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Manaus: The metropolis in the heart of the Amazon

Located in the middle of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, Manaus stands out as an urban enigma, merging harmoniously with the surrounding nature. Named one of the ten cities to visit in 2024 by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, this metropolis is much more than just a gateway to the Amazon, it’s a melting pot of tradition, history and modernity.

 

Between modernity and ancestral traditions

The Amazonas Theatre (Credit: Ana Claudia Jatahy/Embratur)

The Amazonas Theatre (Credit: Ana Claudia Jatahy/Embratur)

Manaus, the Amazon’s main urban centre, brilliantly juxtaposes its cityscape with the lush jungle that surrounds it. While some may see it as a starting point for their Amazonian adventures, they would be missing out on the city’s cultural richness. The Palacio Río Negro and the Amazonas Theatre, the city’s landmark, which hosted the most renowned European artists in the 19th century, bear witness to the city’s past splendour.

 

A showcase of biodiversity

The Río Negro meets the Amazon (Credit: Ana Claudia Jatahy/Embratur)

The Río Negro meets the Amazon (Credit: Ana Claudia Jatahy/Embratur)

Manaus’s proximity to the rainforest offers a direct immersion into a rich and diverse ecosystem, the land of giant water lilies, gum trees, anacondas, lamentines, toucans, flaming macaws and, of course, jaguars. Whether venturing into the forest on foot, navigating the rivers or observing the exotic wildlife, every experience is a celebration of life.

 

Heritage and culture

The Amazonas Theatre (Credit: Ana Claudia Jatahy/Embratur)

The Amazonas Theatre (Credit: Ana Claudia Jatahy/Embratur)

Beyond its famous theatre, this destination is a treasure trove of history and tradition. At the end of the 19th century, Manaus was considered the richest city in the world, thanks to its white gold: rubber. Industrial giants such as Michelin and Dunlop owed their rise to the city. However, the prosperity was short-lived, as large quantities of rubber seeds were stolen for cultivation in South-East Asia, precipitating the downfall of the merchants of Manaus and the whole of Amazonia. The charm of this glorious past still resonates in its streets, museums and monuments, taking travellers on a journey through time.

 

On the waters of the Amazon

Prahia da Lua (Credit: Mario Oliveira/Embratur)

Prahia da Lua (Credit: Mario Oliveira/Embratur)

Sailing the Amazon from Manaus is an adventure in itself. The cruises allow you to discover remote villages, interact with local communities and appreciate the majesty of the river, the real artery of the region.

 

 

Manaus is an invitation to discover, between its rich cultural heritage and the splendour of the surrounding nature, the city offers an unforgettable experience, bridging the gap between past and present, man and nature.

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