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Amazon River & surrounds: How much is practical in 3 weeks?

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We are starting to plan a three-week trip to Northern Brazil in 2015 and need some help getting a handle on realistically how much we can see. We are experienced travelers in our 60s.

We have been to Brazil two other times and are therefore focusing on the Amazon River area, ending up somewhere on a nice swimming beach for 5-7 days.

In my preliminary reading, it sounds like May is a good time to visit but we are flexible.

We are open to a several-night river cruise, suggestions for visiting places such as Fortaleza/Pipa, Fernando de Noronha and whichever other cities such as Belém, Santarém, etc. might be worth a peek. (It sounds like we might have to see Manaus transportation wise, but I am not positive that’s the case.)

Any input that would help us create a manageable itinerary would be most welcome. Thanks!

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