The Amazon rainforests cover an area of 6 million square meters. km in 9 different countries, 60% in Brazil. In terms of biological diversity, this is one of the richest territories in the world. About 20% of all plant species growing on the planet, 10% of birds and mammals living on the planet are collected here.
At the heart of this region flows the Amazon, which ranks second in the world in length. This river has at least 1,000 tributaries and carries over 20% of the planet’s total fresh water supply. There are about 2,000 different species of fish in the Amazon River, more than in all European rivers, not to mention reptiles such as: caimans (crocodiles), giant anacondas, and mammals manatees (sea cows) and pink dolphins.
Manaus is the capital of the state of Amazonia with a population of about 1 million people, located on the banks of the great Amazon River (its width here reaches several tens of kilometers). The population of the city is 80% Indians, and all the surrounding settlements are also inhabited by them, which gives the city a peculiar flavor. Majestic monuments of the past, reminiscent of the “rubber fever”, rise along the banks of the Rio Negro River: the famous Amazon Theatre, the customs control building, the market (market) Municipal.
The flight from Rio de Janeiro to Manaus takes 5 hours. You can fly from Sao Paulo to Manaus in 4.5 hours.
Manaus became world famous during the rubber boom of the last century. Money flowed like water, the city was actively built. Since those times, the Opera House has been perfectly preserved. It was erected in 1896, and all building materials, despite the enormous costs of delivery, were ordered in Europe.
Thanks to natural rubber, Manaus became the second city in Brazil to have electric lighting and the first to introduce trolleybuses. The rubber fever quickly ended, and the Opera House became a symbol of the city – the most beautiful building in the jungle, such a combination, probably, is not found anywhere else in the world. The city has a Museum of Indians, a theater, floating markets.
Many lodges have been built around the city – hotels in the jungle. The standard program of stay in Manaus is an acquaintance with the sights, then two or three days in the house. During this time, tourists get acquainted with the Amazonian flora and fauna, walk through the jungle, go canoeing, and, if desired, get acquainted with the rituals of local residents – caboklos.
In Manaus you can see the “Meeting of the Waters”, a remarkable phenomenon and therefore worthy of a detailed description. The meeting of the waters is the place where the Rio Negro (one of the largest tributaries) merges with the Amazon. In the Amazon, the water is cloudy, yellowish, reminiscent of coffee with milk. In Rio Negro, the water is black, because its waters are saturated with a natural mineral. The temperature of the waters is different, therefore, when the Rio Negro flows into the Amazon, the waters of the two rivers flow for two kilometers without mixing – the black and light sides.
To make a trip through the Amazonian jungle, you arrive at the airport of Manaus. Almost all lodges around Manaus offer package programs that include accommodation, meals with full board, excursion services (there are no Russian-speaking guides in Manaus). Alternatively, you can book a cruise for 3-7 nights on the tributaries of the Amazon with the same set of services.
The city is located in the equatorial climate zone, which is characterized by high temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The average annual temperature is +28ºC. In the summer, from December to May, showers are not uncommon. Winter, from June to November, on the contrary, is characterized by drought and very high temperatures from +37 to +40ºC.
For boat trips and cruises, the rainy season (December to March) is more suitable: the water level in the rivers rises greatly, and small boats can penetrate the most inaccessible corners of the jungle; for hiking and swimming on the Amazonian beaches – dry season (from August to November).