In the Amazon, the water is the principal way of transportation and therefore exchange, if you are in Brazil an interesting experience is to take one the boats that rally the city of Belem, on the mouth of the river and Manaus, already deep inside the forest.
Although the biggest boats have few cabins, the typical accommodation is hammock. Before taking the boat, you can buy some cookies or cloth to give to the kids who live in the houses disseminated on the banks and accost the boats on canoe to sell fresh fruits and fishes. This will also be the occasion to see “the encounter of the waters”, a quite impressive phenomenon, where the river rio Negro (black, acid, clear water) and the river rio Solimoes (brown, basic, troubled water) encounter but do not mix. Since the boats usually transport usually not only passengers but also merchandise, you will have the occasion to visit the cities on the river where the boat pull into port. You will surely also spot river dolphins jumping next to the boat. Tip: take the boat from Manaus to Belem, you will save one day of cruise, since the accommodation can be quite rustic, this might be something you want to consider.
The city of Manaus knew its golden age in the 19th century with the exploitation of the Amazonian rubber tree and have few interesting historic spot to visit. Nowadays the city is growing because of its free trade zone and the development of the ecotourism. There you will find a lot of agencies offering tours of a few days to a few weeks in the forest. An easy and comfortable way to begin discovering the jungle and its fauna. Both the dry season, when sand beaches form on the bank, and the wet season, when trees are submerged by the flood, are enjoyable. The prices of the excursion are affordable and always negotiable, for information the price of a cabin on the boat is $255, $125 for a place in the hammock room and I paid $300 for a 3 nights excursion.
In the Amazon, the mystery is still present and for the courageous ones, an adventure is still to be lived.