In all the times I've visited family in Brazil, I never had the opportunity to visit the Amazon rainforest. This trip I finally made it happen. I started in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, Brazil.
I am a theater girl at heart, so when I visited the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus I was floored by how gorgeous it is. An orchestra was in rehearsal when I visited, so I had to resist the urge to jump on stage and sing.
River boat tours are very popular with tourists in Manaus, so I made my way to the banks of the Rio Negro. The sights were a stark contrast to the beautiful theater.
River boat tours are fairly expensive, so I decided to see the Rio Negro by taking the boat that the locals ride to cross the river. For only a few dollars, I enjoyed beautiful views of manaus and discovered that I really like boats!
Back in Manaus, I wandered the streets and markets. I couldn't believe how many things could be purchased on the streets. I saw everything from home cooked meals served from pots to a tattoo artist giving real tattoos to people sitting on the ground underneath a tree! My favorite street vendor was this watch repairman who worked from a makeshift booth on the sidewalk.
In the center of Manaus is an amazonian oasis called INPA, the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia. There they preserve a snippet of amazon rainforest where researchers care for animals and educate the public about environmental issues. It was a really beautiful preview for what I was soon going to see in the actual rainforest.