The Amazon basin: romantic, exotic, huge, and vital to Man’s survival. The Brazilian state of Amazonas is where the river really comes into its own. The black acidic waters of the Rio Negro merge with the sludgy brown waters of the Solimões at the giant city of Manaus, 1,000km from the sea, and form a waterway 10km wide. This vast wilderness with its secretive wildlife and undiscovered indigenous tribes also supports many human communities on its fertile banks, farmers, fishermen, tradesmen; old wooden riverboats still provide the only transport, although things are changing fast, with new bridges and roads opening up previously isolated areas.
You can't really ignore the behemoth which is Manaus, nor should you. It is the quintessential Amazonian riverport, once scruffy and, to be honest, dangerous; but now, using new found economic success, undergoing restoration to something like the elegance and grace of the era of the rubber boom. Explore the refurbished markets, effervescent docks and the newly pedestrianised central square v brims with cafés, galleries and boutiques.
When's the best time to visit Brazilian Amazon?
Amazonas is a year round destination with temperatures ranging from 25-40°C. Most rain falls Mar-May but it rains all the year round. When you go has more to do with the height of the water level in the river than the weather. At the maximum height (Jun), the river waters are 14-17m higher than at the lowest. The river floods the surrounding forest and you can navigate all these new creeks and lakes by canoe. When the river is high you can reach your lodge by boat more quickly. In the low water season the many trails through the forest are walk-able.
What;s the official language of Brazilian Amazon?
Brazilian Portuguese, a more languid and musical version of Portugal’s mother tongue; indigenous tribes’ languages.
How do I get local currency in Brazilian Amazon?
Brazilian Real. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in Manaus but the amount you can withdraw may be lower than at home. There are also money exchanges where you can exchange cash.
What's the time difference between Brazilian Amazon and UK?
GMT -4 hours. There is daylight saving in Brazil Oct- end Feb (approx) when clocks are put forward one hour but frequently Amazonas sets its own agenda.
What places combine well with Brazilian Amazon?
The Pantanal, Brazil’s other wildlife-spotting and nature wilderness (flights via São Paulo); region the waterfalls at Iguazú (most flights via São Paulo).
How do I get to Brazilian Amazon?
Regular flights from Rio and São Paulo (each about 4 hours) to Manaus.
What are the festivals, cultural and sport events in Brazilian Amazon?
Carnival: Manaus; 5 days in Feb/Mar, variable. Parades in the purpose-built sambadrome, modelled on Rio’s.
Festival do Amazonas: Manaus, Jun, with events and exhibitions of aspects of the region’s cultural life.
Festival de Opera, Manaus Opera House, annually Apr-May. The theatre also has other musical and theatrical events throughout the year.