It has always been my dream to explore the Amazon region and the fascinating nature that surrounds it. So I definetely didn´t want to miss out the Amazon when traveling Brazil. To get to the Amazon region I booked flights from Rio de Janeiro to Manaus and then the flight back from Manaus to Salvador. There is no other way to get there (unless you want to go by boat for a few weeks or walk through the jungle for a few months). I have booked the flights already in Germany and they cost around 250 Euros both way. It´s also possible to book flights in Brazil and usually it´s cheaper. Besides that I haven´t booked anything else in advance. I booked a hostel in Manaus only a day before when I was still in Rio.
Once I arrived in Manaus I went to the tourist offices and got all the information about possible trips. There is no way to go and explore the Amazon on your own. You need boats and a guide. I decided to do a trip for five days. The trips usually include everything. A guide, the boat tours, food and accomodation and they cost around 50 Euros per day. Definetely try to negotiate with the travel agencies. You normally go with a few other tourists together. So you will be around 5-7 people during the whole trip. I was lucky to have really nice people with me and we had a wonderful time together. The accomodations were simple wooden houses in the jungle.
During the trip we went watching the sunrise over the Amazon, swimming in the Amazon with pink dolphins, catching piranhas (which I didn´t appreciate too much as a vegan), exploring the jungle, watching different birds, dolphins and crocodiles, visiting indigenous communities and staying a night in a jungle, making a fire and sleeping over in a hammock.
I think staying 5 days is enough to get a good impression of life and nature in the Amazon.