For a Brazilian capital this size (about 300 000), Boa Vista is remarkably quiet. Judging by the number of evangelical churces, Jesus has his equatoria stronghold here. Despite being more than 100 years old, the city has the aspects of a planned capital, with wide modern streets and traffic circles. Historical references are difficult to find.
TAM and Gol operate to all large Brazilian airports, mostly via Manaus and/or Brasília. Locally based Meta have more regional destinations, and also crosses the border into Suriname and Guyana. The 10-minute cab ride from the airport to the centre runs at fixed 30 reais.
Boa Vista has 3 daily bus connections to Manaus by way of Presidente Figueiredo(11 hours, 95 R$) by Eucatur. This includes an en route passport screen by the Federal Police. Also buses to deep into Venezuela. Six daily buses to Bonfim and the border with Guyana. If crossing the border, do not get off in Bonfim, the bus will continue to the border.
Most sights are within walking distance from the central hotels. Buses pass by the terminal urbano in the center. Taxis marked lotação are slightly more expensive than buses, but run faster, and can also deviate somewhat from their routes for an extra fee. Regular cabs run on metres, but might insist on fixed prices to the bus station and airport.
- Ruins of Fort São Joaquim (32 km from the city by river or 52 km by highway BR-401). This fort was built in 1775 at the confluence of the Uraricoera and Branco rivers. Today only the foundations and some walls remain.
- Sunset cruises leave from Orla Taumanan at 17:00. Book ahead. Tel. 9971 5454.
- When the river is low, the far side has a string of beaches, a couple of them with shacks serving drinks and snacks. A boat ride across costs R$ 2,50.
Stores generally close early on Saturday and remain closed on Sunday.
- Cocktail bar e restaurante, Corner of Rua Araujo Filho and Avenida Getúlio Vargas. Spiced up from the regular Brazilian fare by the Indian owner Set lunch R$ 7.
- Meu Cantinho (Right up from Orla Taumanan). Lunch till midnight. Set at the founding spot of the city. Mains for two at R$ 35.
- Orla Taumanan (At the riverfront just down from the centre). Weekend evenings. A handfull of stalls with plastic tables and chair around a makeshift stage with live music.
- Sullivan (20 reais by taxi from the centre.). Forro at weekend nights Entrance R$ 10. Beer can R$ 3.
- SINPOL (Right behind the bus station). Pagode once a week. Free entrance, large beer R$ 4.
Hotels are spread out between the centre and the bus station.
- Hotel Ideal, Corner Rua Araujo Filho and Rua Nossa Senhora Consolata, ☎ 95 3224 6342. Basic and clean Single with air con R$ 50, double R$ 70.
Internet is painfully slow.