Ponta Negra Manaus
Ponta Negra Manaus

15 things to see and do if you are visiting Manaus, Brazil

The most cosmopolitan city in the North of Brazil, the former “Paris Brasileira” is famous for being the home of the Amazon Rainforest. With endless beauty, intense cultural life, delicious cuisine and, of course, enormous natural wealth, the Amazonian capital has a lot to offer those who choose it as a destination. So, how about finding out right now what to do in Manaus? Check out the 15 tips we’ve separated especially for you below!

Below is a list of day tour activities, most of them as an add on to an Amazon cruise into the depths of the Brazilian Amazon.

Before you read on hear are a few options of riverboat cruises Voyagers travel can offer to explore this vast river system and it’s surrounding wilderness:

Untamed Amazon river cruise: https://amazoncruise.net/cruises/untamed-amazon/

Tucano riverboat expedition programs: https://amazoncruise.net/cruises/tucano-cruise/

Amazon Clipper cruises: https://amazoncruise.net/cruises/clipper-cruise/

Brazilian river cruises

Almost all cruises depart from Manaus, depending on your full travel program you might have to spend a night in Manaus, do not fret as there is plenty to do:

1 – Guided tour at Teatro Amazonas or Amazon Theater

Amazon Theater

The Amazonas Theater was built in the 19th century during Manaus’ golden era, and locals have managed to preserve its beautiful French architecture for all these years. Take the guided tour through the opera house to learn a little bit more about the lifestyle in the 1800s in Manaus. The ticket costs 10 reales per person, and offers visitors the chance to explore the galleries, traverse the gilded stairways and get a true taste of the Brazil of a bygone era.

2 – The Palacio Rio Negro 

The Palacio Rio Negro 

Built in the 20th century with the aim of serving as a residence for the German Karl Waldemar Scholz, known as the Barão da Borracha, the Palácio Rio Negro Cultural Center later became the seat of the Amazonian government.

After some renovations and adaptations, it became a cultural center and, for this reason, it still has permanent and temporary exhibitions, recitals, book launches and a series of other cultural activities. In this place the visitor can learn all about 20th-Century Politics. It also keeps several political relics and photos of the state’s rulers, which is perfect for those who want to delve deeper into the history of the region.

3 – Adolpho Lisboa Market, the big market 

Adolpho Lisboa Market

Inspired by the old Les Halles market in Paris and dating from 1883, it was built in an art nouveau and has an iron structure designed by Gustave Eiffel. The same french engineer who gave the Eiffel Tower its name. Although it was closed for restoration work in 2006, it was reopened in 2013.

It is located on the banks of the Rio Negro, in the heart of Manaus, and represents one of the main spaces for selling typical products in the region. Therefore, the point is not to be missed because it allows you to get to know a little about the culture of the Amazonian people, reflected in regional products (such as fish and fruits), handicrafts and spices. Remember: Mercadão has two different facades, one facing the Rio Negro and the other facing the public road.

The interesting thing is that the entire building that houses this market was shipped over from Europe around 1880. Colorful displays of local fruits, vegetables and herbs will excite enthusiastic shoppers here, and this is the best place in Manaus to source handmade leather gifts and souvenirs for affordable price.

4 – San Sebastian Church

San Sebastian Church

The Church of San Sebastian is located on the San Sebastian Square, right across from the city’s opera house. It is a catholic church with an eclectic architecture, with Gothic, Neoclassical and Renaissance influences. Designed by Father G. Gannon and built in 1888 to imitate the appearance of the Cathedral of Reims in France. It’s appearance is not very conspicuous, but it is one of the landmarks of Manaus. Visitors can enter and visit for free. Also in the same square there is a rubber trade monument nearby. The monument is in four directions: Asia, Africa, Europe, and America.

Curiosity: the ringing of bells throughout the day has different and very important meanings for Catholics. At noon, lunchtime, the 12 chimes remind people to give thanks and pray for food on the table; at 18:00, it is time for prayer for dinner. On Sunday mornings and at 5:45 pm, the bell resounds calling people to mass. On the other hand, the ringing is different when someone important to the community passes away, as the bell takes on a funereal melody.

5 – The Meeting of the Waters in Manaus 

The Meeting of the Waters

One of the most important local patrimonies, the meeting of the waters of the Negro and Solimões rivers needs to be on your list of things to do in Manaus. In general terms, it is a phenomenon that occurs when the dark water of the Rio Negro and the muddy water of the Rio Solimões meet, without mixing, and run together for more than 6 km. This happens because of the different temperature and density of both.

