Manaus is the capital and largest city of the massive Brazilian state of Amazonas. It is the gateway to the heart of the Amazon but as a city of over 2 million, it is also a city with all comforts of a big city. Manaus is one of the best places to experience a memorable Amazon River cruise.

Manaus sits on the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers and is in the center of the world's largest rainforest. It is not hard to understand why Manaus is so popular with tourists. Manaus is popular with tourists because it is the gateway into the Amazon Rainforest. There is plenty to do both in and around the city of Manaus that will make one's holiday the most memorable.

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What To Know Of Manaus - The City In The Amazon

Manaus traces its history back to 1669 when it was founded as an early Portuguese fort called Fort of São José do Rio Negro. The settlement grew slowly becoming a town in 1832 and then a city in 1848. Today it is a thriving modern city and the most important center for studying the Amazon and international sustainability.

  • Founded: In 1669 As A Fort
  • Gateway: Manaus Is The Gateway To The Amazon

Manaus attracts tourists from across Brazil and from around the world to discover the stunning Amazon rainforest. Tourists come to admire the tropical rainforest's wildlife and ancient ecosystem. Manaus is also home to the pied tamarin - one of the most endangered primates in the country.

Related: Biatüwi Indigenous Food House Offers A Glimpse Into Amazon Life

Amazon River Cruises From Manaus

Amazon River cruises leave from Manaus to meander up and down the stunning Amazon tropical rainforests. In the Amazon, water transport is the easiest way to get around, and river cruises are the preferred way to explore the jungle.

The cruises in Brazil can go much deeper into nature than cruises in the other Amazon nationals like Peru and Ecuador. Ney Eco Adventures offer a selection of river tours for three days and up (including the option of private tours). If one has a budget list of things to see in the Amazon, then they also have customized cruises of two weeks or longer.

It is possible to go for a cruise in the rainforest year-round, but the conditions change markedly by season. The rainy season runs from December to May. In the rainy seasons, rivers are full and the boats are up closer to the canopy where it is easier to see the different animals in the jungle.

Best Time: Rainy Season - December to May

The dry season (June to November) has lower water levels that reveal different types fo sandbars. In the dry season, it is easier to spot caimans and other animals that come onto the river bank. The dry season is also better for fishing.

Example Three Day Private Amazon River Cruise:

  • Region: Amazon, Rio Negro
  • Activities: Swim with pink river dolphins, meet indigenous people, jungle trekking, canoeing, piranha fishing
  • Accommodation: River Boat Cabin with Air Conditioning
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Price: From €1250 ($1400) per person for a private cruise
  • Includes: Jungle guide, All jungle excursions, Meals

Related: 25 Things Hidden Deep Within The Amazon Forest That No One Knows About

Jungle Tours Into The Amazon

One can also explore the mighty Amazon on foot. Ney Eco Adventures also offers a range of jungle tours that range from short tours to traveling deep into the foreboding Amazon rainforest. They offer jungle tours north of Manaus where the Amazon is less touristic than the south.

Three Day Jungle Tour

Their three-day jungle tour from Manaus is a great introduction to the Amazon. Depart Manaus before sunrise and travel by bus and boat to the jungle lodge arriving around 11 am. Enjoy lunch and then go for a canoe trip, dinner is at 6.00 pm, and then it's time for alligator spotting.

On day two its time for exploring the Amazon by boat or for piranha fishing. In the afternoon, go to the jungle camp and sleep there to the cacophony of the noises of the jungle.

On day three, see the sunrise of the Amazon and then enjoy a jungle three for around 3 hours after breakfast. Travel back to Manaus in the afternoon.

  • Activities: cayman spotting, piranha fishing, jungle treks, camp in the jungle
  • Location: Rio Urubu, Amazon, 200 km from Manaus
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Price: US$ 250 per person
  • Includes: jungle guide, all meals, transport