carrying insect.
However, the number of mosquitoes in the jungle is not completely overwhelming, so for
longer expeditions you may consider getting used to them. Additionally, a good guide can show
you some natural repellents available in the jungle.
Sun block is needed especially during the dry season. Otherwise, keep your luggage to
the minimum. Do not take things you do not really need.
Dictionary of trip operators:
native people - people who live in the region. Most of the time that means, with Portuguese descend. These are not aboriginal inhabitants.
native guide - a guide who is a native (see native people). If at all, usually speaks only marginal English.
explore the meeting of the waters - a 10-second chance to glance at it while crossing the river on a speedboat.
Do not buy tours from people at the airport or on the street in Manaus. The best guides are hired by the best companies; the best shysters don’t work for the best companies. If you don’t want to book a tour before arriving and want to book a tour in Manaus use a reputable published guidebook first or just look for the official tourist information center (CAT), they'll help you out and even make free calls if required. Tour companies are relatively easy to find in downtown Manaus and many will meet you at no charge.
The tour companies (even the ones in Lonely Planet) tend to trick the tourists sometimes, they ask you "may I do the reservation?" if you say yes and later cancel they will want to charge you 25%. It is not legal unless they let you know about it and make you sign something, so remain alert. Ask other tour operators to check prices.
If you take a river tour, go up the Rio Negro. From a three-night river boat trip from Manaus up the Rio Negro with a guide, you can expect to see some wildlife and visit some of the forest remnants, but two weeks or more are needed to reach untouched areas. Small two-story river boats carry five to ten people, sleeping in hammocks on the upper deck. Large boats carrying hundreds ply the river too, but the big boats don't stop between ports.
The most popular place for jungle tours is Lake Mamori/Lake Juma about 100km south of Manaus. Other recommended areas are Rio Urubu about 200 km east of and Novo Airão about 100 km northwest of Manaus.
Make sure that your travel agency has a valid Embratur (Brazilian Tourism Board) registration.
Amazon Brasil Tour, ☎ +55 92 9184-8452 - Rua 10 de julho 708- Room- 02. They organize non conventional tours with experienced tour guides. They do jungle tours to different areas of the Amazon (Juma Lake area, Tracajá, Rio Negro river) and they are specialized in Boat tours (boat with hammocks and Boat with cabins and luxury boats) exploring rivers of the Amazon. Their main goal is to show the Amazon in its authentic way. All Their jungle tours are covered by insurance.
Amazon Tree Climbing, ☎ +55 92 8195 8585 (firstname.lastname@example.org),. Ecotourism, nature and adventure travel specializing in tree climbing and boat expeditions and working with small closed groups. Follows rigid safety protocols according to the Brazilian adventure tourism standards. The trees are previously inspected and the climb sites are carefully chosen – they opt for primary forest area, which gives a better chance of observing the wildlife in its natural habitat. Multilingual guides with solid cultural background, and top quality equipment. Trips vary from 1 day to longer customized boat expeditions at the Rio Negro basin.
Local cuisine is rich and varied and can be found in many restaurants and stalls. You may try:
tapioquinha, a glutinous pancake made from manioc starch, usually buttered and filled with tucumã palm fruit and farmer’s cheese.
tacacá, an Amazon local soup.
tambaqui, the favorite fish among locals. Banda de Tambaqui is the most famous and one of the most delicious fish dishes from there.
pirarucu, the biggest fish from Amazon. Breaded filet and Moqueca are the most famous dishes.
pamonha, made from green corn and coconut milk boiled in corn husks.
bolo de macaxeira, a tasty glutinous translucent cake made from manioc.
sugar cane juice, a favorite drink among locals.
The region is also known for its exotic fruits like:
creamy white cupuaçú.
Tambaqui de Banda- Address: Av. Tancredo Neves, 9 (close to Parque do Mindu), Parque 10. This is a fish restaurant well frequented by manauaras. It's the opportunity to try local food made to local people with no overprice for tourists. Comfortable place with air conditioning and Wi-fi. You can order for delivery on their web page www.tambaquidebanda.com.br. Open every day for lunch at 11 am and for dinner from 6 pm to 11 pm (Monday to Saturday). Phone nr. 55 (92) 3236-5995, e-mail email@example.com
Restaurante da Charufe- Address: Rua dos Angelins, 261 (atrás da Escola Maria Amélia do Espirito Santo), Cj. Kissia I. Local typical and homely prepared fish dishes, the best Lebanese food in town and the famous paella. The renowned chef opens her restaurant at home only for lunch from Wednesdays to Fridays. Phone nr. 55 (92) 9202-0850 (Lincoln), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Açaí e Companhia, Address: Rua Acre, 98 - Vieiralves, phone number (Phone: 55-(92) 3635-3637). Open 10AM to 12AM. Nice atmosphere. Regional dishes. Good service. Sometimes live music.
