is the capital of the state of Amazonas in northern Brazil, once the richest city in South America due to its rubber industry. Situated in the middle of the rainforest, it was difficult to access except by boat or airplane. This isolation helped protect its nature as well as its culture, which, more than any other urban area of Brazil, preserves the habits of the Native Brazilian tribes. Manaus is the hub of tourism for the rivers, jungle lodges and river cruises, and is the main entrance to the Brazilian Amazon. Few places in the world abound in such a richness of plant, bird, insect, and fish life. The Amazon represents half of the planet’s remaining rainforests and home to more than one-third of the world’s species. Visitors can explore the riverbanks and streams, swim and canoe in placid lakes or simply walk in the lush forest.