Things to do in Manaus
Manaus is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Amazonas and is considered as the gateway to the Amazon Rainforest.
Are you curious about things to do in Manaus? In this blog we describe the top sights you must see during your stay in the largest city of the Amazon region
Manaus, Brazil – The Gateway to the Amazon Rainforest
Manaus is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. It is located in the northwestern part of the country, at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers, which join to form the Amazon River. The city has a population of over 2.1 million people and is the main economic and cultural center of the Amazon region.
Manaus is known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and natural beauty. The city is home to several museums and historical sites, including the Teatro Amazonas, a 19th-century opera house, and the Mercado Adolpho Lisboa, a traditional market. It is also a major port for river and ocean-going vessels, and a hub for tourism in the Amazon rainforest. Visitors can take boat tours to explore the surrounding jungle, visit indigenous communities, and see wildlife such as pink dolphins and monkeys. Additionally, Manaus is home to a free trade zone, Manaus Free Trade Zone, where several factories and companies are located, it is also the main center of the Brazilian rubber industry.
Gateway to the Amazon
Manaus is often considered to be the gateway to the Amazon rainforest, as it is the largest city in the region and serves as a major transportation hub for those who wish to explore the Amazon. The city is located on the banks of the Rio Negro, a major tributary of the Amazon River, and is connected to other parts of the region by road, river, and air transportation.
Visitors to the city can take boats and buses to explore the surrounding rainforest, or they can fly to other nearby destinations such as the Amazonas state’s protected areas and indigenous territories. Additionally, many tour operators and travel agencies based in Manaus offer guided tours and excursions to the Amazon rainforest, making it a popular starting point for those interested in exploring the region.
History of Manaus
The history of the city dates back to the 18th century, when it was founded as a military fort to protect Portuguese interests in the region. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the city experienced a period of rapid growth and development due to the rubber boom.
This brought a large influx of immigrants, including many from Europe, and led to the construction of many grand public buildings and private residences. The rubber industry eventually declined, but Manaus continued to grow and develop as a major center for industry, commerce, and culture in the Amazon region.
There are several historical sites and landmarks in Manaus that you can see and explore. Some of the most notable are:
- The Teatro Amazonas a grand opera house built during the rubber boom era in the late 19th century. The theater is a beautiful example of the architecture of the period and is still in use today for performances and events.
- The Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa, a large market built in the early 20th century that sells a wide variety of goods, including local crafts, food, and souvenirs.
- The Palacio Rio Negro, a former palace built for a rubber baron during the rubber boom era. The palace is now a museum that displays the history and culture of the Amazon region.
- The Church of Our Lady of the Conception, a beautiful 19th-century church that is an important religious and architectural landmark in the city.
- The Sao Sebastiao Cemetery, which is the oldest cemetery in the city and features tombs and mausoleums of some of the most prominent figures of the rubber boom era.
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Manaus has a vibrant nightlife, with a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues, particularly in the city center and the waterfront area.
Things to do in the city Manaus
Manaus is a great destination for those looking to experience the natural beauty of the Amazon and its diverse culture. Here are some things to do in Manaus:
Visit the Theatre Amazonas
The Teatro Amazonas, also known as the Amazon Theatre, is an opera house located in the city of Manaus, Brazil.
It was built in the late 19th century during the rubber boom in Manaus, and was intended to symbolize the city’s prosperity and cultural refinement.
The Teatro Amazonas was designed in the Italian Renaissance style, and
construction began in 1884 and was completed in 1896.
The theater’s stage is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and it is able to host a variety of performances, including opera, ballet, and concerts which you can visit.
The Teatro Amazonas was closed for many years and underwent renovations in the 1990s and 2000s, and it was re-opened in 1999 and is considered an important cultural and historical landmark in Brazil, and it is listed as a National Heritage Site.
Visit the Palácio Rio Negro
The Palácio Rio Negro, also known as the Palace of the Rubber Baron, is a historic building located in Manaus, Brazil. It was built in the early 20th century by a wealthy rubber baron and is now a museum that showcases the history and culture of the Amazon region. Visitors to the palace can expect to see the following:
- Historical exhibits: The palace features several exhibits that display artifacts and information about the history of the Amazon region, including the rubber boom era and the indigenous cultures of the area.
- Architectural features: The palace is an example of the grand architecture of the rubber boom era and features ornate decor, frescoes, and intricate tilework.
