Beyond the pitch in Manaus

Beyond the pitch in Manaus

It may be gaining popularity as a host of several World Cup games this year but this town on the Amazon has a lot more to offer.

If you are expecting to see only a sea of green of the Amazon rainforest when you fly into Manaus, the sight of a modern city with high-rises and a busy port comes as a surprise.

It is the Amazon’s largest city, a pocket of hustle and bustle in the middle of the jungle.

Noteworthy sights include a leafy zoo with as many animals out of the cages as in them, and a beach-and-museum combo that gets you out of the city centre.

Make sure you visit the Mercado Adolfo Lisboa -- A wrought iron replica of the Les Halles market in Paris, built in 1882, with Amazon food products and handicrafts.

If you plan your trip for the end of June, you'll be in Manaus for the Processão de São Pedro, when hundreds of water-craft parade on the river.

The natural phenomenon called “meeting of the waters”, in which the Negro and Solimões rivers converge is worth a look. Extending over nine kilometres, you can actually the two rivers running side by side.