Manaus is the capital of the State of Amazonas and the hub of the whole Amazon region. Located on the banks of the Rio Negro, the "Meeting of the Waters" takes place four miles from Manaus, where the Rio Solimões meets the Rio Negro to become the Amazon.
The city we see today is primarily a product of the rubber boom. When steam navigation in the mid-19th century opened up the jungle, it spurred the rubber industry and mass immigration. Under Governor Eduardo Ribeiro the famous Opera House and broad avenues were built. For the rich it was a place of sheer luxury. Palaces and grandiose mansions were erected, and time was passed with elaborate entertainment, dances and concerts. By the turn of the century it was an opulent metropolis run by elegant people who dressed and housed themselves as fashionably as their counterparts in any large European city. In fact, the year 1899 saw Manaus as the first Brazilian city to have trolley buses and the second one to have electric streetlights. But the splendor of the "Paris in the Jungle" lasted barely thirty years. When the rubber market began to collapse in 1914, the city's fortune declined as well.
As a river port, Manaus presents an unforgettable spectacle. Although the real attractions lie in the surrounding forests and tributaries, the city's most famous attraction is no doubt the opulent Teatro Amazonas. Completed in 1896 after 17 years of construction and at a cost of $3 million, the Manaus Opera House recently underwent a lengthy restoration program and now shines once more in its original splendor. There are also several interesting museums with exhibits geared to provide insight into the human life and ecology of the Amazon region.
The ship is scheduled to dock at the Portobras floating dock in Manaus. The center of town can be reached via taxi in approximately five minutes. Taxis are generally available outside the floating pier area. Be sure to agree on the fare before setting out.
Look for regional hand crafted items at the Municipal Market. The prices of duty-free goods are only attractive for Brazilians from other parts of the country. The Tropical Hotel features a number of attractive shops where you will have time to browse following disembarkation and prior to your transfer to the airport. Souvenirs, gem stones and jewelry are popular items. The local currency is the real. Generally, most merchants accept U.S. dollars and major credit cards.
Fresh seafood (mainly the delicate river fish) and buffalo steaks are popular items on many menus. For a typical meal, barbecue style, you may want to try the Churrascaria Bufalo (5 minutes from the port); for regional and international cuisine both the Le Jens and Village restaurants can be recommended (15 to 20 minutes' drive from the port). Brazil is known for excellent local beer, and don't miss tasting the national drink, caipirinha.
The market is an imposing cast-iron structure designed in 1882 after Les Halles in Paris. Although the art-nouveau ironwork was imported from Europe, the place has acquired Amazonian character. A stroll through the market provides plenty of local color.
The most popular activities such as riverboat excursions, alligator spotting and walks in the tropical forest are covered on our organised excursions.
For those guests who are interested in touring at your leisure, we are pleased to offer Silver Shore Privato - both half-day and full-day private arrangements by private car or van. You may book this in advance at Silversea.com or it may be purchased on board, subject to availability.
Other private arrangements for independent sightseeing and for guests continuing on to the following cruise may be arranged by emailing Concierge@silversea.com.
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