FLY: Eduardo Gomes International Airport, located eight miles from the city-center, services American Airlines nonstop from Miami. Here, domestic flights are also serviced to Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo on TAM, Azul and GOL. (Airport code: MAO)
SEE: A cosmopolitan city skirting the Amazon, Manaus attracts both international and local visitors to its historic centers, markets and wondrous Meeting of the Waters, a natural phenomenon where two rivers—Negro, with its dark, murky water, and Solimoes, with its clear water—flow side-by-side for almost four miles. The capital city of the Amazonas state is well known for its 19th century masterpiece Teatro Amazonas, an opera house constructed during the town’s rubber boom made with marble from Italy, Parisian furniture and over 36,000 pieces of ceramic tile intricately placed on its dome. Also constructed during the town’s heyday of rubber production is Mercado Adolfo Lisboa, the town’s central supermarket where locals and tourists can choose from resident Amazonian food to handicrafts.
STAY: The Park Suites Hotel Manaus, located at Ponta Negra Beach, offers upscale accommodations for guests and is walking distance from Avenida do Turismo—a local hotspot boasting restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Amenities at the 252-room hotel include accommodations with views of the Amazon or Rio Negro, an infinity pool, the D&M Spa, a fitness center and the Alpaba restaurant serving traditional Brazilian culinary bites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Boat tours to the Meeting of the Waters can also be taken from a pier adjacent to the property. (parkplaza.com)
WORLD CUP VENUE: Arena Amazonia (capacity: 42,374); will host four group-phase matches.