Are you up to see this up close? So know that there are two options: go to Mirante da Embratel, in the Colônia Antônio Aleixo neighborhood, or embark on a tour to, in addition to seeing, also feel the temperature of each one of them. One way or another, the tip is to have your cell phone or camera handy to record this unique moment.

6 – Forest of Science

Forest of science manaus

Ideal for those who enjoy quiet and relaxing walks, Foreste of Science is a forest fragment in the middle of the urban area of ​​the city of Manaus, whose main purpose is to disseminate scientific research to the community and propagate the preservation and knowledge about the fauna and flora of the Amazon region. Located in an area of the National Institute for Research in the Amazon (INPA).

Owner of lush forest vegetation and habitat for numerous animals, it is dedicated to scientific and educational knowledge, as well as leisure. This is because the place promotes an encounter with nature without, however, making the visitor have to move from the center of Manaus.

The Forest Science is open for visitors, from Tuesday to Friday, from 9 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 4 pm. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9 am to 4 pm.

7 – Ponta Negra Beach

Ponta Negra Manaus

 

The name is the same as the iconic Natal beach, in Rio Grande do Norte, but make no mistake: this one is right in Manaus. It is even the most famous in the city and much sought after by the natives. It has no sea: there, the role of the ocean is played by the warm waters of the Rio Negro. In fact, the beach only forms when the river is low, so go there with that in mind.

One of its differentials is on the boardwalk, full of attractions. Among them, it is worth mentioning an amphitheater (a place for Brazilian and foreign artistic presentations), options for restaurants, viewpoints and a pier, for example. The region is also great for walking peacefully, exercising and watching a beautiful sunset.

8 – Seringal Vila Paraíso Museum 

Seringal Vila Paraíso Museum 

Initially created for the filming of the movie “A Selva”, an adaptation of the book of the same name by Portuguese writer Ferreira Castro, the Seringal Museum is a true journey to the height of the rubber boom. This is because, through visits guided by experts, it presents the entire process of extraction and manufacture of rubber, as well as the colossal discrepancies between the way of life of the rubber tappers (responsible for extracting the rubber) and the rubber tappers (owners of the rubber plantations). . Spoiler: you can even participate in the rubber harvesting process.

Although access is not the simplest, since it is in an area far from the center, those who visit the place agree that it should be among the tips on what to do in Manaus. Make a note of it: to visit it, you must go to Marina do Davi and buy a ticket on a speedboat. The journey takes a little over 30 minutes. Admission to the museum is paid and the guided tour lasts about an hour.

9 – MUSA the Amazonian Museum including observation Tower and Guided tour 

MUSA Amazonian Museum

The largest natural center in the city, Musa is nothing more than a living museum. As it is located in the Adolpho Ducke Reserve, it promotes quite an immersion in the Amazonian biodiversity. It even houses the Adolpho Ducke Botanical Garden, whose wealth of fauna and flora has been the subject of studies for more than 60 years by the National Institute for Research in the Amazon (INPA).

Do you know why? Simple! More than expanding knowledge about its exuberance, studies help to conserve and value the environment. Musa also houses 3 km of trails, a library, laboratories, aquariums, an orchid garden and a butterfly garden, as well as a 42-meter high tower, from which you have access to a panoramic view of the forest. In other words, the place aims to unite science with the wonder caused by nature. So, if you are deciding what to do in Manaus, be sure to include Musa in your itinerary.

10 – Janauari Lake Ecological Park 

Janauari Lake Ecological Park 

The Ecological Park of Lago Janauari with an area of ​​9,000 hectares of dry land forests, lowlands and flooded forest is a shelter for igapós (flooded vegetation typical of the Amazon), samaum trees, orchids, water lilies – symbols of the region -, as well as monkeys, alligators and a series of other inhabitants that are part of its ecosystem.It is one of largest ecological reserves in all of the Brazilian Amazon

Located in the Rio Negro (Black River), just 45 minutes by boat from Manaus is a stronghold full of natural beauty. The ecological park is only an hour by boat from Manaus, it is worth taking the time to explore it calmly, as the place inspires contact with nature and reflects the region’s biodiversity.

The tourists walk the canoe through flooded areas interspersed with large and small trees with liana and vegetation typical of this ecosystem. In the Lake of the water lilies, is a rustic and secure bridge, which leads the visitor to know this beautiful Amazonian flower.

The agencies offer day trips to Janauari Lake with a complete package. The local dishes are served with fish and regional cuisine of coastal craft sale. The packages include passing by the Meeting of the Waters.

The river tours run daily and must exit in the morning and return late afternoon.

