This fascinating cruise destination is not only popular due to its exciting close proximity to the mouth of the Amazon but also due to its captivating history.  Manaus lies upriver from the mouth of the Amazon and is situated towards the convergence of the two major arteries forming the Amazon, known as Rio Negro and Rio Silmoes.  This really is an irresistible attraction to travelers all over the world looking to experience something truly special.  Manaus offers the opportunity of a lifetime to explore the Amazonian forest that lurks just outside the city confinements. 

The city has seen many dramatic rise and falls in its time.  There was one point during the 19th century that Manaus became one of the wealthiest cities in the world due its incredible success within the rubber trade.  Unfortunately this was not a long standing title and the city became unstable until Manaus was declared a duty-free zone.  At this time the city began to thrive once more only it would be consumer electronics that formed the main part of the industry. 

There is so much to see and do when cruising into this wonderful port of call.  The Amazon Rainforest is by far the destinations most popular attraction and is the largest tropical rainforest on Earth.  The rainforest boasts 1.7 billion acres of species rich fascinating sights.  A visit here invites passengers to witness the most amazing scenery not forgetting the opportunity to come face to face with remarkable wildlife and exotic fauna.  The January Ecological Park is another thrilling attraction and combines perfectly with the chance to take in the marvelous attraction of seeing the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões flow side by side.  The Rio Negro is known as the Amazon's famous "Black River" and flows in perfect harmony alongside the yellow waters of the Rio Solimões.  Follow the flows into the January Ecological Park and take in the spectacular sights of the giant water lilies that reside here. 

Of course there is more to this destination than enchanting scenery.  You do have the opportunity to learn all about the history of Manaus and for this one of the best places to visit is the Rubber Museum and learn about the trade that put this city to the top of the wealthy list.  You’ll discover the complete ins and outs of this trade from trees to manufacturing.  Another great museum to visit is the Museo do Indio (Indian Museum) which is maintained and run by the Salesian Roman Catholic Nuns.  The fascinating culture and social structure of the Rio Negro tribes is portrayed here and the museum is dedicated to displaying the culture for visitors to experience.  Here you will find an array of artifacts and example exhibit shelters. 

A synonymous site with the golden ages of the rubber industry boom in Manaus is the magnificent Teatro Amazonas Opera House.  This is the main symbol of the rubber boom and was constructed in 1896.  This sensational building has played host to some of the finest operatic performers the world has ever seen, including Caruso.  You have the opportunity to visit the Opera House and learn more about its superb history and influential impact on the city. 

Heading into the inner city is a thrilling experience.  The city boasts a fantastic array of attractions to see including the fabulous Mercado Adolfo Lisboa market for the chance to find a special souvenir to take home as well as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception.  Manaus city centre is an awe inspiring snapshot into history and offer the chance to explore a wonderful culture. 

After a day’s exploration, one of the most unqiue ways to spend an evening is the chance to take in an evening alligator sighting.  These excursions are not available with all cruise operators so be sure to check but if it is an option, it really is incredible.  Tour guides provide a memorable insight into the world of the Amazon Rainforest and will even attempt to seek out alligators under the starlit skies of the dark night in the middle of the Amazon River.

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