The capital of the State of Amazonas, the belle U‰poque splendor of Manaus is still evident in the graceful mansions and the Teatro Amazonas opera house. This city, resting on the Rio Negro, was created by the rubber boom of the mid-19th century, when steam navigation opened up the Amazon to entrepreneurs and the social elite. Today, stroll down the Parisian-styled boulevards and Italian piazzas, or watch the fishermen at Municipal Market unload their catch of the day on the rivers' edge. Many of the finest buildings in Manaus were constructed during the rubber boom, including the impressive Opera House. In addition, there are a few good museums, some fine restaurants featuring regional dishes, and a chance to purchase some locally made Indian crafts.
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