Canto da Peixada, Address: Rua Emílio Moreira, 1677 - Praça 14, Phone: 55-(92) 3234-3021. Great local fish selection.
Scarola Restaurant and Pizzaria:  Traditional Restaurant near the Amazon Theater open for lunch with self service buffet and dinner a la carte. Famous for their Pizza and Barbecue Grill. Delivery service available. Rua 10 de Julho, No. 739 at the corner with Av. Getulio Vargas.
Casa da Sopa, Soup buffet. Highly recommended.
For international food in Manaus, the Miako and Suzuran offer Japanese food; there’s a Korean restaurant on the “Boulevard”, superb Italian food at Gianni's, and there is a home that serves delicious Peruvian dishes downtown near Cortez Casa de Câmbio.
Peixaria Morongueta, Rua Jaith Chaves, 30 - Porto da Ceasa, ☎ 3615-3362. 11:00-23:00. Open-air seafood restaurant with a fantastic view of the Meeting of the Waters. Moderately priced, offering fresh local (i.e., Amazonian) fish and traditional Brazilian dishes.$$. edit
Habibi, (Right outside Hotel Brasil). Late afternoon and evening. Staple sandwiches in clean surroundings, with a small variety of arab dishes.edit
Downtown drinking near the Teatro Amazonas, lately spreading towards the refurbished Praca da Saudade. Other options in the Ponta Negra area, including the "Estrada do Turismo" -a string of nightlife spots along the road to the airport.
Bar do Armando, Largo do São Sebastião (Acros the square from the Theatro Amazonas). Every evening until midnight. Lively crowd, simple setting, excellent location. Prices are a bit stiff, and for snacks they are downright ridiculous.Large beer R$ 5, small sandwich R$ 9. edit
Porao do Alemao, Estrada da Ponta Negra 1986, São Jorge (30-40 reais by taxi from the centre.), . Mostly rock, excellent snacks.Entry fee. edit
Tuesdays(!) and Fridays hundreds and hundreds of people gather at a string of drinking shacks known as Calçadão da Suframa. Some have live music, often forró. One spot is Casa do Terror, a cobwebbed hole-in-the-wall where a shirtless Cearense in a cowboy hat spins old LP’s of boleros and bregas. R$ 20-30 by cab from the centre.
Crocodillo (Centro) is a dance club with decent music and reasonable drink prices.
Festivals Festivals are usually held in the Sambódromo, a huge stadium on Rua Constantino Nery. Carnaval is held here as well as many other festivals, including Manaus’s popular Boi.
Gay: The two main clubs are Humps and A2, both located in the city centre.
Amazon Jungle Palace, which is located on the left hand bank of the river Rio Negro, was built according to two guiding principles: concern for the environment and providing excellent services for the tourist. Anyone who stays in its 65 apartments can feel all the energy and vibrations of nature in the middle of the Amazon jungle, in tandem with all the comforts of large luxury hotels.
Anaconda Lodge:  New Jungle Hotel located on an island on the Rio Negro 50km from Manaus. Chalets with a/c or fan, marvelous river view, swimming pool, barbecue grill and Internet. Packages starting at US$ 55 per person per day including all transfers, 3 meals and excursions.Tel: +55(92)99190-5070. Email: email@example.com.
Lots of cheap hotels and pensões can be found around Av. Joaquim Nabuco. Many of these have hourly rates, and are not very pleasant, and often quite smelly. The area gets dodgy in the late evenings. Private rooms start at 30 reais.
Hotel Express Vieiralves:  New economic concept in hospitality.At the heart of the new financial center of Manaus, the Vieiralves with easy access to Amazon Shopping, Millennium Mall, Shopping Plaza Manaus, shopping centers, leisure facilities, bars and city center options. R$ 155/person. St. Rio Branco S/N - Nossa Senhora das Graças, Fone Hotel: +55 (92) 3303-9933
Estrela, Center, Rua Pedro Botelho, 162, Phone (55-92-xx) 3233-4538, clean and cheap: Us$ 15/single, good place to find amazon jungle tours and trips in and out of Manaus.
Pensão Sulista:  Traditional Hotel in historic building from 1904. Rooms with Fan and TV. Complementary breakfast, wireless Internet access and private parking. Rates start at R$40 for single room, Hostel option R$ 25/person. Av. Joaquim Nabuco, No.347, Centró. Tel: +55 (92) 3234-5814.
