For those expecting to see only a sea of green of the Amazon rainforest when they fly into Manaus, the sight of a modern city with high-rises and a busy port comes as a surprise. Located on the north bank of the Rio Negro, 11 miles (18 km) above the Meeting of the Rivers where the Negro merges with the Rio Solimões, photo, Manaus is 900 miles (1,450 km) inland from the Atlantic. It’s the heart of Amazonia and thus the hub of tourism for the rivers, the jungle lodges and the river cruises.
Manaus sprawls, but the center of town, the Centro where most of the hotels and attractions are located, rises above the river on a slight hill. As the largest city and a major port on the river, Manaus is commercial. Local industries include brewing, shipbuilding, soap manufacturing, the production of chemicals, the manufacture of electronics equipment, and petroleum refining of oil brought in by barge. And tourism, of course.