Other than the all inclusive trip in 2006 to the RIU Funanna, we have always traveled independently of all inclusive package, favouring a wider choice of hotels, apartments and flights. One thing I’ve noticed these past years is the change and variation in prices charged for taxis. The standard rate was 1,000 Cape Verde Escudo (CVE) as an each way transfer to or from the airport into Santa Maria. While in resort, prices around town are 200 CVE during the day of sunlight and 300 CVE during the evening after sunset. This was quite simple but in 2017, perhaps a little more in depth.
Last summer we took a taxi from Santa Maria Pier to Ponta Preta for lunch at a price of 500CVE. A little expensive you may think, if we agree an airport transfer is 1,000CVE. That said, I’m not sure the last time I paid 1,000CVE for a taxi. As we arrived as a family of four and five bags, we needed an estate car. Price quoted was 2,000CVE. Was this a rip off, possibly so but ai knew that decanting into two separate cars would be the same, if a little higher.
What I’m seeing for sure is, a variation of prices in airport transfer, especially from the airport. What’s the answer to that? I’m not sure. Do I stand and haggle with each driver in turn for the best price? Awkward perhaps and maybe there’s some new monopoly? Maybe I’ll try next visit.
One thing is for sure, the prices around Santa Maria are unchanged in nearly 10 years.
There their is third party reading on the Web that suggests TUI will charge €40 for a return transfer. That to me is quite ridiculous.
You’ll notice taxi straight away. Not withstanding the fact it’ll probably have the word TAXI written on the door or roof, but it will be a light blue car with distinctive yellow stripe along the side. The key thing here is that all taxies run without a metre, so it’s probably a good idea to get an acceptance of costs to ensure you’re not paying too much.
During this trip l’ve experienced more than before, a kind of over zealous nature of the taxi drivers parked outside the Morabeza Hotel, opposite CV Movel Telecom. Touting for business to anyone that passes and to me, starting to become a nuisance. You can get a taxi from this rank or to hail a taxi in resort, simply call out, shout or wave as a passing car. You may find yourself at the end of a car horn toot as you walk around town with a shout of “taxi”, but a shake of the head is all that’s needed to answer “no”.
To and from the airport, I think today I would expect to pay 1,500CVE for a saloon car with minimal baggage and up to two passengers. For a family of four and an estate car of baggage, then I think I would be happy at the 2,000CVE price. Around the village, then the aforementioned 200CVE or 300CVE applies. To Ponta Preta in the day, I think 300CVE or maybe 400CVE is more acceptable. Ditto Kite Beach I would expect the same and maybe 500CVE to Bikini Beach.
There is another twist to all this and that is, the Alugar. An Alugar is the preferred method of transport for the local residents and can take the form of a small minibus or open top pickup with built in seats. Normally Alugar will ferry people to Espargos for 200CVE per person. Along with taxis, you’ll find an Alluga pickup around town. Popular with surfers and their kit, with a pickup holding six people, you could expect an airport trip for 1,200CVE. Like taxis, they run without a metre and you should agree a price beforehand. The children have always liked a trip back to the airport on the back of an open top Alluga. Maybe it’s the last rays of sunshine, the wind in your hair, dust in your eyes or the pure enjoyment that it’s a unique experience that’ll have the Heath and Safety boys spitting coffee over their risk assessments.
And for the avoidance of doubt, there are no Ubers here!