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Welcome to the heart of the Amazon. Amazonas is Brazil’s largest state, spanning almost 1.6 million sq km. You could fit four Germanys within its borders with room left over for, say, Greece. It is here that the massive Solimões, Negro and Madeira rivers converge to form the Rio Amazonas, the granddaddy of them all. Manaus is where it all begins, a logical base for coming and going, and there are some genuinely rewarding tours, sights and urban amenities.

But Amazonas – not to mention Amazonia as a whole – is an incredibly big chunk of earth, and Manaus, with its outstanding tours, is merely a starting point. True, deep-immersion Amazon experiences, from Mamirauá Reserve to Reserva Extrativista Baixo Rio Branco-Jauaperi, from the Rio Urubu to the Rio Javari, are where you'll encounter the Amazon of which you always dreamed.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Amazonas.