Getting there & away
Slow boats to Manaus depart six days per week (hammock R$150, cabin R$350, 30 to 36 hours). Prices vary somewhat according to the boat, and you should always bargain, as a ‘gringo tax’ is commonly applied here. AJATO (3343 5306) has twice weekly speedboat service to Manaus (R$180, 10 hours). Advance reservations are recommended, as the boats frequently fill up. Unfortunately you can’t book a return ticket in Manaus; the Instituto Mamirauá office can do it for you in Tefé, but a 15% surcharge applies.
Boats going upriver to Tabatinga do not enter Tefé proper, so catching them is a little trickier. For a slow boat, catch a regional boat to the towns of Fonte Boa or Jutaí (R$50 to R$80, 18 hours) and wait for the daily Tabatinga boat to pass (hammock R$190, cabin R$1000, three to four days). AJATO speedboats to Tabatinga (R$350, 16 hours) stop once a week in Alvarães, a small town across the lake from Tefé. To get there, take a motorboat to the village of Nogueira (R$5, 15 minutes) and then a truck or taxi to the dock in Alvarães (R$5, 15 minutes).
Rico (reservations 92/4009 8333; www.voerico.com.br) andTRIP (reservations 0300 789 8747; www.airtrip.com.br) serve Tefé to and from Manaus (R$260 to R$330) and Tabatinga (R$330 to R$345). TRIP typically uses small propeller planes and stops at smaller towns along the way, like Coari, Fonte Boa and Eriunepé.