ATMs

Towns with at least one ATM:

  • Sal: Santa Maria, Espargos, also at the Airport
  • Sao Nicolau: Ribeira Brava, not at the airport
  • Sao Vicente: Mindelo
  • Santo Antao: Ponta do Sol, Ribeira Grande, Paul (Vila das Pombas)
  • Santiago: Praia, also at the airport
  • Fogo: Sao Filipe, not at the airport

Exchanging money

The BCA bank is quite prominent in SAL and all over Cape Verde.  You can change all currencies in the BCA bank in Santa Maria and in Espargos the capital. LENEESE (in Santa Maria) SPEAKS VERY GOOD ENGLISH AND IS VERY HELPFUL. Save yourself all the problems by taking EUROS, it is the accepted currency. Everywhere takes EUROS and almost certainly they will give you change in ESCUDOS the local currency. Another bank you can consider is Caixa which is recommended by locals. The exchange rate is better BCA.

There is an official rate of €1=110 escudos set by the government. On Sal, euros can sometimes be used (also coins), usually at the rate of 1 euro to 100 escudos.  All travellers cheques and other currencies carry a commission (quite high) and variable. Finally GET RID OF ALL ESCUDOS before you leave the country, unless you intend to return.The bank at Sal airport charges at least 600 escudos to change them back into euros.

VISA CREDIT CARDS! they are just starting to take visa, not in all places but some, and it is expanding rapidly. If you intend to buy or go there often its easy to open an account. Transferring large amounts of money from the UK is easy.

Do not take Travellers Cheques. You could be charged Eu20 for £150 (2 cheques). You'd be much better getting a cash advance on your Visa card. Load up your account before you leave home, and you won't be charged cash advance.

If you are going to the the bank, get there early especially after holidays. It really gets busy. The bank staff are very helpful