Didem Doğan

Manaus: the gateway to the Amazones

Manaus is the capital city of the state of Amazonas, one of the twenty seven states of Brazil. It takes its name from the indigenous people of Manus. Its nick name is the ‘Paris of the Tropics’ due to the beautiful Amazones Theatre built at the end of the 19th century during the rubber rush era. It is relatively isolated from other parts of the country, from Sao Paulo it takes a 3,5-4 hours flight to reach here, you can book direct flights from Manaus to Fortaleza and Brasilia but to other cities you will need to fly with a stopover. When you are descending to land to Manaus, the view of the Amazones gives you an idea of how huge it is, it is so big and expanded, some of the places in the Amazones can only be reached by boat. Amazones is divided between eight countries, it is bigger than the half of the continent of Europe. The centre of the city of Manaus is the ‘Centro’, it is the historical centre where most of the European style historical buildings are located. These were constructed during the rubber rush period when the city reached an economical power during thirty years by the commerce of rubber. The port of the city that connects the Amazones to the city of Belem in the north and to the Atlantic Ocean is also here at the old town. Another touristic district which is closer to the airport is the chic neighbourhood of Ponta Negra with its beach and the famous five star Tropical Hotel. Manaus, once one of the richest cities of the southern hemisphere due to the rubber rush ended for thirty years, is today an important port city; in 1967 it has become a duty free zone and an important economic hub of the north for international companies. The food culture is mainly based on fish and seafood contrary to the rest of the country where meat is the dominant dish. as the Amazon river and jungle is the main tourist attraction, most of the tourists make a stopover in Manaus for a night or two and prefer to accommodate in the lodges that are based on the river itself and can only be reached by boat or airplanes. Welcome to Manaus!