What should I do about money? The answer is simple – use the ATM. There are currently 5 ATMs and each dispenses local currency. Visa works best and Mastercard second best. Foreign banknotes including Dollars, Euro and Rand are not in demand and can be difficult to exchange. Large denominations of dollars can be exchanged on the street.
Can I pay for my tour in Meticais, the local currency? Yes you can. In fact this is the method of payment we prefer in the shop.
Are Credit Cards accepted everywhere? The main hotels and restaurants Ancora D’Ouro, Karibu, and Sara’s Place now have POS machines. The island fuel station also accepts card payment.
Ilha Blue accepts Visa and Mastercard.
For attractions, ‘barracas’ (local shack restaurants) and informal tours it is strictly cash payments.
When is the whale migration? Fishermen are the first to report the arrival of the whales which is generally late June/ early July. The whales are at their highest concentration (and most acrobatic) through August and September and start to leave early October.
How far ahead should I book things? This is a tricky one. If you are staying more than a week you have the flexibility to book tours and activities as you go. If your stay is only 2 or 3 days then you don’t want to risk missing out so book well in advance. Most people at least book a bike tour for the day they arrive or next morning (the perfect orientation to people and place). And we strongly recommend booking in advance during whale season as our boats usually get fully booked out.
How safe is the island? “Welcome to the village.” It’s the strong sense of community that makes Ilha the safest place you will ever visit. That’s worth repeating “the safest place you will ever visit”. So let go of your worries, relax on the beaches and wander the streets and alleys, day or night, with complete peace of mind.
Is Ilha good for kids? Short answer – YES! Many families now visit Ilha with stays of a week or longer becoming more popular. For teenagers there are all kinds of water based activities to keep them busy and smaller kids can just enjoy the friendly nature of this family focused place. It’s easy to make friends and everybody is watching out for the kids – just see how quickly little routines develop with visits to favourite shops, cafes, beaches and other hangouts.