The 4th, last part of the series of articles about The Amazon will be dedicated to all those who visit the city of Manaus and don't have too much time to spend in the jungle itself (or prefer an easier way to explore the area). And even those who have experienced the amazing adventure in the rain forest will be surprised how many things you can see around Manaus during just a one day trip. We were! You'll have a chance to see a native, local tribe, houses on water, beautiful lake covered with water lilies with plenty of wild birds and curious little monkeys. But the best highlight of the trip is swimming with pink dolphins!
What to see and how to get around Manaus
If you want to find out about the Manaus city itself, the jungle and the Amazon river and what exciting things you can do there, check out the previous parts. The easiest, cheapest and quickest way to see all the attractions listed below around Manaus is to take a day tour. As I've mentioned in the last posts about the Amazon, do not book any tours at the airport as you will most likely be overcharged. I got the tour in the tourist office in the Amazon. It was called "Amazon Backpackers". Have a look at all the details and various tours they offer on their official website here.
The Meeting of Waters
If you didn't have a chance to see it - during the longer adventure in the Amazon, you can do it now! The Meeting of Waters is the place where two rivers meet - Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes. You can clearly see this point as they don't mix together for around 6 km. One river is dark and clear while the other is brownish and murky. I described the meeting of waters as well as flooded rain forest in the first part - about the rivers in the Amazon.
Lake Januari and Houses On Water
Lake Januari is a part of flooded jungle - covered with beautiful water lily plants - if you didn't take a tour in the Amazon forest, you'll have a chance to see it here. You can see a wide variety of wildlife at the lake - we spotted cranes and other birds. The tourist office claimed it was also possible to encounter alligators - however, we didn't meet any (but we met them while visiting the jungle - amazing experience).
Even if you don't see any alligators, you'll be surrounded by dozens of curious little monkeys. You can feed them with bananas but be careful so they don't steal any of your personal belongings! They are very straightforward and not shy at all.
Houses on water, where people literally live on the river, are also interesting to see. We were approached here by boys sailing the canoe and carrying some wild animals - mostly snakes and sloths. They offer tourists photos with the animals for a fee. I can't find words how cute the sloths are - they try to hug you when you take them in your hands. It's kind of heartbreaking.
It is a source of income for the locals, however, the animals are not treated too well. I felt sad for both snakes and sloths equally (usually people don't care about snakes) - I believe animals should live in the wild and not be used as entertainment for humans. We decided not to take photos or hold them.
Visiting Indigenous Community
The native people of the region still live within their communities - you can see their dance, the huts they used to live in and clothes they wore. However, it is clear that all this is just a show for the tourists (just like the Long Neck village in Thailand - I'll write about it soon). I didn't mind it though because it's a help and source of income for the natives. The performances were actually interesting and entertaining. To see the real tribes who live in the jungle, you'd have to cross miles of the Amazon forest.
Swimming with pink dolphins
This was definitely the best part of the trip and it's worth it to get the tour just in order to be able to swim with the cute, pink dolphins! The best thing is that you can do it in the wild - the Rio Negro - where the dolphins roam free and are not kept locked up like in some water parks that I'm totally against.
You can feed the dolphins with fish and even stroke them - they are surprisingly soft and nice in touch. It was probably the best experience we had while visiting the Amazon.
Copying without permission is not allowed. If you wish to use any of the site's content (photos or text) or work with us, please contact us.
We welcome questions, advice, support or criticism. However, spam comments will be removed.