Wednesday, 20 June 2012 10:24 AM
There are few places on the planet where you can experience a cosmopolitan city on one day and go trekking in the jungle the next - and Manaus is one of them. By booking an Amazon cruise here, you can make the most of both of these attractions.
Manaus is home to a wealth of its own things to see, and it is a real hub for tourists who flock here so they can go hiking through the Amazon. This is the largest tropical rainforest on the planet, home to countless exotic species of flora and fauna and encompassing numerous parts of South America.
To find out more about what you can get up to on a cruise here, read on.
Sightseeing in the city
As well as being the heart of the Amazon region, Manaus is a popular spot for adventurous travellers to visit. However, before you pull on your walking boots and raincoat, it's worth taking the time to go sightseeing in the city itself.
The Amazon Theatre is one sight you can't fail to miss. This huge opera house was built during an era known as Bell Epoque - a phrase penned in France to describe a period when arts, music and theatre were flourishing, people were prospering and the world was at peace.
In Brazil, the booming rubber trade meant that Manaus grew rapidly as more and more people arrived to make their fortunes. The Amazon Theatre was somewhere they could go on an evening out to meet members of the high society and enjoy good music. This is a beautiful building, featuring a dome decorated in mosaic tiles of the same colour as the Brazilian flag and a curved entrance marked by ornate pillars.
Another attraction that was heavily inspired by northern Europe is the Mercado Adolpho Lisboa. The market was modelled on the one of the same name that once stood in France and is located on the shores of the Rio Negro. It is Art Nouveau in style and inside you can pick up spices, fresh fruit and fish, and souvenirs.
These are some of the city's older buildings, but it is perhaps better known for its modern skyline. Over recent years, numerous skyscrapers have sprung up and it really is something of a sprawling metropolis. It is also home to some lovely green spaces, like the Park of Mindu, which is one of the most popular in the region.
Exploring the rainforest
Once you have had your fill of creature comforts in Manaus, you can begin your cruise down the Amazon and through the jungle. Here, it is exotic trees that form the skyline, while a chorus of birds and howling monkeys replace the noise of traffic and people.
To take full advantage of this spectacular sight, it is worth booking a guided river or walking tour, so you can learn all about what you are seeing. You will be accompanied by a professional who has a wealth of experience in hiking through a tropical environment - so you'll be in safe hands!
Depending on the tour you choose, you'll cruise from the city to Guedes Lake, at which point you'll get a lecture on how to survive in a rainforest environment. Then, you will be led through the forest to look more closely at the plants and find out more about survival techniques like constructing shelters and identifying plants from which you can drink water.