Wednesday, 9 November 2016

BRAZIL: Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is a case of curiosity for tourists that enjoy wild nature. With a dense vegetation and a giant and diverse fauna, the forest attracts people from all over the world in search of adventure, fun and contact with nature. But the attraction is not restricted to the forest: Manaus, the gateway city to the Amazon, is its own attraction with its history, sights and its people.

If you will pass by quickly through Manaus, there is a bus option that takes you for a 3 hour walk along tourist spots. The bus leaves from the city center, next to the Amazonas Theater. To visit all of the attractions in town and see everything calmly, schedule a 3 to 4 day visit, at least. If your goal is to stay in a hotel in the jungle, reserve at least 2 full days.

Between the airport and the historical center of the Amazonian capital, is one of the first points that are worth a visit: the Amazon Arena. The arena will impress you with its imposing architecture, inspired by the forest. If you go to Manaus to attend football games, you can leave this stop for later. If not, plan a visit straight from the airport and take pictures!

Getting to downtown Manaus, the mansions and old buildings will already reveal the inheritance left by the prosperous era of rubber extraction. The Amazonas Theater is one example of buildings that the old Barons – charmed by the European way of life – spared no expense. The theatre dates back to 1896 and its dome, a registered trademark of Manaus, has 36 thousand colorful pieces inspired by the colors of the brazilian flag. Almost all material employed during construction was imported from Europe. It is considered one of the most beautiful theaters in the world, you can watch every detail from the ceiling to the floor, for hours. Another place marked by elegance and luxury is the Manaus Port. The Conjunto Arquitetônico (architectural ensemble) has art-nouveau and neoclassical styles, and will provide you with beautiful clicks.

Continuing with the urban itinerary, another place for you to meet is the Povos da Amazônia Cultural Centre, located in Bola da Suframa (in Manaus’ industrial polo). The exhibitions, open to visitation, provide a unique knowledge experience regarding the people of the Amazon Continental.

By now you’ve probably noticed how hot the city is. Therefore, the next tip is for you to cool down and also have fun: go to the Ponta Negra Beach. Take your swim suit and get ready for a delicious bath in the waters of the Rio Negro. The location is a tourist complex with gardens, observatories, sports courts, an auditorium for 15 thousand people, a skateboarding rink, playground, in addition to kiosks and restaurants that serve typical food. Perfect for a day-long visit.

Another beach option is the Praia da Lua, located 10 minutes by speedboat from Ponta Negra. This attraction includes white sand, lush vegetation, stands with regional food and drinks and a tour at the Seringal Vila Paraíso Museum, a place to immerse yourself in the local history of the golden period of rubber extraction in Brazil.

Another cool attraction is the Janauari Park, an area of dry land and flooded forest where you can see the vitória-régia, giant water flower symbol of the Amazon. The program includes a voadeira tour (the voadeira is a type of canoe) through the lakes and streams of the region, lunch in a typical restaurant and visit to the Encontro das Águas, a required tourist stop for the region. If you don’t have a full day for the complete tour at Janauari, at least go to the Encontro das Águas, where the Rio Negro meet the Solimões River to form the Amazon River. The waters do not mix, making it possible to see the two rivers separately in a spectacular phenomenon. The tour also includes other attractions such as a visit to the breeding grounds for fish.

Located 100 kilometers from Manaus, on the Rio Negro, is one of the largest freshwater island clusters in the world: Anavilhanas, with approximately 400 islands forming a real natural labyrinth. There, you will enjoy one of the most beautiful examples of natural landscape, swimming with pink dolphins, visiting riverside communities and local beaches. You can visit Anavilhanas departing from Manaus, and you won’t regret the visit! And if you want to stay in the jungle, there are hotels right there.

Speaking of jungle hotels, imagine the following: you, in the midst of the biggest tropical forest in the world, with wild animals everywhere, hearing only the sound of nature in a place almost completely hostile (if not for the small hotel area), having the experience to sleep and wake up just like the native people that lived there for hundreds of years. Can you imagine yourself there? It’s impossible to even explain it. It’s the kind of experience that you have to live to tell your children.

From the more refined to the more rustic, there are hotels for every audience and every budget. Back at the Anavilhanas National Park, you can also find luxury hotels, with plenty of structure. And there are several other interesting jungle hotels near Manaus and in nearby cities. There are also river hotels.

Most of these hotels offer transportation out of Manaus. Each has its specialty, being it in the level of accommodation, gastronomy signed by big chefs in the local cuisine, hotel structure (such as private beaches, swimming pool, tennis court, etc.) or the types of tours offered in the woods and rivers (fishing, diving, adventure sports and etc.). An infinite amount of activities. Search for hotels, choose one according to your preferences and experience a totally unique experience in Brazil.

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