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Manaus

With a current population of 1.6 million people, Manaus was first settled by the Portuguese in the mid 17th century. The Indian tribes in this area were called Manaus, and this is how the city got its name in 1833. The city blossomed in the late 1800's when it was the world's only rubber supplier. The rubber boom brought on a golden era and luxurious buildings such the famous Teatro Amazonas, the Customs House, and the Floating Docks were constructed. The prosperity and opulence however, ended when the rubber trees were successfully planted in Europe and North America.

Recently, tourism has greatly expanded and this city is the base for most trips into the surrounding Amazon. Flights arrive and depart daily to the Manaus International Airport and easy connections can be made to major centers such as Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro.

Manaus is a city that is surrounded by water, with the main roadway being the giant Rio Negro, the river that flows into the Solimoes River and creates the Amazon River. Boats of all different sizes carrying people and shipments come to this town on a daily basis. Watching these ships unload is often quite a sight and locals often enjoy drinks in front of the port just for that reason. The heart of the city is on the banks of Rio Negro where the downtown area hosts a street market just next to the port. Around the port are the main streets attractive to visitors, aside from the Teatro Amazonas, which is 4 blocks north of Rua Barroso. It is hot year round in this city-amidst-the-waters, with temperatures usually from 86 - 96 degrees F.

Manaus Travel Information
Manaus on its own only requires about half a day to explore and this is more than enough time to see all the sights and absorb the feel of the town. Safety wise, the port area - and Praca da Matriz - should be avoided. Also avoid any jungle tours and excursions offered in the airports and bus stations- these are usually bad deals. Tours should be planned and booked ahead of time.

Attractions
Teatro Amazonas
This Opera House was built in 1896 and famous stars from all over the world have traveled here to perform and to watch performances. The eclectic style of the building is quite pleasant and memorable, with its lavish decor of crystal chandeliers, wrought-iron banisters, and Italian Frescoes. The theater seats 700 people.

Museu do Indio
This is a museum of the culture and heritage of the Upper Rio Negro. It provides a thorough but quick way to learn a bit more about the indigenous peoples and their way of life. One exhibit featured is "Aboriginal Celebrations," which consists of 16 photographs depicting the celebrations and rituals of 12 different tribes.
www.museodoindio.org.br
Rua Duque de Caxias 356, Centro.
092/234-142

Mercado Adolpho Lisboa
This is a beautiful copy of the demolished market hall in Les Halles, Paris. It echoes the nickname that Manaus carried during the rubber boom: the Paris of the Jungle. Take your camera and document the locals bustling about their everyday tasks: cleaning the freshly caught fish, arranging the local fruits and nuts, or advising someone on an herb to take, which they often believe is better than any pharmaceutical product.
Rua dos Bares 46, centro.

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