Explore the Amazon’s largest and most important port city, Manaus. A day spent wandering Manaus’s streets and alleyways is truly memorable. Surrounded by rainforests, rivers and a long and complex history, this city has seen its fair share of opulence and hardships – especially after the fall of its popular rubber industry.
Lively markets, beautiful parks and fascinating sights and attractions make this city a popular stop on any cruise. Where else can you distinctly see the meeting point of the Rio Negro and the Amazon Rivers?
If you’d like to experience a wealth of historical, cultural and natural wonders, book an adventure on a popular cruise line like Seabourn, Princess Cruises or Holland America Line.
Cruise ships set anchor at Porto Flutuante, the floating docks where the town of Manaus begins. As Manaus is the prime market for the Amazon region, its docks can be quite busy.
Once passengers walk from the docks to the shore, they can browse through a shopping centre, bars and retailers. The streets of Manaus are right outside these shops.
How to Get Around
Many of Manaus’s attractions are reachable on foot. This is a great way to get around, as you can join in with the bustle of the streets and meet the locals. For attractions that are further away, taxis and some buses are a great way to get around. As always, understand your fare before travelling and try to travel with a shipmate or two.
Travel times from Porto Flutuante:
It is a 16 minute journey to Amazon Theatre
It is a 27 minute journey to Museu do Índio
It is a 17 minute journey to Catedral Nossa Senhora
It is a 12 minute journey to Mercado Adolpho Lisboa.
It is a 6 minute journey to Amazon Theatre
It is a 37 minute journey to the Meeting of Waters
It is a 9 minute journey to Museu do Índio
It is an 8 minute journey to Catedral Nossa Senhora
It is a 6 minute journey to Mercado Adolpho Lisboa.
Currency – The official currency in Manaus is the Brazilian Real (R$). Banknotes come in the denominations of R$2, R$5, R$10, R$20, R$50 and R$100. Coins come in the denominations of R$0.01, R$0.05, R$0.10, R$0.25, R$0.25, R$0.25, R$0.50 and R$1.00.
Time Zone – The city runs by Amazon Time (AMT), which is 4 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Weather – Manaus is characterised by a tropical monsoon climate. The dry season extends from June to October; however, rainfall occurs frequently throughout the rest of the year. This isn’t to say it will be raining for hours on end – sometimes showers last for only half an hour before stopping for the day. It is typically hot and humid throughout the entire year, so it is recommended to travel with breathable clothing.
Amazon Theatre – Manaus’s opulent centrepiece and most popular tourist destination is the Amazon Theatre. Taking a total of 20 years to build due to numerous setbacks, the Amazon Theatre is comprised of materials from various countries: the structure’s steel was sourced from England, its roof tiles from France and its marble from Italy. Intricate columns and bright colours make this theatre impossible to miss when walking through the streets in Manaus. In the past, famous opera companies graced the interior of the theatre, but a difficult history surrounded it in the years following its opening night. Take a guided tour of this fascinating attraction and grab a bite to eat in the café in the theatre’s foyer.
Meeting of Waters – Marvel at the natural phenomenon that is the Meeting of Waters. Located close to Manaus is the joining spot of the Rio Negro River, which flows from the city, and the Amazon River. These two rivers don’t immediately mix, which results in a stark contrast between black and sandy-coloured water. The two rivers flow like this for around 6 kilometres. While this natural wonder occurs in a few places throughout the world, it is most obvious and most dramatic here. Visitors hop on boat tours to see this meeting point up close. These tours are most popular from January to July, once the rivers have filled to their peak after the wet season.
Mercado Adolpho Lisboa – For a spot of shopping, stop by Manaus’s main market, Mercado Adolpho Lisboa. Situated on Rio Negro’s shore, this building is filled with vendors selling a variety of fish, meat, spices and fresh produce, as well as indigenous medicinal oils and other local treats. Handicrafts, clothing, trinkets and other souvenirs are perfect to take home to remember your trip by.