Teatro Amazonas - The famous Opera House
The Opera House, The Amazonas theatre was inaugurated on December 31st 1896, and it is the most important architectonic building from the prosperous rubber period and main artistic cultural patrimony of the Amazonas State.
On the outside of the building, the dome is covered with 36,000 decorated ceramic tiles painted in the colors of the national flag. In the shape of a harp, the central nave can seat 640 in the auditorium and the 3 floors with box seats. Toward the back, the stage curtain projects the painting "Meeting of the Waters"; originally done in Paris by Crispim do Amaral.
It works regularly as an opera house, and every year, in the first semester of the year, there is the annual Opera Festival, which presents national and international Operas.
People come from all over the world to see them.
- See the 'Encontro das...
- See the 'Encontro das aguas'(see the top of the page) (Solimoes and Black River meeting by the city. They will never mix, as their speed, texture are so different)
- Stay in the Jungle. It´s amazing, and it is really worthwhile. If you just stay in the city you´ll regret later.
A lot of Lodges work there, far enough from the city and from other lodges.
- Stay in the Rio Negro (Black River, which you can see here on the left). It´s not as dangerous as Solimoes. The nature of the water is quite different and not so many strange bugs live there. It is said that many lodge owners in Solimoes suicided on account of the difficulties in living there. - Igapos and Igarapes: they are kind of ways in the river, where you can enter with your canoa as if a corridor. It usually appears in the rainy station until the dry season comes. Sometimes it´s very difficult to pass through and the silence (just hear the row against the water and the birds, and sometimes some little flier fish) is moving. No way going there without a canoa. Walking is imposible as no piece of land is usually available.
- Walking into the Jungle. It is, when going with a local guide, so that he can explain what indians usually do with the many plants, roots, fruits, dry trunks, the sap....It´s quite interesting!! Ours´ name was Prakash and he must be the best!! I really think.
- Birdwatching. Very easy, mostly fishermen and ducks.
- Dolphins. Yeah! There are dolphins, indeed. But they are not quite like those in the sea. These are pink and it´s 'nose' is much narrower.They usually jump but sometimes you can just see a shadow of it if you don´t look fast enough.
- Alligators. There is a common practise, related to catching up small alligators, in the night. To do it, they use a lantern and when the feel a noise they point in the direction where the noise come from and turn the alligator blind for a while. That´s the moment when they (not being too far) get near and as a miracle they catch it (you know it because of the splash, not because you can see it anyway). As it is usually really small, the guide can then explain why they have 2 membranes for the eyes: one to protect from the water and a second one to sleep. They they show how an alli can get asleep just by tickling its belly. It´s very funny!!!
- Night sounds in the jungle
Tips are Optional
In Manaus, as well as in the rest of the country, If you take a cab or go to a restaurant, tipping is optional.
In a cab you should only pay what the meter says.
In a restaurant they include a 10% service tax - which would be as a tip. Theresore, if you want to leave your favourite waiter something, it's up to you.
Then if you got bad service, you have to pay the 10% anyway, so don't feel like you're supposed to tip, specially because I think they don't expect it.
Still, in hotels it is more common people tip bell boys and stuff.
Other than that, tips are mostly if you fell the service deserves it.
Trekking through the falls: Presidente Figueredo
This is a pretty cool place if you are looking for a relaxing trek/picnic. Plan on spending the whole day here, not just a few hours.
Its best to drive to PF in the morning. Its a beautiful scenic drive, about one hour away from Manaus. This place is not touristy , and you will see many locals and Manauaras enjoying the waterfalls. Feel free to dine at the local eateries, and chill in the water with some beer. There are some good hiking trails going along side the water falls and the streams.
The water is from Rio Negro (the black river) .. and true to its name, it is black. Swimming in those waters is a different experience in itself ... dive a few feet underwater, and you can not see a thing ... as you rise up toward the surface with your eyes open, the color slowly changes from black to maroon. It is said that the river is black because of the large amounts of sediments and dead leaves it carries.
PF is a very nice place to be closer to the rainforest than Manaus, and yet be comfortable. Be very careful if you are driving back to Manaus at night .... there are no street lights and some of the locals tend to get drunk and cross the road with no concern for oncoming traffic.
Fish market in Tabatinga
Fish market in Tabatinga
Fish is the main source of animal protein for the majority of Amazon inhabitants. Beef, about which we hear as a cause of deforestation, is generally exported out of the region to cities west of the Andes. Most fish is caught by 'artisan' fisherman, with nets, or rod and line.