Manaus, Brazil

Manaus is the gateway to the Amazon river. Most river and jungle tours begin and end here. Manaus is not a beautiful city; it’s loud and busy and colorful but has few attractions. The opera house is one of them. I took the picture below from the hotel’s roof terrace.

Like so many tropical cities, Manaus suffers from plaster rot. Black streaks run down formerly impressive colonial buildings, plaster falls off, and wood decays. Manaus is well beyond the patina stage.

Like in Colombia, packaged food and drinks are uniformly unhealthy. Coca Cola is probably the least artificial liquid in the beverage aisle, and water is often not available. I can’t explain the flesh thing. They also have deep purple flesh.

But the juice bars are heaven. There aren’t many and they are not easy to find, but they serve fresh tropical juices and blends like you will never find in a country where the fruit needs to he frozen and imported and anything beyond mango and maracuja and a few others is unknown.