Official language: Portuguese
Time zone: UTC -4
Currency: Brazilian real (BRL)
If you dream of relaxing on the beach, go to Ponta Negra offering not only golden sand and beautiful view but also numerous bars and restaurants as well as an amphitheater with a range of cultural events.
The trip to Manaus requires some preparations. Fit yourself out with loose and light-colored long sleeves and mosquito repellent that will protect you from bites and yellow fever spread by mosquitos. Remember that you'll be expected to have a certificate of vaccination against this disease.
If you're planning to travel to the Amazon jungle during the rainy season, keep your documents, money, flashlight and electronic devices in waterproof bags. In the dry season don’t forget to cover your head and put on sunscreen.
In the early 20th century, Manaus was the world leader in rubber production which helped the city flourish in wealth, visible in its architectural splendor and rich cultural offer. You can still see here, i.e., a highly ornamented building of Teatro Amazonas on Rua Tapajós which once hosted concerts and performances of world-famous artists. In the historic center of Manaus, you will also find Palácio da Justiça (the Palace of Justice), Palácio Rio Negro (a former seat of government), Igreja da Matriz, and cathedral – all dating from the Bélle Époque. You will learn a lot about the pre-colonial history of the city in Museu do Índio (Indian Museum).
After the seeds of Pará rubber tree had been smuggled out to Malaysia, local plantations became unprofitable, which resulted in people leaving the city and the urban area started being overgrown by jungle. Therefore, the Brazilian government decided to offer tax breaks to local companies, and the effect is that today Manaus is among the most developed cities in the country and the most important port on the Amazon. It is also a place from which hundreds of tourists start their travel along this phenomenal river, heading to, e.g., the Anavilhanas (the world’s largest river archipelago), the Rio Negro Basin, or the southern edge of the Amazon. Many tour operators arrange not only jungle trips but also some activities, such as piranha fishing, crocodile spotting, and a visit to the Indian village.
When you get hungry, sample some of the local delicacies, especially tambaqui and pirarucu fish or tropical fruits, such as açai and cupuaçú. You can buy them from street stalls at mercado público (marketplace) near the Port of Manaus, or find them on the menu of many bars and restaurants. Ask for tapioquinha (cassava flour pancakes filled with a fruit of tucumã palm or cheese), tacacá (Amazon soup with jambu fruit and shrimps), and pamonha (corn paste wrapped in corn husks). Where to eat? Check out, e.g., Banzeiro on Rua Libertador, Canto da Peixada on Rua Emilio Moreira, and Amazonico Peixaria Regional on Avenida Darcy Vargas.