The only 2014 World Cup city located in the Amazon, Manaus will represent the northern region of Brazil, with matches like the USA vs Portugal (on June 22nd) held in the newly constructed 46,000 seat Arena Amazonia. The city is located at the confluence of the Rio Negro and Solimões Rivers. Temps are typically sweltering, and Manaus is known both as a locale for international trade and a jumping-off point for Amazon tours.
If you're one of the many US fans coming to Manaus to cheer on your team, here's what you need to know.Amazon river outside Manaus — Photo courtesy of Neil Palmer (CIAT)
Getting There and Around
The main airport, Aeroporto Internacional Eduardo Gomes, located a little less than 9 miles north of town, is serviced by daily direct flights from Miami, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasilia, as well as several smaller regional airports. Central Manaus is laid out in a grid pattern, and many of the main attractions are located within an easily walkable 20 blocks near the port. For trips further a field, taxis are plentiful and can either be flagged down on the street or reserved in advance.Manaus fisherman — Photo courtesy of Zemlinki!
What to See and Do
If you've made the long journey for the game, set aside some time to explore this fascinating region. Northern Brazil's rainforest can be explored through river tours, jungle hikes and fishing trips with stays in jungle lodges. Trips range from one to multiple days at a variety of comfort levels and price points. Activities can include leisurely cruises to time spent with local families, guided survival tours, and piranha fishing. Teatro Amazonas — Photo courtesy of Gabriel Smith
Built at the height of the rubber trade, the Teatro Amazonas in the city center was constructed in 1896 from imported materials like Italian chandeliers and French tiles. Home of the Amazonas Philharmonic Orchestra, the theater continues to host events including choirs, musicians, and film festivals. The Museu do Seringal Vila Paraiso, located about 25 minutes away from the city proper by boat, displays the the estates, facilities, and production methods of 19th century Amazonian rubber barons. It was this industry that allowed for the wealth of Manaus despite its remote location in the rainforest.
Where to Eat
The local cuisine involves a number of soups, fish dishes, and glutinous cakes that can be found in restaurants and stalls throughout the city. For an upscale version of regional eats try Banzeiro, which specializes in river fish ribs and stews, giving a French spin on Amazonian classics.
Another restaurant, Choupana, offers dishes like duck with manioc root and seafood risottos, in addition live music. For something totally different, Charufe is a family style restaurant serving Lebanese food, local fish dishes and paella. Mercado Municipal — Photo courtesy of Makoto Miyagawa
For a quick breakfast or snack on the way to the game swing by Mercado Municipal, the city's major market. Designed in the Art Nouveau style, it's based on the Les Halles market in Paris, and here you'll find more types of fresh fruit than you knew existed.
Where to Watch the Game
If you can't make it to the stadium, check out the bars near the Teatro Amazonas, where a majority of the nightlife is located. Touchdown, a spacious sports bar, offers around 20 screens for sports enthusiasts, draft beer, and a selection of bar food. Bottleneck is another sports bar with two TVs, a selection of beers, pub grub like sandwiches and fries, and live music. Bar do Armando, located right across from the Teatro Amazonas is a simple, but popular establishment where soccer fans can watch the game and enjoy live music, food and drink.
Related: Sao Paulo travel guide