Air Tours -- To get an aerial view of the rainforest and the city, Viverde, Rua dos Cardeiros 26 (tel./fax 092/3248-9988; www.viverde.com.br), offers sightseeing flights on a floatplane that takes off from the river in front of the Tropical Manaus. The best deal is the 30-minute flight that gives you aerial views of the city, the flooded forest, and the Meeting of the Waters, an amazing sight from the air. It costs R$450 per person with a minimum of two people. For R$900 you get a 1-hour flight that allows you to go as far as the Anavilhanas Archipelago (more than 300 islands in the Rio Negro) and buzz some of the beaches and forest on your way back.
Bus/Boat Tours -- The best Manaus tour operator is Viverde, Rua dos Cardeiros 26 (tel./fax 092/3248-9988; www.viverde.com.br). Fontur, located at the Tropical Manaus, Estrada da Ponta Negra (tel. 092/3658-3052; www.fontur.com.br), also offers a variety of tours. Because of its location in the Tropical, Fontur tends to be a bit more expensive.
Both companies offer half-day city tours, with English-speaking guides and an air-conditioned vehicle, that cover the highlights: the Opera House, the port and the market, and one museum, either the Palaçio Rio Negro or the Museu do Indio. Viverde offers a scientific city tour that includes a visit to the Bosque de Ciência. Cost is around R$150 per person. They also offer full-day tours that include a visit to the Meeting of the Waters and boat trips to the Anavilhanas Archipelago.
City Tours -- Long the experts in deep Amazon exploration, Amazon Mystery Tours (tel. 092/3248-4258; www.amazon-outdoor.com) has recently branched out into the city, offering innovative city tours. Canadian-born guide Jean Claude has developed a Manaus by Night series (R$90) which will take you out to a popular neighborhood to hang with locals, munch street food, and move to the sound of Manaus-based samba and pagode. The Cultural Manaus tours (R$90) offer visitors the chance to visit a kindergarten or spend a morning with Brazilian youth being shown their part of the city; there's also a tour that allows you to spend a night with a Brazilian family (R$150). And if all that's just too much culture, the company offers a day trip up to the waterfalls and caverns of Presidente Figueiredo, a beautiful highland area about 100km (62 miles) north of Manaus (R$250).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.