- Gardens: The palace has beautiful gardens, it’s a great place to stroll and enjoy the surroundings.
- Cultural events: The palace often hosts cultural events, such as concerts and plays, which can attend.
- Gift shop: There is a gift shop on the palace’s ground floor where visitors can purchase souvenirs and local crafts.
Overall, the Palácio Rio Negro is a great place for you to learn about the history and culture of the Amazon region and appreciate the grand architecture of the rubber boom era.
The Manaus Free Trade Zone was created in 1967, as an economic incentive for industrial development in the region. It is the largest free trade zone in Latin America and has attracted many international companies to set up operations in the city.
Shop at the Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa
The Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa, also known as the Manaus Municipal Market, is a large market located in the city of Manaus, Brazil. The market was built in the early 20th century and is considered one of the main landmarks of the city.
Some of the things you can find in the market include:
- Local products: The market is a great place to find local products such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish, as well as a variety of other food items and drinks.
- Handicrafts: The market features a wide range of local crafts and souvenirs, such as baskets, carvings, and jewelry made by the indigenous people of the region
- Clothing and textiles: You’ll find a variety of clothing and textiles such as hammocks, traditional Amazonian clothing and fabrics.
- Cultural significance: The market is an important cultural and social hub in Manaus, and is considered one of the best places to get a sense of the local culture and way of life.
- Variety of vendors: The market has a large number of vendors selling different products, you can find a great variety of items to choose from.
- Open hours: The market is open every day and is a great place to visit, it’s open from early in the morning until late in the evening.
It’s worth mentioning that the market is also known for its Art Deco architecture and its historical significance, it was built during the rubber boom and it’s considered a great example of the architecture of that period. Visiting the market is a great opportunity to experience the local culture and to purchase some unique Amazonian products.
Enjoy the local cuisine
Manaus is a great place to enjoy local foods and drinks. The city is home to a diverse culinary scene that features a mix of traditional Amazonian dishes and flavors, as well as international cuisine.
Some of the local foods and drinks that you can enjoy in Manaus include:
- Fish and seafood: The Amazon region is home to a wide variety of fish and seafood, such as pirarucu, tambaqui, and pacu, which are often served grilled or fried.
- Jungle fruits: The Amazon rainforest is home to a wide variety of exotic fruits such as cupuaçu, acai, and bacaba that you can try.
- Cassava: Cassava is a staple food in the region, it can be made in many ways, such as Cassava bread, fried, or boiled.
- Tapioca: Tapioca is a traditional Amazonian dish made from the root of the cassava plant, it can be served sweet or savory.
- Amazonian drinks: You can try a variety of traditional Amazonian drinks such as guarana juice, açai juice, and tucupi, a yellow sauce made from the root of the manioc plant.
- Local beer: Manaus has a good variety of local beer, you can find many different brands and types of beer made in the region.
There are also many restaurants and street food vendors in Manaus that serve a wide variety of international cuisine, such as Chinese, Italian, and Japanese food. With such a diverse culinary scene, you will have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to trying local foods and drinks in Manaus.
Learn more about the Amazon rainforest in the Museum de Amazônia (MUSA)
Museu da Amazônia is a museum located in Manaus, Brazil, that showcases the natural and cultural heritage of the Amazon region.
The museum features a variety of exhibits that cover different aspects of the Amazon region, such as its natural history, biodiversity, and cultural heritage. Some of the things you can find in the museum include:
- Biological specimens: The museum has a collection of specimens of Amazonian plants, animals, and insects.
- Natural history: The museum has interactive exhibits that provide information about the natural history of the Amazon region, including its geology, climate, and ecology.
- Cultural heritage: The museum has exhibits on the indigenous cultures of the Amazon, including their art, music, and daily life.
- Local history: The museum also provides information about the history of the city of Manaus and the Amazon region, including the rubber boom, the history of the region’s economy, and its current challenges.
- Interactive activities: The museum also features interactive activities, such as workshops and educational programs that allow visitors to learn more about the Amazon region and its inhabitants.
The museum is a great place to visit for those interested in learning more about the natural and cultural heritage of the Amazon region. The MUSA is open to the public, and it’s located in the city center of Manaus.
Located in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest,
Manaus is the gateway for tours to the Amazon. Manaus has an airport that can receive full-size jet aircrafts and is connected to wildlife tourist destinations by paved highways and larger riverboats.
