Of all cities one can reach when voyaging along the Amazon River, Manaus is by far the most expensive.
The Mercado Adolpho Lisboa (map), founded in 1882, is the city’s oldest marketplace, trading in fruit, vegetables, and especially fish. It is a copy of the *Les Halles market of Paris. Other interesting historical sites include the customs building, of mixed styles and medieval inspiration; the Rio Negro Palace cultural center (map); and the Justice Palace (map), right next to the Amazonas Opera House (map).
If you plan to move around the city independently, it’s important to find accommodation either downtown or close to the main axis of Av. Constantino Neves and Av. Djalma Batista.
About 18 km (11 mi) from downtown is Ponta Negra beach (map), a neighbourhood that has a beachfront and popular nightlife area.
You need to travel at least 100 km from Manaus to see virgin rain forest and the wild life you are looking for. A better option may be a trip to lake Juma which is a special protected area.
Manaus does not have winter, summer, spring or autumn; there are only two seasons in the city: a rainy season (from December to May), with long periods of continuous rain and frequent thunderstorms that fill the rivers, forming igapós (forests flooded by rivers, similar to swamps), and a season drought (from June to November), when it still rains, but to a lesser extent.
Thus, if traveling in wet season, be prepared to get wet and not dry out until the end of your trip.
The area between Av. Floriano Peixoto (map) and the port has many small restaurants that offer food for decent prices. Directly at the port at the big market (2 blocks downstream from Mercado Municipal) food stalls offer even cheaper alternatives.
Between February and March, Manaus Carnival brings together the beauty and wealth from the Samba Schools Parade and also more than one hundred Carnival blocks around the whole city, including the Historic Center, where traditional blocks like Banda da Bica, Banda da Difusora, Banda do Jangadeiro and others happen every year.