Best of Manaus
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Approximately 6½ Hours
Leave from the floating port of Manaus, designed to move with the river tide of the Rio Negro.
As you travel, you will pass the Customs House—prefabricated in Liverpool and shipped to Manaus a hundred years ago. Watch for the Palacio Rio Negro -- it started out as the private residence of a German rubber baron and eventually became the Governor’s office.
Meet the inhabitants of the Amazon region at the Bosque da Ciencia—an open-air museum and Amazonian Research Station. The facility’s most famous project is the species revival of the Amazon river manatee. Observe these strange creatures that are in danger of extinction, as they swim in a glass tank. Part of the museum is open-air, with access via trails. The other part is an indoor exhibit of scientific projects under development. See the world’s largest and smallest leaves, both found in the Amazon. Otters, electric eels, alligators, orchids and bromeliads are also housed here.
Visit the Military Zoo, where wildlife and Amazonian fauna are housed and stop for lunch at a barbecue restaurant.
The city’s most famous landmark awaits you. The lavish pink-and-white Opera House, known as the Teatro Amazonas, will be the highlight of your tour. Built in 1896, this marvel of architecture features a dome of 36,000 vitrified ceramic tiles imported from Europe, set in a mosaic of the colors of the Brazilian flag. The amazing painting that grace the inside of the dome is a recreation of the view you would have if you stood under the Eiffel Tower and looked up. The dazzling auditorium boasts perfect acoustics, and performances here range from single guitar concerts to entire ballet companies and philharmonic orchestras. As stunning as the building is, perhaps its most extraordinary element is the fact that it is located in the heart of the Amazon jungle, in the city of Manaus—a testament to the affluence that accompanied the rubber boom of 1896.
Temperatures are always high; please dress accordingly and carry water with you. The Military Zoo is of a rather primitive nature, with some animals kept in cages rather than in a natural habitat. Tour does not operate on Mondays. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent and a hat. The rainy season in the Amazon extends from December through March. Bring a light waterproof outer layer on tour with you. Your guide will do his/her best to speak English, but please keep in mind that the limited tourism infrastructure of Manaus is part of the city’s charm, and bear with any language difficulties he/she may encounter.