You can find Manaus in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, a colorful mosaic of friendly locals, handmade craft stands and colonial houses. Located right in the jungle of South America, this place offers unique sights and sounds for every traveler who possesses the courage to discover the secrets of the city. Here’s our definitive guide to the 10 things you can’t miss when you travel to Manaus, Brazil.
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Learn About 20th-Century Politics At The Palácio Rio Negro
Built in the 20th century by Waldemar Scholz, this elegant palace was the governor’s residence for many years. Presently, the Palácio operates as a museum and a cultural center that displays enthralling exhibitions of antique art and furniture, and presents monthly showcases of the work of local artists.
See Where The Amazon Begins
Ten kilometers away from Manaus by boat, the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões rivers come together to form the intriguing Amazon River in Brazil. At the meeting of the waters, known to locals as encontro das aguas, the acid, black waters from the Rio Negro and the alkaline waters from the Solimões meet, creating a magnificent and unique lakeside spectacle of color, a sight definitely worth seeing when you’re in Manaus.
Do A Little Shoping At Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa
Believe it or not, the entire building that houses this market was shipped over from Europe around 1880. Colorful displays of local fruits, vegetables and herbs will excite enthusiastic shoppers here, and this is the best place in Manaus to source handmade leather gifts and souvenirs. We dare you not to buy an intricately decorated craft here…
Take Some Photos Of The Victoria Amazónica Water Lily
The largest water lily in the world is called Victoria Amazónica, in honor of Queen Victoria, and the plant can be found in abundance in the Amazon River that begins in Manaus. Its beautiful circular leaves can grow up to 2.5 meters in diameter, and the breathtaking white flowers it produces turn light pink on their second day of life. Some serious Instagram material can be found here.
Play In The Waterfalls Located At Presidente Figueiredo
Just two hours away from Manaus, also known as the ‘Land of Waterfalls’, this is an excursion all nature lovers cannot miss. You’ll travel through the mysterious and verdant jungle for an hour before you arrive at the spectacular, glassy and cascading water, a perfect spot in which to swim and splash around during a balmy Brazilian afternoon. There’s also the opporunity to partake in some rafting, if you dare.
Enjoy Some French Architecture
The Teatro Amazonas, or the Amazonas Theatre, was built in the 19th century during Manaus’ golden era, and locals have managed to preserve its beautiful French architecture for all these years. Take the guided tour through the opera house to learn a little bit more about the lifestyle in the 1800s in Manaus. The ticket costs 10 reales per person, and offers visitors the chance to explore the galleries, traverse the gilded stairways and get a true taste of the Brazil of a bygone era.
Discover Some Of The Amazon’s Best-Kept Secrets
The MUSA, also known as the Museu da Amazonia, gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the Amazon jungle, its native communities, its local species and much more, in tours lasting only three hours. Don’t miss the incredible view of the jungle available from the top of the tower here. Top tip: some tours provide a pick-up service from you hotel at 4am, which means visitors arrive at the tower in time to witness a spectacular sunrise.
Savor The Local Cuisine
Manaus is brimming with street markets, which foodies will fall in love with instantly. Ice-cold coconut juice, caipirinhas, fresh fruit, take-away barbecue plates and traditional cuisine to eat on the go combine perfectly with the live entertainment that you’ll enjoy as you walk down the harbor.
Get A Tan In Ponta Negra
This is the fancy party of the city, as you’ll soon realize from the elegant condo towers and modern buildings dotting the landscape. A stretch of sand enjoyed by locals and tourists all year round, the shore here was transformed into an artificial beach a couple of years ago, and provides a perfect place to bask in the glorious rays of Manaus. It is one of the most popular spots in the area, and is situated 13 kilometers from downtown.
Spend A Night At A Jungle Hotel
End your trip to Manaus with an experience you’ll never forget: spend a night in a jungle hotel, a secluded accommodation option situated right in the middle of the Brazilian rainforest. Most of the hotels can only be reached by boats, and all feature eco-friendly rooms made out of local woods. The only thing that separates you from the wildlife that’s outside is a mosquito net located on each window. Needless to say, you’ll get the best photographs of your trip here.
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