Things to do around the city Manaus
Manaus is located in the Amazon Rainforest. Yeah, the so-called “lungs of the world.” So take the opportunity to visit some interesting places nearby and get a glimpse of what life here really is like.
Visit the Meeting of the Waters
One of the main attractions in Manaus is the “Encontro das Águas” or “Meeting of the Waters,” which is the point where the dark waters of the Rio Negro meet the sandy-colored waters of the Rio Solimões to form the Amazon River. The phenomenon is caused by the difference in water temperature, speed, and sediment content between the two rivers.
You can see the Meeting of the Waters by taking an Amazon River tour by boat through the area.
It’s worth mentioning that the Meeting of the Waters is a unique natural phenomenon, the difference in temperature, speed and sediment content between the two rivers make it a beautiful contrast that can be seen for several kilometers. It’s a unique experience that can only be seen in a few places in the world, and it’s definitely a must-see attraction for visitors to Manaus.
Explore the Presidente Figueiredo Waterfalls
The Presidente Figueiredo Waterfalls, also known as the “Cachoeiras do Presidente,” is a group of waterfalls located in the municipality of Presidente Figueiredo, which is about 80 km north of Manaus, Brazil. The waterfalls are located in the heart of the Amazon rainforest and are known for their natural beauty and ecological diversity.
The waterfalls are surrounded by lush vegetation, and the sound of the falling water creates a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.
The area is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, including many species of birds, monkeys, and butterflies.
You can hike to the waterfalls, swim in the pools below, or take an Amazon River kayak tour along the nearby rivers.
It’s worth mentioning that the Presidente Figueiredo Waterfalls are not as well-known as some of the other waterfalls in the region, but they are considered a hidden gem and a must-see for visitors who want to experience the natural beauty and biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest.
You can really visit Manaus in the Amazon all year round.
The Amazon region is characterized by two distinct periods. The “rainy season” and the “less rainy season”.
Go on a Amazon Jungle Tour
The absolute highlight from your trip should be an Amazon Jungle tour from Manaus! Go on a 2-day, 3-day or 4-day expedition that is sure to be the highlight of your trip to the region. Immerse yourself in the heart of the jungle and stay in a comfortable jungle lodge while accompanied by a local guide.
Discover the wild and exotic animals that call the Amazon their home, including piranhas, alligators, anacondas, pink river dolphins and many more, and a variety of colorful birds. With educational jungle walks and boat tours, you will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the rainforest and the Amazon river. You also have the opportunity to visit indigenous communities and learn about their way of life and culture, swim with pink river dolphins and see the Meetings of the Waters. This is an experience of a lifetime, not to be missed!
Explore the Amazon river with an Amazon river cruise
An Amazon River cruise from Manaus is an unforgettable Experience
Located in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, Manaus is the perfect starting point for an adventure on the Amazon River.
Staying on an Amazon River cruise from Manaus is an opportunity to explore one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet and to experience the culture and way of life of the people who call the Amazon home.
For those interested in eco-tourism, an Amazon River cruise is a perfect opportunity to enjoy activities such as bird watching, canoeing, and fishing. The guides also offer the option to camp in the jungle, providing a more immersive experience of the rainforest.
The cruises are more luxurious, with air conditioning, private bathrooms and a private chef than when you go on the normal Amazon jungle tours. An Amazon River cruise is the perfect opportunity to discover the raw and untouched nature of the amazon in a style of luxury.
You can visit the following national parks with a river cruise:
Anavilhanas National Park
Anavilhanas National Park, also known as the Anavilhanas Nature Reserve, is a protected area located in the state of Amazonas, Brazil, about 100 km northwest of Manaus. The park is known for its unique and diverse ecosystem, including the Anavilhanas Archipelago, which is the largest freshwater archipelago in the world, with more than 400 islands. You can visit this park with an Amazon River cruise to the Anavilhanas
Jaú National Park
Jaú National Park is a protected area located in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. It is situated about 320 km upstream from Manaus, on the Solimões River. It is considered one of the largest intact tropical forests in the world, and one of the most biodiverse places on earth. You can visit this place with a National Parks River cruise.
Overall, an Amazon River cruise from Manaus is an unforgettable experience that offers visitors the chance to explore one of the most biodiverse.