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Manaus lies a thousand miles upriver from the mouth of the Amazon, near the confluence of the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimoes - the two major arteries that form the Amazon proper. For one brief shining moment in the 19th century, this port in the heart of the rainforest was the world's wealthiest city. It was a place where the great barons of the rubber trade literally lit their cigars with hundred dollar bills and flocked to the ornate opera house to hear Caruso. The bubble burst suddenly. Its place in the sun eclipsed, Manaus settled into obscurity until 1967. The city's fortunes revived that year when Manaus became a duty-free zone. A thriving domestic trade in consumer electronics, from stereos to TVs, replaced the old wealth of the rubber barons. But one thing has never changed in Manaus - the great Amazonian forest lurks outside the confines of the city, offering an irresistible adventure to travelers.Manaus lies near the confluence of the Rio Negro - the Amazon's famous "Black River" - and the Rio Solimoes. Today, modern high-rises and vast factories overshadow the pastel mansion erected during the great rubber boom.
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The Amazon Rainforest, the largest tropical rainforest on Earth at 1.7 billion acres and it is the most species-rich place in the world. From Manaus, come face-to-face with the jungle's fascinating wildlife and exotic fauna.
Witness the phenomenon of the black waters from the Rio Negro and the yellow Rio Solimőes as they flow side by side, then follow the Rio Negro into January Ecological Park, home to giant water lilies.
Cruise up the Rio Negro to a Tupé Indian community, where the tribe and shaman (priest) will greet you. Explore the history of Brazil's rubber industry from trees to manufacturing at the museum nearby.
Built in 1896, the neo-classical opera house is the main symbol from the golden ages of the rubber boom in Manaus. It once hosted the world's finest operatic performers, including Caruso.
Run by the Salesian Roman Catholic Nuns, Museo do Indio is dedicated to the culture and social structure of the upper Rio Negro tribes. Displays exhibit shelters, woven mats and artifacts.
The city center provides a snapshot into history, with such sights as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, the bustling Mercado Adolfo Lisboa market, and the Alfandega (Customs House).
This 5-acre zoo is devoted to the wildlife of the Amazon, including toucans, snakes, capybaras and jaguars. Onsite, the Brazilian army also operates a jungle-survival training school.
Aboard a motorized canoe, under dark of night, your guide attempts to catch an alligator with his bare hands in the flooded forest in the middle of the Amazon River.
Children age 12 and younger, savings up to 50%. For actual pricing information, click on tour title or Reserve button.