A holiday to Brazil can be one of the most exotic, adventurous, and memorable experiences of one’s life. With Amazonian forests spread over miles, the Amazon River, wildlife and safaris, widespread beaches, carnivals and a warm culture, the country invites you to travel it. While there are a number of places like Rio de Janeiro, Fernando de Noronha Island, Salvador, Olinda, Ouro Preto and Brasilia, which are visited frequently by travelers, the more remote city of Manaus, the second largest in Brazil, is often passed over. It is a city of forests and is perfect for ecotourism. Situated in northern Brazil at the confluence of the rivers Negro and Solimoes which form the Amazon River, Manaus has been variously known as “the city of the margins of Black river”, “the heart of the Amazon”, and “the city of the forest”.
The Amazon forest has over one-third of all the species in the world living in it, and it comprises more than half of the world’s rainforests. Travel to Brazil would inevitably include a trip to the rainforests. Manaus is the place to be if you want to explore the rich biodiversity of the forests. Land and boat trips are easily available on a regular basis from the city. The National Park of Jau is one of the largest Amazonian parks, and should be visited by anyone interested in the wealth of the forests.
The confluence of the rivers Negro and Solimoes is another natural phenomenon to watch. The dark waters of the Negro and the muddy waters of the Solimoes travel side by side for close to 9 kilometers without meeting. Legend has it that they never meet at all. The Paricatuba waterfall is located on the Negro and surrounded by thick forests.
The Ponta Negra Beach, 18 kilometers from the city, hosts a popular beach-hotel and sparky nightlife in clubs and pubs. The hotel has a small zoo and orchid greenhouse open to public visits. The place also has a huge amphitheater. The Tupe and Moon Beaches are also frequented by tourists and locals. The Lion waterfall is also worth a visit. The Praia da Lua Beach is very clean and perfect for bathing.
The Amazonas Opera House is an important center for theater in the city. Constructed with Italian marble, French glass, and bricks from Europe, the place can host up to 700 people. A number of established operas, music festivals, and plays have been organized here.
The city’s oldest marketplace, Mercado Adolpho Lisboa, has been modeled on the Les Halles market from Paris. It has been running as a shopping center since 1882, and is surrounded by a number of important buildings like the Rio Negro Palace cultural center, the Amazonas Opera House, and the Justice Palace. The architecture of the city is of mixed styles with medieval and modern elements. Manaus is known as the terraced city.
Manaus has a few public parks like the Park of Mindu, which boasts four different ecosystems within it — firm ground brush, secondary growth brush, sandbanks, and degraded areas. The Park has several different kinds of birds and animals apart from the flora of the Amazon rainforest.
The Adolpho Ducke Botanical Garden, which can be visited for ecological interest, is situated within a reserve. Flora and fauna resident to the rainforest can be observed here. The Natural Science Museum should also be visited.
Located in the heart of the Amazon, Manaus is home to the Pied Tamarin, the endangered species of monkey found in the rainforests. The Mindu Park and the Adolpho Ducke Reserve are good places to see groups of the monkey. Travel to Brazil would be incomplete without this experience.
Manaus is also the place to observe a tidal bore, in which the incoming tide forms huge waves of water that travel up a river. The Amazon River has tidal bores that are up to 4 meters high and travel at 21 kilometers an hour. The phenomenon is locally known as the pororoca.
Travel to Brazil is fairly easy with a multitude of travel companies and agents. A good time to travel is the wet season, since in the dry and hot season, temperatures rise very high, occasionally above 40 degrees Centigrade. A number of hotels and resorts offer budgeted as well as luxury stay for tourists.
This article was supplied by Nidhi Varma.