Amazonia: Epic, wonder and unique

by Waleska Berguño

Amazonia:  Epic, wonder and unique

Amazonia  represents 60% of the national territory of Brazil and has dozens of places to practice adventures active tourism: tribal visits, wildlife abounds and camping  in the Amazon rainforest, canopy tours, boat trips, fishing, wilderness lodge, biking, hiking, whitewater rafting.   In addition to stunning landscapes, the greenest region on the planet has a lot to offer. 

The Legal Amazonia encompasses nine states in Brazil, among Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins and part of the State of Maranhão, totaling an area of more than 5 millions square kilometers. 

Still covers some 40% of the South American continent and includes parts of eight South American countries: Bolivia, Peru, Equador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guiana, Suriname and Guiana Francesa.

Amazonas is the largest state in Brazil. It has more than 1.5 million square kilometers and occupies more than 18% of the national territory. Its 62 municipalities have at the same time the highest lands in the country, such as the peak of Neblina (2,993 meters of altitude) and the peak of March 31 (2,972 meters of altitude) and the largest extension of lowlands, with less than 100 meters altitude, from Brazil. The population of the State is 4,1 millions  inhabitants, of which 2,18 millions inhabitants live in capital Manaus.

The Amazon is bathed by the Amazon hydrographic basin, which accounts for approximately 20% of the planet’s fresh water. The main rivers are Negro (which bathes the city of Manaus), Amazonas-Solimões, Madeira, Juruá, Purus, Içá, Uaupés and Japurá. In Brazil, a characteristically tropical country, the Amazon is dominated by the equatorial climate, predominant in the Amazon, with an average temperature of 26 ° Celsius. It is also the most preserved state in the country, with 98% of its original forest cover. Only its areas protected by federal and state laws, such as parks and forest reserves, occupy a territory equivalent to 20 times the size of Lebanon and twice that of Portugal. Allied to this green universe are rivers, lakes and streams, essential components to mark unforgettable contact with the wonderful Amazon nature

Manaus, capital of Amazonas state, is the main metropolis and the most popular tourist destination in northern of Brazil. Located in the heart of the Amazon rainforest and on the banks of the beautiful Negro Rive. The city Manaus is surrounded by nature, the city is the gateway to several ecotourism tours in the region. 

Nature tourism, or ecotourism, is the main attraction of the Amazon tours. The visitor has the opportunity to know, learn and appreciate the importance of the rainforest and the inhabitants who live in it, who are the main responsible for its conservation. For its direct contact with nature, the Amazonas State is part of the itineraries offered by the agencies in the boat programs, overnight stays in jungle hotels and tours through the forest. Ecotourism can be practiced in Amazonas throughout the year, as the seasonality that occurs in the lowland forest, where communities live, offers two beautiful landscapes, allowing tourists to experience the forest in times of drought and flooding. In addition to hiking in the forest, canoeing on the water trails, observing the beauty of nature and those who live in it, the tourist still enjoys living with the forest man, knowing his modus vivendis and interacting in his daily life .

Amazonia is a place full of mysteries, magic and secrets. Only travellers willing to explore this space will have the privilege of knowing the spirit of adventure and courage. 

Tours around Manaus

Meeting of the Negro and Solimões rivers 

Exploring the region in depth through river cruises One of the most famous and popular is the boat tour that takes travelers to the see the meeting of Negro and Solimões rivers. The curious thing is that the waters , one muddy of Solimões and the other darker of Negro, go side by side for 6 kilometers without mixing. It is a natural phenomenon because of their different temperatures, densities and currents, these two rivers.

In addition to observing this incredible natural spectacle, it is also possible to see ¨amazon dolphins¨ named  botos   that frequently appear on the route. Some boats combine the meeting of rivers with visits to igapós with water lilies and some riverside communities.

Amazonas Opera House

In Manaus, enchants tourists with its rich architectural and cultural heritage, such as the imposing Amazonas Opera House. It is  the greatest symbol of the time when the city prospered with the Rubber Cycle. 

Main postcard of the city, Amazonas Opera House was opened in 1896 as proof of the prosperity and wealth of the Rubber Cycle in the region. In addition to its historical importance, its architectural value is unique. Along with the neoclassical elements, the building gained several other styles that characterize it as an eclectic composition, with materials and works of art brought from Europe. Its imposing dome has 36 thousand pieces of enamelled ceramic and the color is a tribute to the Brazilian flag. It is amazing.
With a capacity for 700 spectators, the theater holds frequent popular performances many free, and several music festivals throughout the year. The place is the home of the Dance Company, Choir and Philharmonic Orchestra of Amazonas.An intense cultural life, folk Festival stands out, the International Opera Festival and the International Adventure Film Festival. Amazonas culture has very special characteristics that are expressed in the joy of the people and the roots of regional folklore.

Adolpho Lisboa Fresh Market

The refurbished Adolpho Lisboa Fresh Market had the restoration of the building, which mixes several architectural styles, contemplated the renovation of some existing spaces and new areas and larger boxes. 

To experience the flavors of the Amazon and discover the typical products such as fruits, fish, seeds, teas and medicinal plants from the Amazon. There is a must for taste exotic foods and get some souveniers from Amazonia.


Ponta Negra Beach

The beach is located 13 kilometers from the center of Manaus.

For those who want to relax on a beach, the edge of Ponta Negra Beach offers leisure options and one of the best spots to watch the sunset on the Negro River. It is atractively romantic.  

Provincial Palace 

Inaugurated in 1875, the beautiful palace originally housed organs of public administration: the Provincial Assembly, Public Works Department, Public Library and the Lyceum – current Amazonense D. Pedro II School. Then, for more than 100 years, the building served as a police headquarters, until it was closed in 2014 for renovations and reopened two years later. Today, it is managed by the Amazonas Department of Culture and includes several museums: Numismatic Museum, Museum of Image and Sound of Amazonas, Pinacoteca of Amazonas State, Archeology Museum and the Tiradentes Museum. 

Rio Negro Palace 

Built in the late 19th century to be the official residence of Baron Waldemar Scholz, the Rio Negro Palace is another beautiful architectural example from the time of the rubber cycle. The building housed the state government headquarters until 1995 and today it functions as a cultural center. In addition to the facade, floors, objects and some examples of original furniture, the place has permanent and temporary exhibitions, a gallery of honor for former governors, guided or theatrical visits and other cultural activities. 

Anavilhanas National Park 

Through tours departing from Manaus, it is possible to know the beauties of the Anavilhanas National Park, which was created to preserve the river archipelago, the forest area, the existing ecosystems, in addition to practicing environmental education actions and sustainable tourism in the region. The park, which covers the capital of Amazonas and the municipality of Novo Airão, has 350,000 hectares of labyrinthine rivers and virgin forest. At a certain time of the year, between September and February, the level of the river goes down and the tourist can observe the beaches with white sands that form and explore the trails in the middle of the jungle. Boat and speedboat tours take 3 to 9 hours to reach the site.

In addition to this tour, another unmissable ecological activity is the visit to the Anavilhanas National Park, a river archipelago with beaches, islands, mangroves and trails in the middle of the jungle.

Metropolitan Cathedral of Manaus 

Located front of both Manaus Port and the Negro River around 1695, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Manaus was the first church to be built in the city. In 1850, the  Cathedral of Our Lady of the Conseption suffered a fire and had to be completely rebuilt. The current building, in Greek style, had much of its material brought from Europe, mainly from Portugal. The tiles came from Nova Rainha, current Parintins.

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