How to Get Around Manaus
The Amazon’s largest city, Manaus is both a major gateway for visiting the Brazilian Amazon and home to a major port for ocean vessels (despite being 1500km from the ocean). Many visitors will find themselves here whilst touring the country or continent, more often than not on their way to board their Brazilian Amazon River cruise. Here are some tips on how to get around the city of Manaus, Brazil, and how to get in and out from those heading to a second destination.
Despite being a large city, Manaus is quite easy to get around for travelers. Manaus is an easy-to-follow grid pattern, with most activity happening near the waterfront on the Rio Negro. Everything revolves around the river here. The port and mercado municipal face the river, with the main attractions for visitors concentrated in a 20-block radius around the port and easily accessible by foot. Directly in front of the port you’ll find the bus terminal and Praca da Matriz (a main square). Praca da Matriz is home to the Nossa Senhora da Conceicao Cathedral, and Matriz Church, two notable sights in the city.
To the east of the square is the downtown shopping district, formed by several parallel streets (centered on Rua Guilherme Moreira). At the end of these streets where they hit Avenida Sete de Setembro, you’ll find the Palacete Provincial, a collection of 5 museums in a former police building.
To the west of the square, you’ll find the picturesque Palacio Rio Branco and Museu Paco da Liberdade.
The busy Avenida Sete de Setembro signals the end of the oldest section of downtown, and there is little of interest for visitors beyond here, save for the Teatro Amazonas (a grand opera house right in the rainforest, just 4 blocks North on Rua Barroso).
Beyond here, the city sprawls inland and along the river, with several upscale neighborhoods residing a significant distance from the port. One, Ponta Negra beach, is about 18km (11 miles) from downtown, and is known for its popular nightlife and entertainment area along the beachfront. Although a good part of the beach disappears in the wet season (Jan-Apr), the food stands and entertainment remain in place all year round. During the dry season, this beach is a popular place to swim and suntan along the river.
Luckily, all of downtown Manaus is walkable from the port and easy to get around. Just make sure to watch your purse or wallet in crowds, and stick to busy areas in the evening. Also, keep in mind that it is a bit hilly, so wear comfortable shoes if you plan to sightsee on foot.
For those wishing to visit Ponta Negra from downtown, you’ll want to take a bus or taxi as the trip will take about 35-40 minutes. Local buses leaves from Praca da Matriz, and taxis can be hailed on the street or reserved ahead by your hotel.
Arriving in Manaus
Manaus’s international airport, Eduardo Gomes, is 17km from downtown (about a half-hour drive). Here you’ll find a helpful information desk in the arrivals hall, offering free maps of the city, which is a great way to get initially oriented when you arrive. For more information, see our How to Get to Manaus guide.
To get from the airport to the city center, you can take either a taxi or regular city bus, though some hotels and tours offer shuttle services (if yours does, make sure to confirm in advance). Those staying at the Tropical Manaus in Ponta Negra can take the Fontur shuttle.
Those arriving by cruise will have a very easy time, as the port right in the downtown district. Most hotels may be walking distance or a short taxi ride away. Those staying in Ponta Negra will need to take a taxi or bus for about 35-40 minutes.
Getting to the Port
For those heading to the Iberostar Amazon cruise, luckily the port is right at the center of downtown. If you won’t be staying in the city at all, it is possible to take a taxi or bus directly from the airport to the Port (Porto de Manaus). Similarly, for those staying in Ponta Negra, you can also take a bus or taxi into downtown, directly to the port. For those already staying in downtown, you may be able to walk to the Port, but you’ll likely want to grab a taxi for your luggage. The address for the port is: Taqueirinha #25, Centro
The Lo Peix Amazon cruise leaves from a smaller port named the Marina do David, located on Estr. da Ponta Negra, close to the Tropical Manaus Ecoresort. Similarly the Desafio Amazon cruise leaves from another small dock called Marina Aguas Claras, located on Av. Aldeota 4, Tarumã, also close to the Tropical Manaus Ecoresort hotel.
All other Brazil Amazon River cruises leave from the Tropical Manaus Ecoresort pier, located on Av. Coronel Teixeira.
For those not leaving by cruise, simply catch a bus or taxi back to the airport.
It is fairly easy to get around Manaus, and luckily for travelers about to embark on a river cruise, the port is very accessible at the heart of this Amazonian city. Contact us for more information. You can also see our Top 10 Things to Do in Manaus guide for more information about the sites to see in the city.