An unlikely city, set in the middle of the Amazon, surrounded by thousands of miles of rainforest in every direction. Manaus is the arrival point for anyone entering the Amazon. Due to the distances involved to the better lodges, an overnight stay in the city is required on the inward bound journey. The city is not without its charms though, having peaked economically during the rubber boom; there are many colonial buildings that pay testament to Manaus’ prosperous past, none more so than the gigantic European-style opera house that sits somewhat incongruously in this most tropical of settings.