Big Hostel Brazil:  A new beautiful, breezy, clean hostel close to the historical centre. Facilities include lovely garden patio, TV room, Wifi, lockers, laundry and basic kitchen. Comfortable single, double ,triple and dorm rooms available, Rates starting at R$30. Av. Sete de Setembro, No.1653 - Centró. Tel: +55 (92) 3086-3083. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org 
Jangada, Rua dos Andradas, opposite Rio Branco. Rooms with private bathroom, a/c and tv for 35 reais. Very clean.Brazil Phone: 55 92 xx 30824732 Email: E-Mail
Rio Branco, Rua dos Andradas 484, 233-4019. A real backpacker dive. Rooms are tiny and in some cases without windows. Cheap clean rooms with Frigobar, Phone, Air condition, Safe service, breakfast and room service.
Hotel Colonial:  12 Rooms for up to 6 people in historic building recently reformed. All rooms with private bathroom, frigobar and cable TV, wireless Internet and complementary breakfast. Rua Quintino Bocaiuva, 462, Centró. Tel: +55(92)3233-3216.
Continental, Rua Coronel Sergio Pessoa 189, 233-3342. A few blocks removed from the main strip; pleasant and economical.
Hotel Veneza:  Rooms and dormitorio for up to 8 people near the Praca da Policia. All rooms with private bathroom, air condition, fridge and cable TV. Breakfast buffet on veranda with view over downtown Manaus, Wireless Internet, 24 hour reception, airport transfer. Hostel option 25 Reais, Single room 60 Reais, Double room 80 Reais. Rua Leovegildo Coelho, 460, Centro. Tel: +55(92)3307-1421. Email: email@example.com.
Hotel Rei Arthur:  Rooms and dormitorio for up to 4 people near the Amazon Theater. All rooms with private bathroom, air condition, fridge and cable TV. Breakfast buffet, Wireless Internet, 24 hour reception, airport transfer, jungle tours. Hostel option 25 Reais, Single room 55 Reais, Double room 75 Reais. Rua Dez de Julho, 685, Centro. Tel: +55(92)9190-5070. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hotel Saint Paul, Rua Ramos Ferreira, 1115, Centro (One blocks east of Amazon Theater), ☎ 21013800, . checkin: 14h; checkout: 12h. Near Manaus major tourist attractions, as Largo de São Sebastião and the famous Teatro Amazonas, and varied shopping and leisure in the historic city center.Single 165, double 195. edit
Hotel Sao Pedro, Rua Rui Barbosa 166, Centro (Two blocks south of the Teatro), ☎ 3232 8584. Partly refurbished, clean, bright and spacious. Arguably the best cost/benefit in the neighbourhood.Single 65, double 85, triple 105. edit
Hostel Amazonas, Rua Ramos Ferreira 922, centro (three blocks north of the square), . Spacious public area, kitchen facilities, wi-fi.Single 70, double 100, dorm bed 25.. edit
Hotel Brasil Av. Getúlio Vargas, 657 - Centro Manaus, Phone: 55 92 xx 30824732, Email: E-Mail. Central location. Singles 60, doubles 95.
Continental Park Hotel, Estrada dos Japoneses, n.238, Parque 10, Phone:92-3642-6232 E-Mail. Walking distance to Mindú Park, Rooms have Minibar, cable TV and Broadband Wifi Internet Service, 24 hour Room service, Single with breakfast US$49.99.
Hotel Adrianópolis All Suites - St. Salvador, 195 - Adrianópolis phone 00-XX-55-92-2101-2000. mailto: email@example.com Located at a noble neighborhood of the city, Hotel All Suites Adrianópolis, the most exclusive of Manaus Hotéis Network, is 5 minutes of Manauara Shopping and is an excellent choice for executives and families seeking the ultimate in comfort, space and practicality. It features rooftop swimming pool with panoramic city view, full fitness center and sauna.
Hotel Millennium - Av. Djalma Batista, 1661 - Chapada phone 00-XX-55-92-3655-3131. mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org Conveniently located between the two main avenues of Manaus, Hotel Millennium is integrated with Millennium Mall offering a range of leisure, food and entertainment (more than 100 shops and 8 cinemas).
Are 135 spacious apartments of 25sqm, balcony, desk, chair, free Wi-Fi, LCD cable TV, fridge, microwave and safe.
Tropical Manaus Eco Resort - Av Coronel Teixeira, 1320, Ponta Negra phone 00-XX-55-92-3658-3899. mailto:email@example.com. In the Amazon Forest, on the banks of the Negro River. It has 588 apartments and a large complex of hotel, events, sports, and tourism and leisure services. It is 10 km from the Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes International Airport and 16 km from downtown Manaus.
The climate is very hot and humid. Packing thin, light-colored clothing will help you suffer the least during the day. There are also many mosquitoes known to carry malaria and yellow fever, so wear long sleeve shirts and pants and insect repellent; The vaccine against yellow fever is free in Brazilian public health centers and international airports and must be taken at least 10 days before going to endemic areas. There is little cotton or natural fiber clothing available in Manaus, so don’t count on being able to pick up something on short notice. People seem to prefer synthetic materials, which have the advantage of drying easily without molding.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!