Capital of the vast State of Amazonas in northwestern Brazil, Manaus is the largest port along the Amazon River and home to nearly 2 million people. The city—which takes its name from the Manaos Indians who once inhabited the area—actually sits along the Rio Negro a few miles from where its muddy waters converge with the Rio Solimões at the famous Meeting of Waters (Encontro das Águas). These two tributaries flow alongside each other in the same channel for nearly four miles before merging into the Lower Amazon, creating a two-toned phenomenon that is visible from space. Manaus thrived during the 19th-century rubber boom, and its Teatro Amazonas—a stunning, Italian Renaissance-style opera house, constructed with materials imported from Europe—stands as a symbol of the city’s former opulence. You can learn about Amazonas’s numerous indigenous communities at the Museu do Índio, which showcases more than 3,000 pieces of tribal artworks, masks, musical instruments, and tools. Stroll the wide boardwalk along popular Ponta Negra Beach and shop for handicrafts at the Mercado Adolpho Lisboa, a bustling marketplace built in the 1880s and modeled after Paris’s former Les Halles Market.