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For those expecting to see only a sea of green of the Amazon rainforest when they fly into Manaus, the sight of a modern city with high-rises and a busy port comes as a surprise. Located on the north bank of the Rio Negro, 11 miles (18 km) above the Meeting of the Rivers where the Negro merges with the Rio Solimões, there is Manaus. The city is 900 miles (1,450 km) inland from the Atlantic and as the largest city and a major port on the river, Manaus is an important commercial spot. Local industries include brewing, shipbuilding, soap manufacturing, the production of chemicals, the manufacture of electronics equipment, and petroleum refining of oil brought in by barge.
The tourism is also an important part on its market, of course. The centre of Manaus houses most of the hotels and attractions and is also the starting point to meet the great Amazon Rainforest, the hub of tourism for the rivers, the jungle lodges and the river cruises. The Amazon is one of the main draws to the South American continent. With its lush vegetation, abundance of animals, and quality tours, many people visit the Amazon for a look back in time, a chance to see the world before human dominance, or simply as a break from normal life.
The Amazon Experience 4d/3n
Swing like a monkey between the treetops and sail across the shimmering river as you take a journey into the depths of the Amazon rainforest, staying in the Ecolodge in the heart of the jungle!
Arrive to Manaus, a city carved out of the Amazon rainforest and which lives intertwined with the nature around it. Your driver will take you to your hotel to prepare for tomorrow’s activities.
In the morning, your driver will take you to the pier, where you will board a speed boat which will drive you at top speed across the river towards the Meeting of the Waters, a fascinating spectacle as the Rio Negro and Amazon River crash into one another without the differing light and dark tones overflowing into the other side. Only in this part of the world, a mythical land of magic and mystery, could such an incredible natural occurrence take place. The next stop is the Januari Lake Ecological Reserve, an area teeming with tropical wildlife. Beautiful giant water lilies fill the lake and turn it into a lilac bed, the total silence interrupted only by the gentle floating of your canoe in the water or by the distant cry of a howler monkey. Before lunch you will visit the magical floating houses that hug the shore of the river, often vibrantly colourful huts that are home to the many indigenous communities in the area. Lunch will be served on a floating restaurant, and as you cruise on the water you will be treated to a traditional Amazonian lunch comprising of fish straight from the river and local fresh produce. After lunch you will head to your luxury Ecolodge in the heart of the rainforest, where you will be greeted by a welcome drink. The evening is free for you to settle in to your new surroundings.
Today you will take a tour through the vast, immense, otherworldly Amazon rainforest. Your guide will help you to spot some of the infinite number of animals that call this part of the world home. Keep your eyes peeled for the yellow flash of a jaguar, or the bright orange beak of a toucan way up in the jungle canopies. Your guide will lead you through the jungle to a Caboclo community, an indigenous-European community that lives in the jungle and is steeped in the history of the rainforest. Here you will learn about the origins of the community, and watch the process of preparing mandioc flour, made from the cassava root. After a lunch break, you will embark on a breathtaking tour of an Igapó – a flooded rainforest. Heavy rains transform the landscape and turn the jungle into an enormous lake, submerging the ground completely. Incredible, unique species of aquatic plants (not to mention thousands of different water-based animals) are on display here as you pass through by boat. Your guide will then take you to a clearing. The silence is almost deafening, and the stillness on top of the water betrays what lies below. You will be handed a fishing rod and shown how to catch the deadly piranha fish that swim below the surface, razor-sharp teeth ready to tear whatever they find to shreds. Just don’t get too close to the water! Following a delicious dinner in your lodge, prepare yourself for a night-time expedition into the pitch-black depths of the Amazon. Armed with spotlights, you will make your way through the narrow tributaries of the river on the hunt for ancient caiman, gleaming eyes staring unblinkingly at you, and Jurassic jaws primed to snap you in two! But not to worry, your guides are trained to deal with these prehistoric beasts and you will be perfectly safe in your boat. A cornucopia of frogs, birds and snakes may also be caught in the glare of the spotlights, so keep a look out. At the end of this adventure your guide will take you back to the lodge.
Enjoy the morning at leisure to take in the jungle ambience. After your Amazonian breakfast, check out and head back to Manaus via speedboat. From there, your driver will take you to the airport for onward travel or to your hotel to continue your Manaus adventure.