Situated in the heart of the Amazonas state, Manaus is an important port city and centre of exploration into the Amazon rainforest.
Situated where the Negro and Solimões rivers meet, the city of Manaus was founded in 1693 as the Fort of São José do Rio Negro and took its current name as recently as 1856.
Despite being 900 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, the city has and continues to serve as an important port. It serves as the main transport link for the entire upper Amazon basin and is a vital commercial centre for some of Brazil's most famous exports including leather, timber and Brazil nuts.
The city gained incredible wealth during the late 19th century with the rubber boom that saw the rapid extraction and commercialisation of rubber as a global product. Much of Manaus current landmarks are a legacy of this wealth including countless extravagant villas and most notably, the Teatro Amazonas Opera House constructed from materials imported Europe, from the French glass and Italian marble to the individual bricks.
Senadar Jefferson Peres Park, Manaus Manaus is a must for nature lovers with the city home to the massive Adolpho Ducke Botanical Gardens, Mindú Park and the CIGS zoo, home to over 300 species of animals native to the Amazon.
The more adventurous will likely want to head off into the jungle to see the animals in their native habitat, and Manaus acts as an important hub for tour companies hosting trips into the Amazon jungle from treks and 4x4 adventures to kayaking trips and white water rafting.
Manaus has a tropical monsoon climate with consistently high temperatures throughout the year and intense rainfall from October through to June.
Last updated: 9 June 2014