There are several entrances to the Brazilian Amazon. Manaus, the capital of the jungle, is perhaps the most famous and popular. Much of the blame may be due to the fact that it is the main port of entry for planes and ships (east, west and south), in addition to have a road to Roraima (north). But it is also partly because it is a city with much to discover. The chaos of cement, vehicles and people contrasts with the giant green lung in which it is located. And, although the main reason of your visit will probably be entering the jungle, you cannot miss the opportunity to also live this unique culture, enjoying even the extreme and humid heat of the city and the madness of the motorcycles (and the taxis, which drive as if the world is about to end).
Things to do in Manaus
Before (or after) a trip to the Amazon you can discover this unique city. To be highlighted: The Encounter of the Waters, where the Negro (Black) and the Solimões rivers merge to form the true Amazon River; the Municipal Market of Manaus; the Amazonas Theater; Eat some typical dish of the jungle like tacacá.
There are many agencies in the city, each one takes you to a different place. Of course, you must be careful because apparently scams are the order of the day (I recommend hiring an excursion with the agency once you are there, rather than online). We went with a small local agency with a very nice guide (the great Luis!). First, we took several passenger buses to a town called Lindoia, then a couple of boats sailing through the waters of a tributary of the Amazon River to the base camp (hosted by a local family). In total we spent five days in the jungle in which Luis took us to idyllic places, we made excursions in search of jacarés, we slept several nights in the jungle with a hammock and cooking delicious things, we visited a small community that gave us pure açaí (until then we had only tasted açaí na tigela, like ice cream)... It was a great experience. Muito obrigado Luis.