Aeroporto de Santarém - Maestro Wilson Fonseca
Aeroporto de Santarém – Maestro Wilson Fonseca is 14km west of town. It handles flights to/from Manaus and Belém. To go just about anywhere else you'll need to change in one of these cities.
LATAM Serves Brasília.
The airport is 14km west of the city center. Buses (R$3.50, 30 minutes) run to the city every half-hour or so between 6:15am and 6:45pm on weekdays. Services are greatly reduced on weekends; ask at the airport info kiosk for the next departure time. The bus stop is to the right leaving the terminal doors. Going to the airport, catch the ‘Aeroporto’ (but not ‘Aeroporto Velho’) on Av Rui Barbosa near Av Barão do Rio Branco, between 5:25am and 6:15pm Monday to Friday, and 6:40am and 5:45pm on Saturday. There are no direct buses from the airport to Alter do Chão; a taxi there costs R$100.
Taxis into town officially cost R$60, but you can sometimes get a better price by walking to the bus stop and waiting for an empty cab to pass.
There are two official ports for passenger boats, though an explosion of river traffic means virtually the entire waterfront can be crowded with vessels. Look for large signs or banners indicating each boat's destination and departure times. Be aware that times listed here are subject to change.
For Fordlândia and Monte Alegre, consider taking a lancha rápida (speedboat) offering comfortable airplane-style seating and half the travel time for just a few dollars more. Various independently owned boats use three nearly side-by-side piers just east of Praça Tiradentes; signs indicate which boat leaves on a given day. Altogether, there are daily departures for Fordlândia (R$65, five hours, 1pm) and Monte Alegre (R$60, three hours, 4pm; plus 9am Tuesday and Saturday).
Docas do Pará
The main port, Docas do Pará, is located 2.5km west of the center. There you can catch a slow boat to Belém (hammock R$200, double cabin R$600 to R$800, 48 hours) at 10am Friday and every second Sunday, and 11am Monday, which stops at Monte Alegre (hammock R$50, five to seven hours) along the way; to Manaus (hammock R$180, double cabin R$600, 40 to 48 hours) at noon Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and at 11am on Thursday, all with a stop at Parantins (hammock R$80, 20 hours); or to Fordlândia (R$50; 12 to 15 hours) at 4pm Monday to Saturday and 2pm Sunday – take the Itaituba boat. Meals are not included, but can be purchased on board. Buy your ticket in advance, especially in high season, to be sure you get a spot. Note you can only board during designated time slots: 6am to 7am, 10am to 10:30am, noon to 12:15pm, and 1pm to 2pm.
If arriving by boat, ‘Orla Fluvial’ minibuses (R$3) shuttle between the city center and Docas do Pará every 20 to 30 minutes until 7pm. A taxi makes the same trip for R$15, and moto-taxis for R$4. It's possible to catch the bus to Alter do Chão by walking or cabbing three long blocks straight up from Docas do Pará to Av São Sebastião. (Look for a Banco do Brasil on the opposite corner; consider taking out cash there as the ATMs are unreliable in Alter do Chão.) Be aware the bus is often full by the time it reaches that stop, so you may have to stand.
The port Praça Tiradentes is located 1km west of the center on Av Tapajós and is used for boats to less-common destinations, including Macapá (hammock R$150 including meals, 36 hours, 6pm daily), Monte Alegre (hammock R$45, five to seven hours; take the 6pm Macapá boat) and Alenquer (hammock R$35, seven hours, 8pm Sun-Fri, noon Sat).
The bus station is 2.5km west of town. Catch a bus here to Belterra ($3.50; one hour); they come and go every 30 to 60 minutes until 9pm.
There are almost no long-distance bus services to/from Santarém – the roads are appalling.
Buses to Alter do Chão (R$3.50, 60 minutes) stop on Av Rui Barbosa near Av Barão do Rio Branco roughly every hour between 5am and 10pm (until 6:30pm on Sundays).
Buses to Maguarí and Jamaraquá (R$12, two to three hours, 11am Monday to Saturday, 6:30am Sunday) depart from Av São Sebastião in Santarém. Return buses depart Jamaraquá at 4:30am and 6am Monday to Saturday, 4:30pm Sunday). The Sunday bus is air-conditioned.