11 – Explore Moon Beach 

Elected as the best beach in Manaus by Lonely Planet, the Moon Beach deserves your attention and is another good tip of what to do in Manaus. First of all, it is worth mentioning that it takes its name due to the moon shape that its sandbar forms over the Black river (Rio Negro). If you want to see this beauty up close, prioritize visiting the region at high tide, since at low tide the sand strip does not usually exist, which hinders the tour.

If possible, try to go there during the week, as on Saturdays and Sundays it can be busy. In addition, you don’t have to worry about structure: there are stalls and kiosks serving the best of Amazonian cuisine. These support points also provide umbrellas and chairs.

But, look, here’s a relevant detail: it is 23 km from Manaus and is only accessed by boat. So, to visit it, just go to Marina do Davi and buy your ticket. Ready to go?!

12 – Swimming with pink dolphins 

Pink Dolphins Manaus

You’ve probably heard of the pink dolphin, right? And what would you say if you knew you could see up close – up close – the main character of one of the region’s most famous folk legends? Well, know that in Manaus this is totally possible. Through a speedboat tour, hired through a travel agency, you will have the opportunity not only to swim with the dolphins, but also to feed them.

Manaus is one of the few spots on the planet where you may swim with pink river dolphins in their natural habitat in peace. The pink river dolphin is found only in the Amazon region. These very clever dolphins feed primarily on fish and shellfish and live in groups of up to 15 animals.

To close with a flourish, the tour is done 100% in the presence of experienced guides and more than prepared to share information. Don’t worry because the security is guaranteed and this tour is so much fun! Just go.

13 – Indigenous village 

Indigenous village

Probably one of the first things that comes in the visitors minds when they plan to visit Manaus and Amazonas are to know the indigenous tribes, right? Therefore, it is worth taking advantage of your stay in the city to get to know the indigenous culture better. Some tribes are open to visitors, as is the case of the Dessana Tukana tribe, in the Tupé reserve.

The meeting with tourists takes place in a space that is not necessarily the place where the indigenous people live, but which aims to stimulate cultural exchange. They talk a lot about their handcrafted instruments, customs and rituals. At the same time, they show their bodies painted and decorated with accessories made from seeds; on the head, the traditional headdress. By the way, did you know that the headdress can have several meanings? According to their explanations, they may have to do with strength, connection with nature and the cycle of life, in addition to being able to represent a trophy for some act of courage.

Get ready, because you will have the chance to participate in dances, paintings, try foods and delve into the history and habits of these people so important to our country. However, our tip is to always take this tour with a guide or with the support of a travel agency, agreed?

14 – Piranha fishing and alligator spotting 

Piranha fishing

Last but not least, these two activities are perfect for those who enjoy a good adventure and, above all, want to live the full experience while in Manaus. However, be careful: you need to set aside time and have a lot of patience to carry out fishing and focusing, since they are usually more time consuming activities.

Sport fishing for piranhas takes place in the regions of the Rio Ariaú and the Rio Solimões, while the focus of alligators is usually concentrated in the regions of Manaquiri. At times, the guide tries to catch an alligator with his bare hands. When you succeed, you have the opportunity to observe this fantastic animal up close and, if you want, even pet it – all safely, of course! The animal is then returned to its habitat.

In addition, the visitor can take the opportunity to take a night boat ride to see the alligators and listen to the sounds of the forest in the midst of a starry sky. Not bad, right!

15 – Municipal Clock 

Municipal Clock 

The Municipal Clock is one of the symbols in Manaus. Located in the Historic Center of the city, in addition to remembering an important past, such as the end of the rubber cycle and the implementation of the Free Zone, in the period of the Military Dictatorship, it also marks the growth and changes of Manaus for generations.

The famous monument of the capital of Amazonas was originally inaugurated in the 20th century, on Avenida Eduardo Ribeiro, in 1927. Designed by Coriolano Durand, in neoclassical style, its machinery was imported from Switzerland and mounted on a stone base by the old goldsmiths of the city, known as Pelosi and Roberti, both of Italian origin, thus composing the architectural landscape of Praça XV de Novembro, better known as Praça da Matriz and, in the vicinity of the Nossa Senhora da Conceição Cathedral, popularly called the church of the Matrix by the faithful.

However, it was only in 1945 that Manaus City Hall decided to choose, by means of a public notice, the first administrator of the monument.

Brazilian river cruises

 

Luciana is a Journalist from Brazil and native from Manaus. She loves her city and calls it the "Brazilian Paris". As well she enjoys visiting the surrounding tributaries of the Amazon, her hobbies include photography and showing friends around her amazing surroundings
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