Situated on the banks of the Negro river, the capital of the state of Amazon, Manaus is an important centre for ecological tourism. One of its most popular attractions is the Ponta Negra beach, 13 kilometres from the centre of the city, where, when the river is low, the sands are exposed right down to the river bed, forming a beautiful contrast with the dark waters of the river itself.
In the early years of the twentieth century the city of Manaus, capital of Amazonas, became very wealthy and the most important cultural centre in the Northern Region of Brazil. The old rubber barons dreamed of transforming it into a European style city and called it "the Paris of the Tropics". The architecture of the " Opera House" and Municipal Market" is an exemplo of the luxury and ostentation in which their inhabitants lived.
Manaus is a major staging post for tourist and its port is a starting point for trips into the Amazon forest.
Encounter of the Rivers- About six miles from Manaus is the point at which the dark waters of Negro and the greenish muddy waters of the Solimoes meet, forming the Amazon. For three miles beyond their confluence the Negro and Solimoes flow side by side without merging.This tour is always accompanied by " pink dolphins" jumping from one river to the other one.
Amazon Rainforest- The great Amazonia rainforest constitutes a vast ecosystem in which plants and animals of almost unbelievable diversity are interlinked in a complex network of ecological relatioship. There are three main types of Amazon forest. The unflooded is characterized by sparse undergrowth and very tall trees that form a high canopy. The "Igapos" occasionally flooded forests, have a dense swampland vegetation consisting mainly of bushlike plants, palms and ferns. The" Varzea", or flood plain, and the river are inhabited by 3,000 species of fish such as piranhas, tucunare, pirarucu and aquatic mammals such as manatees and river dolphins.
There are many ways to visit the jungle. It is possible to arrange anything from an excursion of few hours or a short stay at a confortable jungle lodge to trip of up to several weeks using more basic accommodations ,camping in the jungle or sleeping on hammocks by river boats. Standard activities on trips with at least one overnight stay include piranha fishing, walking in the jungle, visiting the local village and night time alligator-catching. You'll probably see dolphins along the way and witness abundant waterside bird life.