The top tourist attractions in Amazonas are deeply rooted in the fact that 98 percent of the state is covered by the Amazon Rainforest. And yet this Brazilian state has a lot more to offer than tropical flora and fauna, even though they are biggest deal here by a long shot. Amazonas is just as much steeped in culture and architectural beauty as any Brazilian state … it all depends on which town or city you visit.
1. Teatro Amazonas
This is no ordinary opera house. The Amazon Theatre is a startling replica of the Grand Opera House in Paris. That said, it has a stunning Renaissance-style architecture whose building materials were imported from many parts of Europe including Italy, England, and France. Its façade, dome, and interiors are all elegantly and elaborately decorated.
Teatro Amazonas was built at the height of the rubber trade industry in Manaus, the state capital and city to which it belongs. It was completed in 1895 after 11 years of construction. Today, it is used as a venue for the Amazonas Opera Festival celebrated annually in the city. It is also home to the Amazonas Philharmonic Orchestra, which regularly perform in the theatre.
2. Mercado Municipal
Much like Teatro Amazonas, it is a rip-off of another famous landmark in Paris called Les Halles. It is the main market of Manaus and one of the top tourist attractions in Amazonas.
3. Jaú National Park
Jaú National park is not only known for its sheer size (it is one of the largest in Brazil and Latin America after all), it is also equally recognized for its extremely diverse flora and fauna, making it one of the most visited reserves in the country. It can be accessed from Manaus and the town of Novo Airao, so be sure to check it out on your trip here.
4. Pico da Neblina National Park
It is the second largest national park in Brazil and third largest in South America. More than often, it is an understated attraction compared to Jaú even though it has the richest plant life in the country. The main reason why tourists visit it however is the Pico da Neblina or Neblina Peak. It is the highest peak in Brazil and one of the top tourist attractions in Amazonas.
5. Indigenous villages of São Gabriel da Cachoeira
São Gabriel da Cachoeira is perhaps the most culturally interesting city in Brazil. 90 percent of its population is composed of Native Brazilian Indians. The best places to visit for an authentic native experience are the indigenous villages of the city. They are located in the Upper Rio Negro, accessible only by boat. The trip to these indigenous villages last between 6-12 hours and require authorization from the Federation of Indigenous Organizations of Alto do Rio Negro (FOIRN).
*Image of Toucan, National park Iguazu, Brazil via Shutterstock