In November I took a cruise with HAL that included cruising up the Amazon River to Manaus and back to Ft Lauderdale. It was indeed a trip of a lifetime! Visiting the small villages along the way was by far the most interesting part of the trip for me; Manaus is such a big city, that it seemed no different from other large Central American cities. All other small towns we stopped at during this cruise, offered local tours to see all the highlights available; e.g. fishing for piranahs, treck in the jungle etc. People were always helpful and gracious, even though we could not speak Portuguese. We never felt threatened anywhere we went, even in the chaotic bustle of Manaus at night. The Opera House in Manaus is a must see; it is incredible because of the time it was built (1800s), Manaus was nothing but a village in the middle of the Amazon jungle.
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