Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Transportation in Manaus

Manaus is located on the Rio Negro (which means black river) 10 km upstream from where it meets the Solimoes River to form the Amazon River or Rio Amazonas. The city of Manaus is well connected by air and sea routes. The Brazilian airline, TAM, has daily scheduled flights to Manaus from all over Brazil. Copa Airlines has direct flights scheduled on weekends from Miami to Manaus. Many transatlantic ships like the Holland America Line make regular cruises to Manaus.

Travelling by boat is a great option for getting to and around Manaus. You will also learn a lot about the Amazon and see the rainforest up close, and get familiar with local customs by interacting with locals you meet along the way.

Manaus Transportation Guide

Getting to Manaus
By AirManaus can be reached in four hours by air from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. TAM (the Brazilian carrier) has daily flights (Boeing 767-300) from Miami to Manaus. The flight takes less than five hours. Copa Airlines also has an Embraer 190 scheduled from Miami to Manaus, via Panama. Delta Airlines will soon be adding daily flights from Atlanta. Spirit flies regularly from Fort Lauderdale to Manaus.
The Airport Internacional Eduardo Gomes (Av Santos Dumont, 1350) is approximately 13 km (8 miles) to the north of the city centre. A smaller airport known as Eduardinho that caters to smaller regional airlines is located 600 m (2000 ft) to the east of the main airport. For flights within the Amazon region it is better to check with travel agents about promotional offers because airfares in the region fluctuate a lot. An additional departure tax is charged for all flights that depart from the Gomes airport but flights departing from Eduardinho are charged lower taxes. The taxes are included in the ticket charges.

By BoatManaus is an important destination for boats travelling on the Amazon River. It takes about five days to travel to Manaus from Belem, located on the Atlantic coast. Boats go from Manaus to Porto Velho two to three times a week. Tabatinga, located on the border with Colombia and Iquitos in Peru, can be reached from Manaus by boat.
Estacao Hidroviaria de Manaus (aka Porto Flutuante) sees regular arrivals and departures of large passenger boats. Porto Manaus Moderna, behind the municipal market, is used by speedboats going to Parintins, Tabatinga and Tefe.
Tickets for the passenger boats are sold inside the terminal of Porto Flutuante by the Rio Amazonas Agency. Boats travelling downstream to Belem make regular stops at Monte Alegre, Itacoatiara, Santarem and Parintins. Boats going upstream towards the Rio Solimoes stop at Benjamin Constant, Tefe and Tabatinga, whereas boats going along the Rio Madeira towards Porto Velho stop at Humaita and Manicore.
AJATO operates speedboats that travel upstream to Tefe in 14 hours, travel downstream to Parantins in 10 hours and to Tabatinga in 36 hours. Speedboats that go upstream on the Rio Madeira and travel as far as Manicore take 14 hours for the journey.
Slow boats travelling upriver on the Rio Negro leave from Porto Sao Raimundo, located in an unsavoury district known as Bairro Sao Raimundo, and situated 1.5 km (1miles) towards the north western region of Porto Flutuante. The other boat ride options are the 2-day ride to Barcelos and the 5 or 6 day ride to Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira. All boats leave the port in the evening.

Getting Around Manaus
By BusThere is a bus service every half hour between the local bus terminal at the city centre and the airport. Aeroporto Centro or Bus No 306 picks up travellers from the main road opposite the airport and stops near the Praca da Matriz in the town's centre. Buses continue to run between the airport and Praca da Matriz till 11 pm or midnight, stopping at the corner of Rua Quintino Bocaiuva and Av Flotiano Peixoto and also at Av Getulio Vargas, located opposite the Plaza Hotel. The streets of the city centre in Manaus and the city buses become extremely crowded and busy at noon and during the late afternoon, and are better avoided during this time.
By TaxiTaxis are readily available at moderate fares.
By BoatManaus is surrounded by rivers and forests located near the river banks. There are many places that can be reached only by canoe or motor boat during the high water season; besides, you have plenty of options if you travel by boat. If you plan to travel to Obidos, Tabatinga and Belem, travelling by boat is a cheaper and better option than flying. You will also learn a lot about the Amazon and see the rainforests up close, and get familiar with local customs by interacting with locals you meet along the way. Guided boat tours are organised to see the "Meeting of the Waters" near the convergence of Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes, where the black water of River Negro meets the brown water of the River Solimoes and flows side by side for about 9 km without merging


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