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Manaus

Manaus is the capital of the state of Amazonia, and is located in the centre of Amazon, the world’s largest rain forest. Its name comes from the tribe of indians who inhabited the place before colonization, called Manaó. It was originally founded in 1669, with the fort of São José do Rio Negro, but only in 1848 did it receive the legal status of city. During the period of rubber extraction, Manaus was known as the ‘Heart of Amazon’.

As a result of the richness brought about by the rubber boom, Manaus is considered an important architectonic center. Built in 1896, Teatro Amazonas is the icon of all the exuberance from the rubber period, but it’s not the only one. Other historical buildings and monuments concentrate on the Centro Histórico (historical center) of Manaus, such as neoclassic Palácio da Justiça, and the ecletic Catedral of Manaus, and Palácio Rio Negro.

But, obviously the key reason why anyone would choose to visit Manaus is to take a glance at the exuberant vegetation and fauna, some of which can only be found there. The region was awarded by World Travel Market as the best green destination in Latin America.

Encontro das Águas (meeting of waters) is one of nature’s most monumental phenomenon’s. It happens on the confluence of the rivers Solimões and Rio Negro, one with muddy water, and the other with dark, almost pitch black water. The rivers take their course side by side without mixing, for an extension of over 6 kilometers. This happens due to the difference in water density, temperature and flow.

Manaus holds beautiful river beaches. The largest of them is Praia da Ponta Negra, at the shore of the Rio Negro, known as well for its restaurants/bars and the amphitheatre. Also in Rio Negro, is the Praia da Lua (moon beach), called so because of its crescent moon shape. Further away from the the city, there are Praia do Tupé, located on the Sustainable Development Reserve (REDES), accessed only by ferry, and Praia Dourada, which can be reached by road. Adventure World Brasil recommends not getting discouraged by the distance; the trip in itself has already a lot to offer the eyes.

At about 20km from the city center, there is a village called Paricatuba, with an amazing waterfall, named after the village. Still, the waterfall isn’t the main attraction. A mansion from the rubber boom period rests in the middle of the town. This mansion is part of the visitors experience as trees sprouted in the middle of rooms, spreading their roots, and turning the house into a curious, unique scenery. The government decided to preserve the place as it is, for public visitations.

And the Heart of Amazon, evidently, has countless centers of research and protection of endangered species. Created in 2000, the greatest botanical garden in the world, Adolpho Ducke, has over 5km² of research area. This creation by IMPA (National Institute of Research on the Amazon) and the city hall aimed to search alternatives for the disorganized occupation of Amazonian area.

Protecting the spring of Bacia do Igarapé, there is Parque Estadual Samauma. Along with the springs, it shelters different species of plants and animals, such as acariquara tree, patauá tree, iguanas, blue-black grosbeaks, the-toed sloths, solitary sandpipers, and many more. But the highlights have to go to the pied tamarins. Also known as tamarin-of-manaus, the species is a symbol of the city. There are other parks in Manaus which were built for the protection of the tamarin and its habitat, such as Parque do Mindu, with its large literary collection, and Refúgio da Vida Silvestre Sauim-Castanheiras, protecting the main springs of Igarapé and Quarenta.

CIGS zoo, built and ran by the Brazilian Army, is the greatest animal care center of the Amazon. It shelters creatures which have been rescued from animal trafficking or displaced from their natural habitat.
 


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Copacabana - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
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