Located 107 kilometers (64 miles) north of Manaus  on the road to Venezuela, Presidente Figueiredo is a small town that has recently become a favorite ecotourist getaway. Although the surrounding region is replete with rainforest, creeks and rivers, and caves containing prehistoric paintings, the main attraction is 100 waterfalls that have won the town the nickname of Terra das Cachoeiras (Land of Waterfalls).
These aren’t just any waterfalls either. Tributaries of the Rio Negro, the water of these numerous falls is a striking jet black color. Diving into the pools and opening your eyes underwater is an intense experience. So is splashing around and getting a pummeling massage amidst a setting of rocks, ferns, and tropical forest that is downright Edenic.
Among the best falls closest to town are Suframa (11 kilometers, 7 miles), Iracema (12 kilometers, 7.5 miles) and Santuário (16 kilometers, 10 miles). If you don’t have a car, you can easily hire a taxi or moto-taxi to reach them.
Although Presidente Figueiredo can be enjoyed in a day, if you want to relax and soak up the falls in a more leisurely fashion, it’s worthwhile spending the night at one of the half dozen simple pousadas in and around town. Pousada Cuca Legal (Rua Manaus 1895, tel. 92/3324-1138, www.pousadacucalegal.com.br , R$85–95 d) is a nice choice right in the center of town. Rooms are a bit small, but bright and tidy. The grounds are nicely landscaped with a pool, and the restaurant serves good food. The pousada staff can organize outings to falls and caves as well as forest hikes.
Getting to Presidente Figueiredo is easy via the BR-174, basically the only paved road heading out of Manaus . If you want to rent a car, the trip is a very scenic one. Several bus companies (including Sempre Viva and Transgil) offer daily service from Manaus’s rodoviária. The journey takes two hours, and you’ll find a tourist information kiosk at the bus station upon your arrival. Tour operators also offer day trips here (leaving quite early in the morning).