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Novo Airao

(4.7/5 based on 50+ reviews for 1 attraction)
Novo Airão is a municipality located in the state of Amazonas in northern Brazil on the Rio Negro River about 180 km upstream of Manaus. Its population was 15,915 (2007) and its area is 37,771 km². The town is reachable both by river and road.HistoryNew Airão began when the Jesuits founded a settlement at the mouth of the Jaú River in 1668 named Santo Elias de Jau. The region was inhabited by Indians Waimiri-Atroari, Crichanã, Carabinari and Jauaperi. Everything indicates that the mission village of Santo Elias de Jau was the second or third nucleus of settlement organized by the Portuguese in Amazonian lands. In 1759, the village was elevated to a town with the name Airão by Joaquim de Melo Póvoas, first governor of the. Later, the district around Airão became part of Manaus and when it was dismembered in 1938, became New Airão.TourismPeople go to Novo Airão to access to the surrounding area and to feed and/or swim with the dolphins. The latter facility is offered at a small floating café down at the harbour. It is possible to pay some boatmen at the port for trips to Anavilhanas, (the ruins of the old town, and nearby petroglyphs), and perhaps the River Jaú (this one may require permission from the federal environment agency IBAMA). The boatmen should belong to the Associacão de Operadores de Turismo em Novo Airão (ATUNA), and be flying the ATUNA flag on their boat, as they are the only ones allowed to access the Anavilhanas.Because of the current bus and boat schedules, it is difficult to make a day trip to Novo Airão, and one should plan to spend at least a night there. There are a few pousadas in the town, of variable quality. Usually, those from ANATUR (Novo Airão Tourism Association) offer fine service and infra-estructure.
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