Welcome to Rio Negro Basin
The Upper Rio Negro is one of the most beautiful and unusual regions of Brazilian Amazonia. Novo Airão is a sleepy but up-and-coming town about 180km upriver from Manaus; it's easy to reach and serves as gateway to three major destinations: Jaú National Park, Anavilhanes Archepelago, and the remote Reserva Xixuaú-Xipariná. Further upriver is Barcelos, a well-known fishing destination but still fairly off the beaten path for independent travelers. Barcelos is adjacent to Mariuá Archipelago, the largest fluvial archipelago in the world (Anavilhanes is second) with over 750 islands and excellent beaches, canoing and camping. Further still, and seeing even fewer travelers, is São Gabriel da Cachoeira, a pleasant town surrounded by rich forest and beckoning peaks. São Gabriel has some nascent ecotourism options, and is a backdoor adventure route to Colombia or Venezuela, via the triple-frontier town of Cucuí.